Empowering manufacturers. Creating jobs. Transforming our city.

Building a Stronger Manufacturing Workforce in Northern California

A report by SFMade and the Bay Area Council September 2021

with the support of:



California’s manufacturing sector with 30,000 manufacturing companies is the largest in the United States and fills a critical role in the state’s economy. Together, these companies support 1.3 million employees, who on average earn $87,000 per year. Thirty-four percent of the workers are people of color, and 31% are women.

Whether, where, and how it grows will depend to a large degree on the quality and skills the workforce has to offer. External forces such as the reshoring of production from overseas and the realignment of global supply chains as companies seek greater resilience and security offer an opportunity to increase the manufacturing base – if California can provide the right conditions.

Rapid changes in the nature of manufacturing processes, particularly through digitization, will require new skills that in turn must be supported by workforce development and training programs that equip workers for changing roles. Northern California’s array of manufacturing training programs provide an essential base of support for companies and for workers who are looking to build careers in the sector.

SFMade and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute have developed a report with the support of a grant from The James Irvine Foundation to better understand the changing needs of workforce development and training for manufacturing companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. 

You can read the full report here: Future Careers in Manufacturing Report 2021