October 10, 2016
WOODLAND, CA - Continuing his Make It In America agenda, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City, CA) visited three manufacturing installations in Woodland to recognize National Manufacturing Day and highlight the importance of manufacturing to the regional economy. The tour included stops at Pacific Coast Producers, one of the largest tomato processors in the world; Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, a manufacturer of instant health food products; and TacSense, a high-tech sensor manufacturer.
“Today is about recognizing the importance of American manufacturing, and the Third District is a perfect example,” said Congressman Garamendi. “I’m here to learn what we can do to bring more of the supply chain—processing, equipment, and technology—back to America and back to California. The Make It In America initiative is about looking for every opportunity to create jobs here in America, whether they’re on the fields, in the plant, in the research lab, or at the equipment supplier.”
At Pacific Coast Producers, Garamendi also announced new USDA grants for the AgPlus Rural Business Resource Assistance Program. Joining Garamendi at the announcement were representatives from the private sector and local government, including Chris Ward, the plant manager at Pacific Coast Producers; Trish Kelly, Managing Director at Valley Vision; Janice Waddell, California State Director for USDA Rural Development; Hon. Jim Hilliard, Mayor of Woodland; Hon. Don Saylor, Yolo County Supervisor; Kristy Levings, Program Director of AgState; and Dr. Michael White, President of Woodland Community College.
“Many people may not think of the food processing industry as manufacturing, but it is a vibrant and high-tech part of our manufacturing sector here in California. Tapping into our agricultural base to strengthen the capacity of local supply chains is a critical way we can Make It In America,” said Garamendi. “These USDA Grants will provide funding for workshops and technical assistance to small and emerging rural businesses throughout the Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and North State regions, enabling better integration of local supply chains and strengthening the local economic cluster.”
During the other stops on his manufacturing tour, Garamendi got to see how businesses are working with local governments to promote manufacturing, innovation and technology transfer. Mike Vinnicombe, the president of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods relocated to Woodland from San Francisco because of the accessibility of local officials, the strong support from local government for manufacturers, and the region’s commitment to infrastructure improvements and water quality. At TacSense, Garamendi learned more about how the local technology industry works with the University of California at Davis to facilitate technology transfer and interface between the private sector and government agencies. Both in training our workforce and developing new advanced technologies and techniques, our colleges and universities play an essential role in growing America’s manufacturing sector.
“When it comes to rebuilding our manufacturing sector, we must think about everything that manufacturers need to compete successfully,” said Garamendi. “Workforce, education, tax policy, the environment, and support from local governments all play a large role in creating the conditions necessary for manufacturing to thrive. Making It In America is one of my top priorities in Congress, and tours like the one today help me do my work in Washington to support local manufacturing.”