Pixel Tracker

Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 4:58 am | Fair 42º


Gino DiCaro: Study Makes the Case that Manufacturing Matters in California

The report takes an in-depth look at the industry's decline in the state

The Milken Institute on Tuesday released “Manufacturing 2.0: A More Prosperous California,” a study commissioned by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association to understand the state of manufacturing and the need for action to save the state’s most critical engine of economic growth.

The report proves that the effects of lost manufacturing jobs has been devastating and that the particular sector must become a cornerstone of the state’s economic recovery.

The study takes an in-depth look at California’s manufacturing decline compared to competitive “peer” states, simulates what the state would look like if it had maintained 2000 levels of manufacturing, explains the massive economic benefits and ripple effects from high- and even low-wage manufacturing, assesses the challenges of manufacturing in California and makes recommendations to make California manufacturing more competitive.

“California’s economy has been built on manufacturing. The sector’s steady decline is undoubtedly a ‘canary in a coal mine’ for the state’s economy,” California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Jack Stewart said. “California has the capacity to innovate and make things, but it is not at all living up to its potential.”

The Milken Institute did a similar study in 2002 titled “Manufacturing Matters.” Since then, and even before the current international recession, California manufacturing has remained in decline, with little attention from policymakers.

Among many things, the 2009 study retroactively looked at how much California would have benefited if it simply maintained the same level of manufacturing from 2000 to 2007 (a 12 percent share of all California workers in 2000). According to the report, the state would have seen $27 billion more in manufacturing wages and $54 billion more in total manufacturing-related output if it would have kept pace with 2000 levels.

“Just do the math on those numbers to see how much more the state would have seen in tax revenue,” Stewart said. “It’s absolutely crucial that our state doesn’t neglect this sector for another seven years.”

The report was to be discussed at 9 a.m. Tuesday in an informational hearing in the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Economic Development. The committee is trying to understand the manufacturing sector’s role in our economic recovery.

“California manufacturing is clean, innovative, exciting and wealth-creating,” said Bishop-Wisecarver President Pamela Kan, who’s family started the company in 1950. “We employ 53 California workers who make great wages and very precise, innovative and technical products for many other manufacturing sectors. We hear constantly about our California suppliers’ and clients’ struggles with regulatory uncertainty and costs. Bishop-Wisecarver’s success is dependent on so many other manufacturers in the state. This report is a wake up call to California’s policymakers that we need a focused manufacturing strategy in the state to retain and grow the nation’s most coveted producers.”

The industry has had a 9.8 percent decline since 2000 in the manufacturing sector’s share of gross state product. Texas’ share has grown 24 percent in the same time. In terms of high-tech manufacturing, the gap widens even more: California’s rose only 7 percent while Texas is up 86 percent.

— Gino DiCaro is the vice president of communications for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.