News & Insights

We’re changing the narrative of the manufacturing industry one story at a time. CMTA’s award-winning storytelling team showcases California’s 30,000 manufacturers by uplifting the voices of our makers. Find industry news and the stories from those “Making California” below. 

Profile Series: Meet Beau Huiskens, the CEO of Taurus Fabrication

In our latest Profile Series highlighting the incredible leaders behind California’s manufacturers, discover the story behind the success of a California manufacturing business rooted in generations of craftsmanship. Beau Huiskens, CEO of Taurus Fabrication and CMTA...

Microgrid Industry Leader, Enchanted Rock, Joins CMTA

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) officially welcomed Enchanted Rock, an industry leader in electrical resiliency-as-a-service, to the organization today. Enchanted Rock is leading the way with its innovative...

Boutique Electric Guitar Manufacturer Kauer Guitars Joins CMTA

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) officially welcomed Kauer Guitars, a boutique electric guitar maker, to the organization today. Kauer Guitars was established after a lifetime of woodworking in 2007 by Doug Kauer....

Sacramento Popcorn Maker Carmazzi Caramel Corn Joins CMTA

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) welcomed Carmazzi Caramel Corn, California’s Lil’ Drops of Sunshine, to the organization today. A secret family recipe passed down from four generations to Karen Carmazzi and her son...

Press Release

With Four Products Remaining, What is the Coolest Thing Made in California?

Sep 22, 2023

Sacramento, Calif. – The first-ever finalists of the Coolest Thing Made in California competition hosted by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) were announced today. From a pool of 100 nominated products and almost 77,000 votes later, the Top 4 products in the Coolest Thing Made in California competition are:

  1. Carmazzi Caramel Corn’s Popcorn in Sacramento
  2. Millennium Space Systems’ Victus Nox in El Segundo
  3. Northrop Grumman’s James Webb Space Telescope in Redondo Beach
  4. Tesla’s Model Y in Fremont

These products have captured the essence of California’s manufacturing prowess, standing out for their quality, creativity, and impact on various industries. Their selection as the Top 4, voted on by the public, is a testament to their exceptional contributions to the state’s manufacturing landscape.

The competition is now in its final stages, and these Top 4 products are head-to-head as the public decides the ultimate winner of the “Coolest Thing Made in California” title.

Voting for the final round is open to the public from Monday, September 25 to Thursday, September 28, at We encourage everyone to cast their votes and support their favorite product, as every vote counts in determining the winner.

The winner will be announced by California’s Lieutenant Governor, Eleni Kounalakis at CMTA’s MakingCA Conference on National Manufacturing Day.

“Manufacturing is a critical industry in California’s history and future,” said Lance Hastings, President & CEO of CMTA. “We couldn’t be more proud of the extraordinary range of products we witnessed throughout this competition. The finalists represent the pinnacle of innovation in California, and we can’t wait to see which one will be crowned the Coolest Thing Made in California.”

For more information about the Coolest Thing Made in California competition and to cast your vote in the final round, please visit



About CMTA

The California Manufacturers & Technology Association has advocated for pro-growth laws and regulations before the California legislature and administrative agencies since 1918. The total output from manufacturing in California is $300 billion per year, roughly 10 percent of the total economic output of the state. Manufacturers employ 1.3 million Californians paying wages more than $25,000 higher than other non-farm employers in the state. For more information, visit CMTA’s website.

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