Helping California’s Manufacturing Industry on the Road to Recovery

Pamela Kan, President of Bishop-Wisecarver, has been advocating for the manufacturing industry on the local, state and national level for more than 20 years. She is a strong and respected voice and was recently appointed to Governor Newsom’s Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force. As one of 80+ members selected from California’s business, political and social sector, Pamela is tasked with helping bring back the state’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. As she represents the manufacturing industry in this state-wide group, Pamela was also asked to join one of Governor Newsom’s recent Economic Recovery and Reinvention Listening Tour episodes focused on manufacturing.


Participants on the panel included Tom Steyer and Ann O’Leary, Co-Chairs of the Task Force, as well as other manufacturing owners and machinists. It was an opportunity to share current concerns and considerations to be made as plans to reopen are developed.


Pamela highlighted several key manufacturing challenges including:

  • Machinery that is hardwired and can’t be moved to accommodate social distancing. While Bishop-Wisecarver has newer cell production technology allowing one worker to operate multiple machines remotely, many manufacturers have equipment or production lines that are fixed in place and require someone to be on site physically managing each machine or process.
  • Manufacturing is collaborative and often requires more than one person working at a machine.
  • Competitors from states that are opening up more quickly are putting California manufacturers at a significant disadvantage.
  • Importance of clear guidelines that are also consistent and not rapidly changing. Most manufacturing companies in California are less than 10 people so they struggle to have the resources and time to stay updated on the continual changes.
  • The need to move from an eight-hour day to a 40-hour week in terms of the wage and hour orders, providing much needed flexibility for workers commuting long distances, raising families or going to school.
  • Best ways to support employees as they do come back on site when there is no daycare or school open.


As Pamela continues to represent manufacturers through her work on the Task Force, she invites comments, questions and suggestions from others in the industry. You can reach her at


Pamela’s panel comments occur at the following times: 2:06-5:38, 29:00-33:12, and  38:26-39:11.