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Joe Klocko: Get your manufacturing on

Posted: October 1, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 1, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Manufacturing careers in California make up a large percentage of the jobs available in the state. In fact, the state is home to more than 11 percent of all manufacturing jobs in the entire Unites States.

Within the state, the California goods-producing industries account for over 15 percent of all employment in California or about 2,200,000 jobs.

Also, manufacturing jobs are part of the non-farm employment numbers and non-farm employment is forecast to grow by over 550,000 jobs in 2014 and 2015.

Given the importance of manufacturing to the state and local economy and the large numbers of individuals employed in manufacturing, local businesses and organizations are joining together to celebrate National Manufacturing Day this Friday.

This year’s events marks the third year for businesses nationwide to celebrate National Manufacturing Day and the first time that organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley have joined in the event.

Last year, 48 states and 35,000 individuals participated in the movement and this year’s event is expected to grow even larger.

The Manufacturing Day focus is to address common misperceptions of career paths in the manufacturing industry and gives manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

I like to think the theme of the day to be “It’s not your grandfather’s factory anymore.”

Communicating the breadth of careers paths available at manufacturing companies is one of the goals of the event.

Did you know that only 43 percent of all manufacturing jobs are in direct production occupations? These include such roles as machinists, inspectors, testers and many others. That leaves fifty-three percent of the occupations available in the roles such as engineering, finance, human resources and sales just to name a few.

Support for the local event began as a partnership between College of the Canyons, the city of Santa Clarita, the SCV Economic Development Corporation and the William S. Hart Union High School District. Their efforts were complimented by support from local businesses and organizations including Advanced Bionics, Aerospace Dynamics

International, APICS, B&B Manufacturing, Boston Scientific, California State University Northridge, Donaldson Filtration Systems, RAH Industries and Timco Aerosystems.

So why is manufacturing important to you, your children and the country?

It’s because manufacturing is responsible for producing millions of middle-class jobs that form a base of support for a robust economy.

According to market researchers IHS Global Insight and Moody’s Analytics, manufacturing jobs on average pay $22 an hour, nearly double the average for service jobs.

Additionally, these jobs bring with them employee benefits packages that include some combination of medical insurances as well as direct funding of some sort of retirement income from pension plans and / or 401(k) savings plans. These benefits add effective spending power of between thirty and fifty percent of a manufacturing worker’s base earnings.

The local celebration of Manufacturing Day is a two-day event designed to provide area students and their parents a unique insight into the wide variety of career paths available in the manufacturing industry. The event will also provide participants with an insight into many skilled job opportunities they may not know are even available.

The Santa Clarita celebration starts this Thursday evening with an open-to-the-public event at the College of the Canyons when a panel of executives from the business partners discuss the nature of jobs available in today’s manufacturing businesses.

It continues on Friday with a by-registration only educational experience for a group of 120 William S. Hart Union High School students. The highlight of that day will be exclusive tours of local manufacturing companies followed by tours of the college’s welding, computer networking, and electronic systems labs.

Join in on the Santa Clarita Valley’s Manufacturing Day events and learn how the future is bright for career paths in in the manufacturing industry. For more information go to

Joe Klocko is the Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) and Regional Director, Advanced Manufacturing hosted by College of the Canyons. Mr. Klocko’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information about how the college’s CACT and Employee Training Institute can help your business, please call (661) 362-3111, e-mail [email protected] or visit


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