In my role as Manufacturing Director at Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG), I enjoy the opportunity to educate others about this industry, but also to be part of groups where I can meet with like-minded companies to help support this message. BWG is a founding member of the East Bay Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (EBAMP), a group that brings together manufacturers, educators, and workforce and economic development organizations at a single table to set priorities and strengthen manufacturing throughout the East Bay. More than 300 manufacturers are now members of the group and, in addition to BWG, check out the stellar list of founding companies: C&H Sugar, DOW Chemical, Inland Metal Technologies, Plastikon, Scandic, Shell Oil, SMTC, Tesla, and USS-POSCO.

Bud Wisecarver
Bud Wisecarver, Founder of Bishop-Wisecarver

With this high caliber support, the manufacturing sector in the East Bay is seeing positive changes. This kind of success helps transform EBAMP quarterly meetings into energetic and engaging events, which are anticipated by members.

Our most recent meeting this past February included discussions around California tax laws, successful employee training/partnership programs and proposed events to help continue educating and informing others about our East Bay manufacturing. A few highlights from the event included:

  • A case study highlighting the successful partnership between Bay Ship and Yacht and the College of Alameda to provide a specific credited course in marine coatings. The curriculum was developed to suit the specific requirements of Bay Ship and Yacht and prepare students for employment post completion.

  • A veterans work study provided by the group Swords to Plowshares discussing the high value of hiring veterans. Veterans are highly motivated job candidates, often have training or skills that are needed in manufacturing and California is even funding internships for veterans to help them expand their skill sets. BWG has long recognized the great assets of our veterans and has special programs in place to encourage hiring those who have served our country.

  • The formal unveiling of a new organization, the Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation Apprenticeships of California (AMTAC). This group is designed to facilitate and manage collaboration between businesses, colleges, and employees to promote and advance careers within manufacturing through a union neutral apprenticeship program.

  • Manufacturing Day 2015 roundup. Each year, on the first Friday of October, manufacturing sites in North America are encouraged to offer open houses and tours for students to hear about the possibilities in this industry and see first hand that manufacturing sites are clean, well lit and technologically advanced workplaces. BWG has participated the past few years and it’s a highlight for our employees, as well as the students who join. Last year’s students included a group from a local high school that walked over a mile each way to participate and we are now sponsoring that school’s robotics team as a way to keep encouraging their dedication.

In addition to supporting these programs, the EBAMP is a good resource for manufacturing data in the East Bay.

Bishop-Wisecarver Employee at the California Plant

Did you know that in Alameda County the manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share of the county's overall Gross Regional Product? Read the full report here.

Did you know manufacturing is critical to Contra Costa County’s economy? The sector employs more than 16,680 workers, making it the 7th largest employment sector with average wages well above the median household income. Read the full report here.

As I continue to have conversations about the strong manufacturing industry, I’m glad to work with BWG and the EBAMP to help provide resources and opportunities that validate this message. I believe the raw talent exists today as it always has in our labor market and we can tap into that talent to the extent that we can educate people and key influencers about the benefits of a career in the manufacturing sector. This effective messaging must be combined with a robust and coordinated support structure that clearly defines a path to success in these career opportunities. As we improve in our messaging and support so will we improve in developing a highly skilled and highly motivated workforce capable of world class manufacturing performance.

Bishop-Wisecarver Employee at the California Plant