California must catch the Manufacturing wave

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 13, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

by Adam Carolla

(ran in Fox and Hounds Daily June 13)

It's coming - a big surge of manufacturing growth and investment is coming back to the United States in the next decades. 

Companies are "re-shoring" their operations from foreign locations with rising labor costs and lax intellectual property protections.  Cheap natural gas from our technologically-driven energy boom is almost enough by itself to tip the balance in favor of US production.   States are competing to be the best place for new manufacturing plants.  They know manufacturing is the best way to create wealth and high-wage jobs.  

I can't wait to be in Sacramento on June 18th to honor seven fantastic Champions of Manufacturing who exemplify everything that is great about manufacturing.  We need many, many more companies like them to choose California to start-up or expand into huge success stories.  

I think California should be a top contender to attract millions of dollars in new manufacturing investment.  We're already the largest manufacturing state with a highly skilled workforce, world-class universities and research laboratories, international ports and access to supply chains to support all types of manufacturing.  There is every reason to think California could win - if we choose to compete.   

That's the big "if".  When California manufacturing got started, it seems all we had to do was just be here - with a young, talented workforce, affordable housing and wonderful climate.  After World War II aerospace and defense spending was the foundation of California's manufacturing strength with companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Los Angeles rivaled only Detroit for automobile production during the 1960's.  Another manufacturing juggernaut was launched in the 70s and 80's with Silicon Valley start-ups such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Apple. 

Great jobs were created by these companies. One of my close friends, comedian, Alonzo Bodden, worked on Lockheed’s Stealth Fighter in the 80’s as an 18 year-old straight out of high school.  I’ve worked on cars and done construction using skills that manufacturers are looking for.  We need more of these jobs for students who like working with their hands and want a chance to join the middle class.

Lately it's been harder to attract manufacturing investment and jobs.  Not only have we lost to other countries, but now other states are winning the fight for manufacturing investment coming back to the US.  Last year California got only 1.5 percent of national manufacturing investment - that's not nearly enough to sustain our 11 percent share of national manufacturing gross state product for the long term.   

We've got to get back in the game!  Manufacturing is coming back and we should try for all the investments and jobs we can.  Let's figure out what it will take to convince manufacturers to choose California.  We can clobber the competition if we put our minds to it.    

Join talented funnyman, commentator and author of “President Me” Adam Carolla and seven outstanding companies at the Champions of Manufacturing event June 18th at the Sacramento Convention Center, or watch online.  REGISTER TO WATCH THE FREE LIVE BROADCAST

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