Shasta Manufacturing Initiative
Work starts on creating local manufacturing initiative
A small group of employers took the first step Wednesday toward forming a consortium in Shasta County that would work with educators and resource groups to grow manufacturing jobs.
They want to take a page from a similar program that was started in 2013 in Butte County, the North State Grow Manufacturing Initiative, whose leader, Bill Gaines, chairman of Transfer Flow Inc. in Chico, spoke at the Hilton Garden Inn in Redding.
Gaines said his group, among other things, works with educators to teach students coding and other manufacturing skills. He noted that in 2015 Butte County added 1,500 jobs, 800 in manufacturing, which generated an economic impact of $227 million for the area.
“We think we were a big part of that,” Gaines said.
North State Grow Manufacturing Initiative’s Advisory Council includes employers, educators and trade advocacy groups.
In addition to the eight manufacturers, the approximately 35 people who showed up Wednesday included educators and resource groups like the Redding Chamber of Commerce, Shasta Builders’ Exchange and Economic Development Corp. of Shasta County.
Tony Giovaniello, president of the Shasta County EDC, said he is willing to organize a Shasta County manufacturing growth initiative. But he emphasized that this won’t work unless area manufacturers buy in.
“It has to come from the business community,” Giovaniello said. “I will be a champion, but without those resources (from manufacturers), it’s going to be difficult.”
Gaines’ group in 2016 spent about $75,000, much of which went to interns who worked with students and marketing. The group also donated 84,000 pounds of materials to North State schools last year.
In terms of total monies generated per employee, the manufacturing sector ranks first in Butte County and it takes about five retail jobs to match the economic clout of one manufacturing job, Gaines said.
In Shasta County, manufacturing is second to government in monies generated per employee. Construction is third, Gaines said.
“You need to get growing your manufacturing to where Butte County’s is,” Gaines said.
Asked his purpose for coming to Redding on Wednesday, Gaines said: “I’d like you to start a grow manufacturing initiative up here because your needs are going to be different” than Butte County’s.
For those interested in forming a grow manufacturing initiative in Shasta County, call Giovaniello at the EDC at 224-4920.