OAKLAND, Calif.—Following its launch in 2016 with the region’s four largest cities, the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative has added 22 more cities to what is now a growing collaborative effort to build a more powerful and interconnected, regional manufacturing ecosystem.
The collaborative recently released toolkits to guide cities on land-use, promotional, and other strategies to help manufacturers thrive. A top priority for the group is allocating state resources to fund technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers. The collaborative is supported by the nonprofit SFMade.
“The Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative is now 26-cities strong,” said Kate Sofis, CEO of SFMade, in a press release. “With the Bay Area at the epicenter of technology and design and rich in industrial commons, manufacturing growth across our region now outpaces both the nation and California as a whole. These cities have banded together to continue that momentum because when manufacturing does well in the Bay Area, the entire region benefits.”
Major funding from Citi Community Development, Kaiser Permanente, and PG&E has provided the impetus for the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative to grow the number of middle-income jobs and create a more equitable and diverse regional economy. Collaboration leaders presented research on local manufacturing, prepared by JLL, which revealed that local manufacturing employs 34,000 workers, or 10 percent of the Bay Area workforce. More than 7,500 manufacturing firms operate in the Bay Area, and manufacturing salaries are reported as high as $150,000 per year. Food and beverage production is the Bay Area’s top manufacturing sector. (http://bayareamfg.org)
“The manufacturing sector is alive and thriving in the Bay Area, home to thousands of companies bringing creativity and stability to cities and creating opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of backgrounds and skills,” said Vicki Joseph, Northern California region market manager for Citi Community Development, in the release. “The Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative is not only uniting cities on a regional level to support urban manufacturing, it is sharing and replicating tested strategies for creating jobs and building a more robust, connected, and inclusive economy.”