Supplier fair a first for Sonoma County manufacturers

SANTA ROSA – Several months of collaboration among public and private sectors in Sonoma County are culminating in the first tech Supplier Fair on July 25. 

Hosted by the Tech Industry Group, a subset of Sonoma County BEST, the event will bring together local component suppliers with county original equipment makers. 


[caption id="attachment_48809" align="alignright" width="180"] Carolyn Stark[/caption]

“We wanted to find a way to increase local business purchasing dollars inside the county,” said Carolyn Stark, executive director of BEST (Building Economic Success Together), a public/private group operating under the umbrella of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. 

According to Rich  Schroeder, former general manager of General Dynamics in Healdsburg and now chair of the BEST Tech Industry Group, there are nine major tech manufacturers in the area and about 50 smaller suppliers. 

“If we can capture just 5 percent of what the OEMs spend on out-of-area suppliers, it would be a significant boost for the county,” he said. 

Earlier in the year, members of the Tech Industry Group – including Agilent, JDSU, L-3, General Dynamics, Medtronic, Labcon, TriVascular, and  IDEX –  met to create a matrix of needs such as fabricated metal, tooling of fabricated parts, inspection services and other special processes.   

 In collaboration with the manufacturing trade group 101MFG, the group is now ready to pair up local buyers and suppliers at the upcoming Supplier Fair.  

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