Governor Brown’s manufacturing job support earns praise

150 150 Ed Coghlan

A proposed sales tax rule would exempt manufacturing equipment. (Photo Credit: California Steel Industries, Inc.)

Opinion poll after opinion poll tells the same story. Issue Number One for Californians is the economy and job creation. And in California our economy is improving, slowly, and unemployment is coming down, slowly.

One sector that is beginning to recover is manufacturing which, along with our housing industry, has taken a beating in recent years.

So when Governor Brown, during his May budget revision speech this week, proposed the addition of a statewide sales tax exemption on the purchase of manufacturing equipment, he received quick and warm praise from the California Manufacturers and Technology Association.

“We congratulate Governor Brown on a proposed balanced budget that will help California provide important government services,” said Jack Stewart, President of the CMTA. “It is critical that we rebuild our middle class and grow high-wage manufacturing jobs.”

To give you an idea of how California’s manufacturing sector lags the nation, Stewart’s group reports that manufacturing investments are weak. In the past six years, we have 6.8 new or expanded facilities for every one million people. The rest of the country averaged eight times that.

And focusing on support of manufacturing is something of a no-brainer for bolstering the middle class as manufacturing jobs can make an average of 39 percent more than the overall California average wage.

California still has almost 1.8 million people unemployed that could benefit from a growing manufacturing sector. It is the issue of job creation and improving California’s ability to compete with other states and countries economically that is the focus of the California Economic Summit.

Sixteen regional meetings are being held across the state so that local business and civic leaders can talk about how to improve their local economies. Issues like increasing investment in infrastructure, workforce development and easing the regulatory environment are being discussed and prioritized at each meeting.

The results will be brought to the California Economic Summit in November where local and state leaders will gather in Los Angeles to review and revise the signature initiatives that have been developed to improve the state’s economy. (See them here)

In the meantime, Stewart and his group are positive about this week’s news from the Governor.

“We look forward to working with the Governor to develop a plan to bring back manufacturing jobs and other middle class employment to grow our economy and ensure healthy state revenues in the future,” said Stewart.

As California continues to work on fixing the top priority and creating more middle class jobs in California, the improvement in the manufacturing sector is a must.


Ed Coghlan

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