More than 600 attendees and 65 exhibitors are expected Thursday in downtown Fresno for the Sixth Annual Valley Made Manufacturing Summit.

The event, hosted by the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and the Fresno Business Council, will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the showroom of the Fresno Convention Center. Last year’s event took place online due to public gathering restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The summit is designed as both a workshop and a resource exhibition, where participants will have networking opportunities with the aim of creating a well-trained workforce. The event promotes intersectoral collaboration that aims to enable the Valley’s manufacturing industry to be competitive on a global scale.

The keynote speaker for the lunch hour will be John Shegerian, President and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the largest computer hardware destruction and electronic waste recycling company in the United States.

“The manufacturing industry is responsible for over $ 15 billion of the valley’s gross domestic product. It’s a big deal here. And so bringing everyone together and… sharing best practices only makes sense. “ERI CEO John Shegerian

Shegerian, described as a “serial entrepreneur” responsible for co-founding Homeboy Industries, RecycleNation, FinancialAid.com and Engage, will deliver a noon talk titled “CARE – Culture Affects Retention + Earnings” which will examine how the culture of a business can affect business income. He was recently recognized by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2021.

Getting back to the top of manufacturing after a one-year hiatus is “extremely important,” Shegerian said. “There are over 5,300 manufacturers here in the Central Valley. The manufacturing industry is responsible for more than $ 15 billion of the valley’s gross domestic product. It’s a big deal here. And so getting everyone together and letting everyone see who’s doing this stuff, who’s doing this work and sharing best practices just makes sense.

Better pay = more workers

Companies that are currently struggling with labor shortages should note that big companies like Amazon and Costco have found the solution: to offer higher wages. This is something ERI turned to in the summer, when workers were harder to find.

A higher salary will reduce other costs, Shegerian said, noting that it is overall cheaper to raise salaries than to regularly go through the expense of recruiting and training.

Once on board, ERI employees are seen as part of a team who join together in a common mission, which is to responsibly recycle electronic waste. In the first month, the company recycled 10,000 pounds of waste, while last month ERI recycled around 20 million pounds around the world, Shegerian said.

A higher salary will reduce other costs, said ERI’s John Shegerian, noting that it is cheaper overall to raise salaries than to regularly spend on recruiting and training.

“And so when you do things that make the world a better place and you create a goal and a mission for all of your employees to step back and be really excited every day, they’re actually involved in a company that not only pays them a paycheck, but also makes their community here in the central valley and around the world a cleaner, greener place, a better place… you get a lot of grip (employee retention).

Shegerian said he plans to talk about best practices that have served his businesses well during his keynote address, which he said will also contain “a few surprises.”

Tickets still available online Wednesday

In addition to the opening keynote, the summit will include workshops that will include interviews with job seekers, how to protect your business from ransomware, successful hiring and retention, the emergence of IT in manufacturing and the role of education in human and economic development. .

Registration is $ 150, with a student rate of $ 25. Tickets can be purchased in line until Wednesday, and a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Attendees will include CEOs, technology managers, human resources directors, and career technology training partners.


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