About Us

Who We Are

The Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) help California manufacturers compete successfully in changing markets and the global economy through technology education, manufacturing training and services that contribute to continuous workforce development.  The CACT provides expertise in technology deployment and business development. Services include onsite training, low-or-no cost technical assistance and educational workshops, as well as information on how to qualify for state funds to assist with retraining employees and upgrading equipment.

The CACT also provides industry-specific reports on manufacturing, emerging industries and technologies, strategies for addressing specialized economic/workforce issues, promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through school presentations, the development of recruitment tools & strategic partnerships, and provides many other resources to help industry, educators, and students succeed in California.

“Your hard work, dedication, and superior achievements have made this another successful year for the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program.”

Paul Simpkins - Program Manager Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program

Regional Key Talent

Michael J. Bastine
Regional Director, South Central Coast Region

ph. (805) 451-6256
Email Mike

Jeff Briggs
Regional Director, North Region

ph. (916) 316-8100
Email Jeff

Ruishan Chow
Regional Director, San Diego Imperial Counties Region

ph. (760) 744-1150
Ext. 6656
Email Ruishan

Dr. Mark Martin
Regional Director, San Francisco Bay Area

ph. (650) 248-7728
Email Mark

Gary Potter
Regional Director, Central Valley

ph. (559) 925-3000
Email Gary

Joyce Carrigan
Regional Director, Orange County Region

ph. (619) 723-3965
Email Joyce

Our Industry Advisors

Michael J. Bastine

South Central Coast Region

(805) 451-6256
Email Mike

Position Available
North Region


Position Available
Inland Empire Region


Position Available
San Francisco Bay Area


Position Available
Motherlode/Central Valley Region


John Schmidt

Far North Region

(530) 242-7632
Email John

Ruishan Chow

San Diego Imperial Counties Region

(760) 744-1150
Ext. 6656
Email Ruishan


Alan Braggins

Advanced Manufacturing Sector
Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies

The Advanced Manufacturing Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies Director is the facilitator for Regional Key Talent.  These independent personnel are able to carry out the mission of the CACT, which is to:

  • Fulfill manufacturing industry’s workforce needs
  • Facilitate the development of industry-aligned curriculum
  • Develop the next generation of highly skilled manufacturing problem solvers and system thinkers
  • Attract and educate a highly qualified and diverse student population to enter the manufacturing workforce
  • Explore and develop innovative solutions for emerging workforce needs

The Statewide Director leads the Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies’ charge to carry out California’s economic and jobs recovery, sustain economic growth through labor market aligned education workforce training services, including sector strategies focusing on continuous workforce improvement, technology deployment, and business development, to meet the needs of California’s competitive Advanced Manufacturing sector. At the same time, he supports the vision of the Regional Key Talent, Employer Engagement, which is “Prepare California’s Manufacturing workforce to unlock individual potential and improve the quality of life for all Californians.

Manufacturers in California account for 10.36% of the total output in the state, employing 7.57% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $324.43 billion in 2019. In addition, there were an average of 1,222,000 manufacturing employees in California in 2020, with an average annual compensation of $112,381.20 in 2019.¹

For California’s manufacturers to stay globally competitive and benefit from the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), they must have access to highly skilled, highly educated, and highly adaptable human capital, that is not only proficient in the traditional manufacturing technologies, but also have the knowledge, ability and skills to understand fundamental Industrial Automation and Artificial Intelligence technologies

¹ Source: National Association of Manufacturers (NAM.org)