George Chittenden modifying a 200L QVF reactor at Adams and Chittenden Scientific Glass in Berkeley, Calif. Photo Credit: George Chittenden

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Driven by manufacturing’s ability to create middle-class, career pathway jobs, the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative (BAUM) is accelerating its efforts to create opportunities for residents with a diverse mix of skills for careers in the manufacturing sector.

The Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative is a coalition of 30 cities and counties working together to strengthen the regional manufacturing ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay area.

“As we see a resurgence in urban manufacturing, our region must work together to take advantage of this great opportunity and bring these jobs to our residents,” said Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose. “We must also help underserved residents access these types of job opportunities that don’t require a college degree yet offer great potential for advancement.”

A project of non-profit SFMade (www.sfmade.org), the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative (www.bayareamfg.org) was founded in 2016 with four partner-cities. Its growth to 30 partner-cities indicates that urban manufacturing is hitting its stride, not only as a job creator, but also as a vital means of addressing the inequality of wealth and income in the Bay Area. The initiative recently launched a campaign, called “Manufacturing the Dream,” that captures the hopes, dreams, and diversity of people who work in the manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing continues to be one of the only economic sectors that creates sustainable, middle-income jobs with career pathways that connect to technology and other industries,” said Kate Sofis, CEO, SFMade. “It’s safe to say that no other region is taking such a unified, sustained, and broad-based approach to supporting local manufacturers while also accelerating the growth of middle-income jobs.”

With major funding from Kaiser Permanente and Genentech, BAUM is aiming to grow the number of middle-income jobs and create a more equitable and diverse regional economy.

“Having a good job is essential to one’s health and stability, which is why we are so excited to support BAUM and its efforts to help the region grow equitably,” said Eric Williams, COO, Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center. “While founded as an industrial firm, Kaiser Permanente’s foundational roots are about providing health care for all of its workers.”

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