Manufacturers’ Summit

The 5th Annual Summit of the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire

September Digital Whistle


Statewide Policy Updates for Manufacturers

Please join us on Wednesday, October 18th  3:50 to 5:00 p.m. for, an essential Legislative Update for Manufacturers, featuring guest presenters Robert Spiegel and Lawrence Gayden from theCalifornia Manufacturer & Technology Association (CMTA).

Robert and Lawrence will be discussing tax, employment labor policy issues, and the dozens of new bills that impact manufacturing in California.  In addition, Rebecca Eusey, Senior Economic Development Analyst with the Employment Training Panel (ETP), will kick off the event with a brief presentation on a funding source available to manufacturers for employee training and upskilling.


In November: Energy Prices – How High Can They Go and How to Survive a panel discussion on how we can mitigate the increasing price and price volatility in our manufacturing processes, consulting several energy industry experts. Watch for details to come.


At our recent Board Meeting, we welcomed four new members:

Eric Schmidt, Exquadrum

Stacy DeVoll, DeVoll RubberDave Hyatt, General AutomicsKody Canfield, Rio Tinto

We are excited to have the join us to further our efforts in training and hiring into the manufacturing industry.

Industry News

  • (Sep 7) – In an exciting development promising enhanced production capacity and increased efficiency, the Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling facility announced plans for a substantial expansion to its facility in Rancho Cucamonga, one of four Reyes facilities in California. The company plans to invest over $500M to demolish and rebuild its present facility there, with temporary operations to be located in Fontana. The new facility will be a 620K sqft campus, focusing on energy and water efficiencies in its design. (PR Newswire)
  • (Aug 28) – The Bureau of Labor Statistics job openings report for June 2023 found that the construction industry had roughly 374,000 job openings while manufacturing had 582,000. While the number of job openings in the two sectors shrank by about 279,000 combined openings compared to a year ago, the total remained near one million job openings for those two sectors out of the roughly 8.5 million open jobs economy-wide. (Fox Business)
  • (Aug 28) – To fill the void filled as veteran workers retire with digital native recruits, some emphasize the need for humans to interact with automated and mechanized processes. A private apprenticeship program called Forge pays students over a 12 week program to learn specialized carpentry skills needed in the construction industry. According to Forge, 71% of participants in their classes have no prior trades experience and 69% graduate. Forge maintains a pro-team that hires out of the apprenticeship program for full-time roles offering a raise, medical insurance, 401k retirement and other benefits. (Fox Business)

Economic Update

  • (Sep 1) – Unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 3.8% in August as payrolls increased by 187K. Transportation and warehousing were among the largest job losses, with 34K losses in the last month. (CNBC)
  • (Sep 15) – California’s August 2023 Unemployment Rate Remains Constant from June and July at 4.6%. (Courthouse News)
  • (Sep 15) – Southern California unemployment jumps to a 19-month high. The job walkouts by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA are not the only factor. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow an overheated economy with higher interest rates have chilled hiring statewide and nationally. Southern California’s bosses had 8 million people on the job in August – up 21,600 in a month and up 160,300 in 12 months. That’s well off a local hiring pace that’s averaged 35,000 in August in 2015-19, but it is a reversal from July’s 42,400-employee cut. Manufacturers were up 800 jobs in a month but are down 2,200 in a year. In the Inland Empire, unemployment is 5.3% v. 4.9% last month, 3.8% a year ago, and 4.2% average in 2018-19. (The Orange County Register)
  • (Sep 20) – Despite inflationary pressures in the economy and market expectations for a rate hike, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) opted to maintain the Federal Funds Rate, the Federal Reserve’s lever for monetary policy, between 5.25% and 5.5%. (Federal Reserve Press Release)

Energy Prices

  • (Sep 14) – US oil prices top $90 a barrel for the first time this year, with the national average for gasoline rising to $3.86 per gallon, $0.16 higher than the same date last year, according to AAA. Over a dozen states have prices higher than $4 per gallon. Demand has eased since the summer, but supply concerns have driven prices higher, as Saudi Arabia and Russia extended supply cuts through the end of the year. Central bankers are concerned that the price rise could further fuel inflationary pressures on the economy. (CNN Business)
  • (Sep 4) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County rose Monday to a record high for Labor Day for the third consecutive year, increasing four-tenths of a cent to $5.285, its highest amount since Nov. 18. (NBC Palm Springs)
  • (Sep 19) – Electricity demand to rise by 80% by 2045 despite stagnant demographic factors, due to electrification technologies according to Southern California Edison. The utility expects California needs $370B in grid investment to keep up with this demand. (Bloomberg)
  • (Sep 7) – Power system manufacturer FuelCell Energy and carmaker Toyota have deployed the world’s first “tri-gen” system that turns methane-rich waste gas into electricity, clean hydrogen and water that the auto giant will use at its Southern California port facility for the next 20 years. It’s designed to convert a stream of biogas, sourced from agricultural waste and sludge, into 2.3 megawatts of electricity, 1,200 kilograms of hydrogen and 1,400 gallons of water per day, FuelCell Energy CEO Jason Few told Forbes. It only takes up as much space as three basketball courts. (Forbes)

General News

  • (Sep 15) – Firefly Aerospace launches Space Force mission Victus Nox with liftoff of the company’s Alpha Rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Sep. 14. The object of the mission is to place satellites into orbit quickly and accurately for defense purposes. (
  • (Sep 4) – West Coast ports struggle to win back importers, continuing a 25% slump in freight traffic through Pacific ports this year. While supply chains have shifted to other ports, Chinese economic woes have also been linked to a general decline in traffic. (Mint)
  • (Aug 31) – Factory activity in China contracted for a fifth straight month in August, adding pressure to Beijing to add more stimulus to the economy. (CNN Business)
  • (Sep 5) As the Chinese economy has slowed this year, the country’s industrial northeast is perilously close to tipping into a recession. The area is heavily in debt. Public revenues are slumping because of the real estate bust. Pensions are the responsibility of the region’s three provincial governments — Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang — and their cost is soaring. A quarter of the population is 65 years of age or older, with the share growing at a rate of 2% per annum. (The New York Times)

Politics & Policy

  • (Sep 17) – Gov Gavin Newsom announced he would sign the climate disclosure bill. (The New York Times)
  • (Sep 19) – California SB 49 is pending signature of the Governor after unanimous approval of the State Assembly. The bill supports buildout of solar, storage, and transmission projects along California highways. California agencies would evaluate highway sides, rest areas, and right-of-ways. (PV Magazine)
  • (Sep 15) – California SB 799 passed the California legislature on Sep 14 would make striking workers eligible for unemployment benefits after 2 weeks of striking. (Courthouse News)
  • (Sep 10) – The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is now on the verge of issuing an overall draft rule to limit pollution from the ports and last month, labor and management officials and a variety of business organizations sent letters to the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach raising alarm about what they regard as a potentially fatal blow to the ports’ long-term viability. “The initial SCAQMD staff proposal essentially establishes volume caps on port activities, which will restrict the delivery of critical imported goods including essential construction, manufacturing, and automobile components, as well as medical supplies and halt the export of California’s manufactured goods and agricultural products to foreign markets,” the coalition told the mayors. (CalMatters)
  • (Aug 30) – The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced the opening of this year’s Innovative Small E-Fleet (ISEF) voucher incentive set-aside, which will offer $83 million in assistance for small fleets transitioning to cleaner vehicles. The funding assistance program is part of the state’s Clean Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive program (HVIP) and will open for voucher requests starting Aug 30. CARB increased the voucher program this year with an additional $50 million. Privately owned trucking companies and nonprofits, including independent owner/operators, with 20 or fewer vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 8,500 lbs. and less than $15 million in annual revenue are eligible and can access funding that can cover costs related to the purchase and operation of zero-emission trucks. Fleets must work with an approved provider to apply for vouchers; these providers will work with eligible equipment dealers to request vouchers on the individual fleet’s behalf. (State of California PressRelease)

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