How Are Manufacturers Holding Up During the Pandemic?

Both reshoring and the deployment of automation have become more interesting to respondents. The survey reveals that 64% of manufacturers say they are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America, which is a 10% increase from the same sentiment reported in Thomas’ March survey of manufacturers. Another key finding shows that 25% of US manufacturers are considering expanding industrial automation as a result of COVID-19. . . . . full story click here

Free Webinar: Advanced Generative Design, Thursday May 21, 2020

Advanced Generative Design: A Paradigm to Revolutionize Product Development 

Join us for a 60-minute webinar, “Advanced Generative Design: A Paradigm to Revolutionize Product Development,” with live Q&A on Thursday, May 21 at 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM EDT.

Generative design software is creating product shapes that cannot be made through traditional machining or casting. With generative design, you can set the parameters of the object and let the software determine what the product will look like. What we’re seeing is stronger, lighter parts that can only be created through an additive process.

This webinar will provide a vision for how Generative Design, along with technologies like, Simulation, Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Materials, and Artificial Intelligence will converge into an environment that will dramatically change how we develop products and bring them to market.

When you attend this webinar, you will learn:

  • What generative design is and why it is so important?
  • Why it is now so relevant?
  • What technologies that will enable it?
  • Who should use these tools?
  • What should my company plan to do about it?

Click here to go to event registration

VWDB Executive and Full Board Meetings, 5-13-2020

The meetings of the Verdugo Workforce Development Board (VWDB), and all of its subcommittees, are subject to the Brown Act.

Through a Joint Powers Agreement between the Cities of Glendale, Burbank, and La Cañada Flintridge, the City of Glendale administers federal job training funds received by our three cities. The three cities are designated as the Verdugo Consortium Workforce Area, which is governed by the Verdugo Workforce Development Board (VWDB).

The Verdugo Workforce Development Executive Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13th at 8:00 am. Click here for agenda

The Verdugo Workforce Development Full Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13th at 8:30 am. Click here for agenda

For meeting information contact Diana Antonio at 818-937-8081 or dantonioATglendaleca.gov

Tech Companies Still Fighting COVID-19

Technology companies are bringing their expertise to the fight against coronavirus. This week we saw even more companies contributing to the effort.

Optima: The need for specific consumer goods and hygiene products, pharmaceuticals and medical technology has increased exponentially. The broad-based Optima Group has responded to this development by supporting customers with special machine solutions which can be flexibly adapted to suit the new market requirements. A new website provides information about the portfolio. Anchor Harvey, an aluminum forging company with more than 30 years of experience forging products for the medical industry, has announced the expansion of the company’s medical industry forging capabilities to meet the increasing demand for emergency medical supplies during COVID-19. MaskForce Consortium: Recently, a consortium of Milwaukee-area manufacturers teamed up to help alleviate the shortage of N95 masks that hospital workers desperately need today. The group, which calls itself MaskForce, has accomplished a lot in only three weeks. They collaboratively designed an innovative mask with a replaceable filter that can be worn for hours without discomfort. One partner helped to speed regulatory approvals and sourced filter media. And another has set up a manufacturing cell to produce at least 50,000 masks. Stratasys, Inc. and Origin have signed an agreement in which Stratasys will market and promote Origin 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swabs to healthcare providers and other testing centers in the U.S. Origin plans to increase production from 100,000 per week to over a million per week in May.. more and details at link

California Sues Uber and Lyft to Classify Drivers as Employees

The suit threatens to upend the business models of Uber and Lyft, which view themselves as tech-y intermediaries between people who want rides and people willing to drive them. An analysis by Barclays estimates that treating California drivers as employees would cost Uber $506 million and Lyft $290 million annually; neither company is profitable.

THE STATE OF California and three of its biggest cities have sued Uber and Lyft for misclassifying hundreds of thousands of drivers as independent contractors, in violation of a new state law. The suit, under a law known as Assembly Bill 5, argues that drivers are company employees, entitled to minimum and overtime wages, paid sick leave, health benefits, and access to social insurance programs like unemployment.

The lawsuit also brings to a head simmering tensions of “gig economy workers, who have been at the front lines of the coronavirus  pandemic. Workers at firms that offer shopping or delivery, such as Instacart and Postmates, have complained that their low wages, determined and managed by platform algorithms, don’t accurately reflect the risks they’re taking to deliver people and goods during a public health crisis.

Elsewhere, both companies are reporting huge drops in use of their ride-share service during the pandemic – adding to the precariousness of the business model now that it is under suit as well. Stay tuned . . .

Live-streaming helped China’s farmers survive the pandemic. It’s here to stay

When coronavirus ground the country to a halt, the agricultural industry could no longer sell its produce. E-commerce giants used the chance to bring the sector online.

Amid the devastation, e-commerce giants also saw an opportunity. Farmers were desperate to try new sales channels, and consumers were being forced to shop online. An entirely new industry was there for the taking if the companies could help the farmers out.

Both JD.com and Alibaba-owned Taobao quickly launched rural live-streaming initiatives, building on the engagement-centric format that had skyrocketed in popularity in China over the previous few years. The companies helped farmers and merchants set up online stores with expedited approvals and showed them how to design the content of their broadcasts. They made their apps more intuitive and used their logistics networks to ship the products directly from farm to home.

The push was largely a bet: rural live-streaming had existed before but hadn’t truly taken off. In 2019, Taobao’s goal was to attract a mere 1,000 farmers to its platform. “Most farmers didn’t know how to live-stream; even fewer understood e-commerce,” says Zhang Guowei, the head of JD Live.

But the pressure of the crisis—and the unique scale of China’s consumer base—provided the necessary catalyst. Taobao now has over 50,000 rural live-streamers and aims for at least 200,000 more within the year. Growers who had once sold 90% of their products offline have now flipped to selling 90% online. Live-streaming has not only helped the industry weather the crisis—it’s forged an entirely new way of business that is likely to continue long after the pandemic is over. full article MIT Tech Review here . . . .

Vital Resources for Small Business

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

EIDL Loan Program

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to businesses and non-profits with 500 or fewer employees whose cash flow has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Borrowers may apply for an emergency advance grant up to $10,000 within three days of applying for an EIDL. Click here for link

Work Sharing Program

Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs. The Work Sharing Program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced:

  • Receive UI benefits
  • Keep their current job
  • Avoid financial hardships

The Work Sharing Program helps employers:

  • Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs
  • Keep trained employees and quickly prepare when business conditions improve
  • Avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees

Work Sharing Program Link

Rapid Response

If you are considering reducing your employees’ hours or implementing layoffs, we strongly encourage you to call the Verdugo Jobs Center at (818) 937-8000. We will take down your information, and our Rapid Response team will contact you within one business day to provide information and services, free of charge, that may mitigate COVID-19 impacts, including: 

Link for Rapid Resonse

Safer At Home

You CAN

  • Go to the grocery, convenience, or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, jog, and be outdoors for exercise- just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone get necessary supplies

You SHOULD NOT

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as outlined by the Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others around you
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facilities
  • Play group sports or engage in outdoor activities in groups of any size

How Can Glendale Help Your Business? Contact Glendale’s Economic Development Team

The Economic Development Division continues to connect with the business community in an effort to understand and address needs. Please contact us directly to share the challenges you are facing, concerns or recommendations on how the City can help.

Phone: (818) 548-2005

Email: ChooseGlendale@glendaleca.gov

We’re offering free marketing support on our social media platforms @chooseglendale. Follow us to stay connected and to participate in our social media campaigns.