Big Bear Choppers retained 25 jobs through a Layoff Aversion Program with assistance from the San Bernardino Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The program, issued by the WIB through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides technical support for manufacturers aiming to retain their employees through targeted strategies.
Vincent McCoy, Director of the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center and Big Bear Chopper’s regional business consultant, connected the organization with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting® (CMTC), a private, nonprofit corporation which assists Southern California manufacturers to become more competitive.
Big Bear Choppers displayed such a strong potential for growth that Jeff Mathieu, City Manager of Big Bear Lake, joined in the discussions. CMTC additionally made recommendations on how the company could become more lean. The WIB agreed with CMTC’s proposals and provided funding for the recommended projects. CMTC’s consultants helped Big Bear Choppers recognize bottlenecks in the production process discovered through Value Stream Mapping, created action plans to address weaknesses and implemented a review process to ensure sustainability.
Founded in 1998, Big Bear Choppers initially started as a repair center and evolved into a custom motorcycle manufacturer.