Home > Uncategorized > Cassidy: Silicon Valley, Bay Area poised for manufacturing revival – San Jose Mercury News

Cassidy: Silicon Valley, Bay Area poised for manufacturing revival – San Jose Mercury News

In the coming weeks, I’ll share more of what I’ve learned in a series of columns. But here’s the short story: Global economic shifts and the rapid advance of technology provide the Bay Area with the potential for growth in new manufacturing jobs and in the fields that support production — including research and development, product and production design, supply-chain management, logistics and even marketing and the law.

Those are the kind of jobs that excite Doug Henton, who’s studied the Silicon Valley economy for years as CEO of Collaborative Economics. For every product made, there must be designers to design it and logistics experts who figure out how to get parts and components to the factory and the finished product out to the world. Another army of designers needs to ponder the most efficient way to build the product from the ground up.

So when Henton talks about reasons for optimism, he points not to figures that show modest gains in manufacturing jobs in Silicon Valley. Instead, he focuses on what he calls “innovation and specialty services,” generally well-paying positions that support the business of making things. Such jobs comprise about a tenth of the jobs in Silicon Valley, as defined by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley, which considers San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, southern Alameda County and a slice of Santa Cruz County as the valley. A quarter of those 144,000 jobs are linked to manufacturing, Henton estimates.

“We haven’t lost those jobs,” he says. “In fact, we’ve gained in those jobs.” Employment in innovation and specialty services increased by just over 2 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the latest Silicon Valley Index, produced by Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. And as manufacturing grows and grows in complexity, jobs in those categories are likely to grow with it.

via Cassidy: Silicon Valley, Bay Area poised for manufacturing revival – San Jose Mercury News.

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