Valley manufacturing companies are quietly gaining ground

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In just minutes, steel is formed at Borga Steel Buildings and Components. (KFSN)

In just minutes, steel is formed at Borga Steel Buildings and Components.

"We take raw material, coils of steel, and out of it comes very nice looking projects, very interesting buildings," said Ron Heskett, Borga Steel Buildings & Components owner.

Heskett became owner in 2014; employees design, engineer, and fabricate in the Valley and the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance said companies like Borga are gaining momentum.

"We're kind a like a quiet storm. We're under the radar for the most part," said Sam Geil, San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance.

Technology is helping manufacturers like the High definition CNC plasma which makes precise cuts of steel. In fact they can do five days of work in just one day.

The Fowler based business has grown the past few years to become the state's largest small building manufacturer. Their work is a part of everything from warehouses to community centers to solar canopies.

"Back in 2014 when we started we had 28 employees, now we have 40 and we have four open positions," said Heskett.

But one main challenge for manufacturers including Borga is its workforce.

"Finding people that are familiar with manufacturing is very difficult. There's a small but growing manufacturing base here in the Central Valley, so talent is difficult. We've seen a lot of young people coming up through the JC's (junior college's) that are interested in manufacturing and have taken the classes. They're performing very well we just need more of them," said Heskett.

Manufacturers will discuss these issues and come together at the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance on April 20th. They said their diverse industry is trying to stay one step ahead and grow in the Valley.
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