San Jose, California has launched a new program called “Manufacture: San Jose” aimed at supporting light manufacturing jobs for local and low-income individuals.
Managed by SFMade, a California 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, with major funding from the John S.
and James L. Knight Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation, Manufacture: San Jose will
provide advising and hiring support to local manufacturers and create “makerships” for low-income high school students to facilitate manufacturing.
SFMade also runs the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative, a 27-city collaboration working to grow the regional manufacturing ecosystem.
“SFMade is excited to collaborate with the City of San José to deliver an integrated suite of
business and workforce services to support the largest manufacturing city in the Bay Area,” said Kate Sofis, CEO of SFMade in a statement on the program launch.
The idea behind the programs is to create resource hubs designed to provide local silicon valley startups with a ready made workforce. For the first year of the program, Manufacture: San Jose will create an accelerator program that will offer new manufacturing companies with advice and support for marketing, finance, workforce planning, supply chain and site selection. The initiative will also offer several educational programs and a workforce development project with Work2Future to train and hire local residents.
Additional program partners include Bank of the West, Citi Community Development, CMTC
California’s Manufacturing Network, Manex, and Wells Fargo.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo launched a local manufacturing plan in 2015 to support local economic development and encourage the companies to hire residents for advanced manufacturing work. That effort includes job training programs and incentives for companies to hire in the area. In a statement, the mayor said that Manufacture: San Jose would further his plan.