While the manufacturing sector has taken a huge hit across the country and in California in particular, there is a bit of sunshine on the horizon for the Golden State. Several plants that will likely employ thousands are hiring, either now or within the next six months or so, in both the northern and southern parts of the state.
"California's industrial sectors continue to be affected by the housing bust and the recession," says Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News, Inc., an Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company. "However, losses are starting to level off and the state's educated work force and continued investments in innovative and green technologies are helping the recovery take hold."
Among the factories expected to open soon are:
- Yakult USA's probiotic drink factory in Fountain Valley
- Tesla Motor's new facility in Fremont, which began operations at the former NUMMI site
- Siemens planned expansion of its light rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento
- Plastics Color Corp.'s new facility in Sun Valley, near Los Angeles
- SolFocus's photovoltaic plant at Victor Valley College
- SunPower and Flextronics' joint venture in building a new solar power facility in Milpitas
Your best bet for finding a manufacturing job in California would be to look into electronics, which is the state's largest industrial sector by employment with 248,329 jobs. Industrial machinery and equipment ranks second with 169,511 jobs. Third-ranked food products accounts for 165,711 jobs, and that number has risen by 404 over the last year.
Manufacturing jobs related to the housing sector are your worst bet, with furniture/fixtures jobs down 7.6 percent, due partially to the closures of an Ethan Allen plant in Chino and of Oakwood Interiors in Ontario.
Geographically speaking, Southern California accounts for the largest share of the state's industrial employment with 944,926 jobs, but that number is down 1.8 percent over the past 12 months. Northern California accounts for 558,260 of these jobs, with no significant change reported. Los Angeles remains the state's top city by industrial employment with 81,313 of the state's manufacturing jobs. And San Diego is the city that has the second most industrial jobs in the state, at 69,840.
So while you wouldn't exactly call it an employment gold rush, at least new plants are opening that can accommodate some of the manufacturing workers that have been laid off over the past several years. These days, every new job matters.
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