Forum puts manufacturing in spotlight

Speakers, panels to discuss issues, successes
By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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Last year, a forum brought together area manufacturers with elected officials and experts to discuss the challenges and successes of manufacturing in Placer County. It received such a positive response that the county’s Economic Development Board has put together a similar program this year. The Oct. 13 gathering in Rocklin will feature speakers, interactive panels and findings from a recent survey. “One of the things that was most well received was the manufacturing panel,” said David Snyder, director of the Placer County Office of Economic Development. ”We’re repeating that this year with a different group of manufacturing firms. This time we’re focusing in on how they’ve been able to remain competitive in California’s business climate. You hear so much about companies struggling with regulations, taxes and high costs.” The panel will include representatives from Rogers Family Company in Lincoln, Telefunken Semiconductors in Roseville, TyRy in Rocklin and Chassisworks in South Sacramento. The Rogers Family Company, which produces coffee, has been in Lincoln since 2008 and has already expanded once, Snyder said. “They have farms in a number of countries around the world,” he said. Telefunken Semiconductors acquired the old NEC company. “They’ve been planning reinvestment in that plant and will talk about their reinvestment plans,” Snyder said. TyRy’s multiple companies include AlpineAire Foods in Rocklin. “They’re expanding to the Sunset industrial area,” Snyder said. “They bought the building and are investing in tenant improvements. They’re going to locate their headquarters and product lines at the facility. They make freeze dried foods for NASA, all branches of the military, backpackers, hikers, canoeists, extreme sports.” Chassisworks, in business since the mid-1970s, “is very symptomatic of a company that has been successful in California and they have a story to tell,” Snyder said. “Part of what we’re trying to do is showcase these companies and their success and say that despite the California business climate, you can be successful, too, and here are some lessons learned and some best practices,” he said. “Not that everything is perfect — it is far from perfect. But here are ways to achieve success.” The second panel will be elected officials and moderated by state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville. “One of the things Sen. Gaines has done is he has sort of shone a spotlight on the California regulatory environment,” Snyder said. “He’s uncovered some of what he considers to be burdensome regulations. … He’ll talk about key bills, key legislation this year that impacts manufacturing either for better or worse.” The other panelists are state Sen. Doug La Malfa R, Richvale; Assemblyman Dan Logue, R, Linda; and Dorothy Rothrock, vice president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. “Her boss, Jack Stewart, spoke last year,” Snyder said. “She’ll talk about a regulatory reform campaign they have under way. The campaign is called ‘2 million jobs by 2020’. It’s an effort to consider removing burdensome, overlapping, redundant regulations that are standing in the way of job creation.” A third major emphasis of the forum will be a discussion of the results of the county-wide late-summer survey that asked manufacturers what they like about doing business in their community and what should be their community or California’s top three priorities to improve the economy and improve business. “The forum will be a great opportunity for manufacturers to make their voices heard on what they like about doing business in Placer County and what must be done to improve the business climate in both Placer County and California,” Robert Weygandt, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said in a press release. “Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our county’s economic development efforts because it provides primary wage-earner jobs for workers at many skill levels.” Keynote speaker will be Jess Brown, director of energy solutions and service for Pacific Gas & Electric. Advanced manufacturing was identified as an important target for the county’s business retention and attraction efforts in a recently completed Economic Development Board Roadmap. Other key targets include emerging industries, small technology, research-and-development firms and entrepreneurs, officials said in a press release. Reach Gloria Young at ------------ Manufacturers Forum When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 Where: Rocklin’s Sunset Center, 2650 Sunset Blvd., Rocklin Cost: $35 per person in advance and $40 at the door (includes continental breakfast and lunch More information and registration: Call Kelly Kreeger at (530) 889-4016