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. 

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Press Release

Fender, Iconic Music Brand and Leading Global Musical Instrument Manufacturer, Joins CMTA as Newest Member

Jun 1, 2022

Sacramento, Calif. (June 1, 2022) – The California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) today announced that Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), which was founded in Southern California and has since established a global influence that extends far beyond the studio and stage, has joined CMTA as the Association’s newest member.

(credit: Fender)

“Manufacturing is as much about skill as it is about that electrifying feeling that comes from making something unique. There is no better example of that than the history and impact of Fender,” said Lance Hastings, CMTA President & CEO. “Synonymous with all things rock n’ roll, Fender’s story of cultural revolution is the story of Americana manufacturing mixed with an inventor’s curious heart and a relentless California dream. We are honored to have this titan of American history, which has transfixed and transfigured the world, join our association.”

More than 75 years ago, Leo Fender, a radio repairman by trade, founded what is now known as Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and subsequently changed the face of the music industry with countless innovations. Today, everyone from beginners to the world’s most acclaimed artists use FMIC instruments, amps and gear, making the California company not only a revered industry leader but a cultural symbol that resonates globally.

(credit: Fender)

“From our humble Fullerton beginnings to growing into a multinational operation, Fender’s homebase for manufacturing has always been Southern California,” said Ed Magee, EVP of Operations at FMIC. “We are proud to be a part of CMTA, an association that deeply understands that the future depends on investing in tomorrow’s great manufacturers by fighting for the opportunity to transform the world every day.”

Fender’s Corona manufacturing facility creates some of the most celebrated instruments in the world for several brands, including Fender, Gretsch and Jackson. The factory has hundreds of employees. To this day, Fender’s Custom Shop regularly consults and collaborates with some of the biggest names in the music industry while creating their products.

(credit: Fender)

CMTA represents more than 400 businesses from California’s entire manufacturing community – an economic sector that generates more than $300 billion every year and employs more than 1.3 million Californians. If you would like to join CMTA, please email our Director of Member Engagement & Business Development, Sarah Johnson.


The California Manufacturers & Technology Association has advocated for pro-growth laws and regulations before the California legislature and administrative agencies since 1918. 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 the CMTA website.


Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)-whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel®, Bigsby® and PreSonus® – follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends. In 2021, Fender celebrated 75 years of giving artists “wings to fly,” carrying on the vision of its founder, Leo Fender, and connecting players through a shared love of music.

Kaiti Lewis
Interim Communications Director
California Manufacturers & Technology Association

Christina Stejskal
Vice President, Global Communications
Fender Musical Instruments Corp.

FENDER (standard and stylized) are trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and/or its affiliates, registered in the U.S. and other countries.

All other product and company names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by or of them.

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