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Fifth Annual “Valley Made” Manufacturing Summit Slated
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The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SJVMA) and the Fresno Business Council (FBC) are hosting Valley Made: The Fifth Annual Manufacturing Summit featuring keynote speaker Billy Taylor, Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. More than 1,000 manufacturing industry attendees are expected to participate in the event to be held on Thursday, May 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall. Sponsorships and exhibit space are still available by contacting Genelle Taylor Kumpe via email (, calling 559-214-0140 or visiting

The SJVMA and the FBC have also named Troy Brandt as the new Chairman of the Board, succeeding Mike Betts who will remain on the Board as SJVMA’s founding Chairman. Brandt is passionate about helping the Valley’s manufacturing industry reach new heights while building a world-class workforce that is better equipped for the future. Since he was 14 years old, Brandt has worked in the manufacturing industry at nearly every professional level.

“The growth of both the SJVMA and the ‘Valley Made’ Manufacturing Summit would not be what it is today without the vision, leadership, and guidance of Mike Betts,” stated Brandt, newly named Chairman of the Board for the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and General Manager at Hydratech.

The SJVMA boasts a membership of over 745 business leaders, partner groups, and manufacturers from all sectors throughout the Valley. The San Joaquin Valley’s manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly $15 billion of the Valley’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs more than 105,000 people. Due to baby-boomer retirements and the economic expansion, it is estimated that over the next decade, almost 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled.

“The SJVMA organizes manufacturers to speak with one voice regarding the development of a workforce needed to sustain and grow manufacturing. It’s our responsibility to ensure that education and government embrace adaptive and innovative educational training solutions in order for the Valley to grow and sustain a strong workforce and strong communities,” noted Brandt.

The Fifth Annual “Valley Made” Manufacturing Summit is designed as a workshop and resource expo that celebrates the Valley’s history of innovation in manufacturing while providing resources and networking opportunities that continue to build a well-trained, outstanding workforce. At its core, the Summit promotes cross-sector collaboration aimed at creating a globally-competitive environment for the Valley’s manufacturing industry. After four years, the Summit has maintained continual growth yet the focus remains the same, building a future where Valley manufacturing thrives through innovative collaboration, engagement, and creating a culture that cultivates workers that are higher skilled and better educated.

This year’s keynote speaker, Billy Taylor, Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is a well-respected figure in the manufacturing industry. Taylor has served as a keynote speaker at numerous events speaking on how to sustain positive results by embracing culture and enabling employee ownership. An advocate for equality and inclusion, he has led diversity and inclusion strategies across the 22 countries where Goodyear operates. His approach has created an exemplary environment where every employee feels engaged and empowered to contribute at their highest level.

Taylor’s testimony of experience and expertise will lead the way for a wide assortment of breakout session topics including Cybersecurity in Manufacturing, Energy Solutions for the San Joaquin Valley, How to Know Your Company’s Market Potential, Tax Credits & Incentives, and many more. These sessions aim to provide attendees a wealth of information that will educate and inform them of the innovative practices that may allow businesses to stay competitive in the global marketplace.