Manufacturing accounts for a whopping 21% of the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional GDP. In the city of Fremont, CA, alone, the manufacturing cluster provides one in every four
jobs. These are solid middle class jobs that pay well, have professional advancement opportunities, and are generally accessible to people without a four-year college degree. In our recent study, we found 38% of Fremont’s manufacturing and related supply chain businesses are more than twenty years old. What happens when these business owners retire? How many of them will be sold to an out-of-town buyer or, worse, simply liquidate and close their doors?
Fremont is taking a very proactive look at this issue, given that preserving local ownership is crucial to the region’s future and manufacturing is the backbone of their local economy. Fremont city leaders and economic development professionals recently partnered with Project Equity to shine a light on the need for smart succession planning to retain manufacturing supply chain and logistics companies, and to develop an effective strategy to engage with their legacy businesses.