State leaders recognize the opportunity of California manufacturing

Gino DiCaro
Vice President of Communications for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association

We are pleased that State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon recently bragged in a tweet that led with the fact California has the most manufacturing jobs in the nation.

We should be proud that manufacturing plays such a crucial role in the California and US economies. As advocates for manufacturing, we regularly remind elected officials that not only do manufacturers represent more than 1.2 million jobs in that sector, but they also support many more jobs in other sectors of the economy, with a multiplier of 2.5 jobs for every one manufacturing job.

The debates leading up to last November’s national election included urgent calls for bringing back high-wage, middle-class manufacturing jobs to the U.S. The average California manufacturing wage, not including healthcare and other benefits, is $83k per year.  California will compete with other states to attract its fair share of these highly valued jobs and the new investments that generate them as new industries develop and some jobs ‘reshore’ from overseas.

There are hopeful signs that we could make this happen. Just last week, the Governor’s chief economic development recruiter, Panorea Avdis, said and tweeted the following as she welcomed a new exciting 200-employee solar cell manufacturer that she helped recruit to Sacramento from China:

California leads the nation in job creation, #manufacturing and is recruiting new companies every day.

And this:

California is the #1 state for #manufacturing jobs. Source: National Institute for Standards & Technology

This week Avdis and her Go-BIZ counterparts also highlighted California’s manufacturing size in a legislative informational hearing on California’s core economic topics.

Successfully recruiting and growing new manufacturers is a hopeful sign and we need State policymakers’ continued time and attention on manufacturing expansion in the state. The hill to climb is shown in the 2015 manufacturing investment data, the last year available, when we attracted only 1.5 percent of the manufacturing investment in the US. We can improve our performance by funding skilled workforce development, enacting pro-growth tax policies and fixing regulations to lower costs of compliance and speed up permitting processes, while protecting public health and the environment.

CMTA President Dorothy Rothrock also testified on the state of California manufacturing and our policy agenda at this week’s legislative hearing (click image to watch her 3-minute testimony):

 

We should be monitoring and addressing all the data points on manufacturing jobs and investments to inform our policy decisions:

Manufacturing jobs per capita in 2016

  • CA: 326 per 10,000 people
  • US: 381 

Percentage of US manufacturing investments in 2015

Manufacturing job growth since 2010

  • CA: 2.6%
  • US: 7.0%

Percentage of U.S. reshored manufacturing jobs 2013 to 2015

It’s exciting that our state is working hard to recruit manufacturing and that leaders are highlighting the state’s manufacturing economy. Let’s channel this momentum into a movement to catch-up to and even outpace the rest of the country with a California surge in new manufacturing jobs and investments.

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