Manufacturers in attendance

On Thursday, August 23rd, 2018, the CEO’s, COO’s, and Operations leaders from Wisoman Foods, AB&I Foundry, Spicely Organics, OCHO Candy, Industrial Electric Mfg, Galaxy Deserts, Harvest Foods, and Casa Sanchez Foods convened at the Spicely Organics facility in Fremont to discuss challenges, share ideas, and propose action to address the challenges they face on a daily basis. The discussion opened with introductions and a description of their business and problems that are at the top of their list of concerns. The group ultimately focused on recruitment, retention, and training of talent, employee benefits, insurance, as well as advocacy, community engagement, and more ways to engage with other AMBayArea members.

Severe talent shortages are arising from a tight labor market, an aging workforce, increasingly sophisticated production skills requirements, high housing costs, and a populace uninformed, regarding manufacturing career opportunities. The scarcity of talent is reaching a tipping point. More and more Bay Area companies are moving out of the region or out of the state altogether. The solutions are not simple. Capturing candidates’ & employees’ interest & loyalty requires community engagement, a mission-driven work culture, a competitive wage, and a commitment to career paths & lifelong learning. Effective strategies of engagement for community & youth, worker training, as well as hiring of re-entrants, veterans, and others all must continue to grow. Augmented uptake of new talent happens most effectively through collaboration with other manufacturers, alongside community-based organizations and municipalities.

Companies are also seeking more imaginative approaches to curbing health insurance costs and housing availability. Similarly, roundtable attendees expressed a desire for more collaborative relationships for the crafting and execution of regulations and zoning for the good of the entire community.

AMBayArea offers its members a variety of resources related to these and other challenges which Bay Area manufacturers face. We continue to work with the membership to develop new and meaningful solutions in each of these areas. With our recent launch of a Member Portal, we offer our members access to in-depth information and educational material as well as a place to rapidly communicate with each other and build ad hoc groups around common problems & goals.