How to Elevate Manufacturing in California’s Decarbonization and Economic Goals

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Attendees of this year’s California Manufacturing Roadshow visit a factory in the Sacramento region (Photo: CA FWD)

This year’s California Economic Summit will see the return of the Advancing Manufacturing working group breakout session. This addition acknowledges California is the largest contributor to the US manufacturing industry in terms of both employment and output. But work must be done to ensure the state’s manufacturing future supports the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy and aligns with the regional planning efforts being created through California’s Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF).

“The work group started several years ago in recognition of the importance of the manufacturing sector to the state’s regional economies and the fact that California has the highest number of manufacturing jobs of any state,” explained Trish Kelly, managing director at Valley Vision and co-lead  “The group focused on strategies to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem, with attention to the State’s role, including through a proposed Manufacturing Council, for a more organized policy and resource focus.”

The Advancing Manufacturing work group has been very active throughout the year and recently presented the statewide Manufacturing Road Show, hosted by the American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative (AMCC) and CA FWD. The Roadshow visited four regions this summer to engage with manufacturing stakeholders to discuss and trade ideas on how to take advantage of increased federal investment in manufacturing.

“We hope to partner with the State to bring forward very specific solutions to highlight and support manufacturing as a critical driver of the California economy, including a formalized state-regional partnership through the creation of a California Manufacturing Council, in alignment with the goals of CERF,” said Kelly.

The 2023 priorities of the Advancing Manufacturing Work Group include:

  • Formation of a statewide Manufacturing Council to advise state leaders and coordinate manufacturing related activities in order to maximize state and federal funding opportunities,
  • Elevate the role of manufacturing in meeting the state’s decarbonization and economic development goals, and
  • Identify specific needs in order to best position the state’s manufacturing sector for growth (e.g., regulatory reform, funding, education and public awareness, workforce development and DEI goals, data/research).

“This work is now more important than ever,” added Kelly. “The disruptions from the pandemic and global economic recession, along with climate-related crises, have driven home the need to improve the resilience of our supply chains and support our transition to a low-carbon economy. Our innovative manufacturing industries carry the solutions for this new future, but we need a skilled workforce with inclusive pathways and many other supportive policies and investments to ensure that California is the nation’s leader in competitiveness and sustainable manufacturing.”

If you are interested in participating in CA FWD’s Advancing Manufacturing work group, register today to attend the California Economic Summit on October 11-13 in Indian Wells.


Nadine Ono

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