Forget Coffeehouses- Businesses Want Freeways, Labor, Energy

Manufacturing still matters, and what manufacturers want hasn't changed much. The question is whether a "new economy" state like California can compete in the old economy.

Manufacturing companies say they want highway access, skilled and low-cost labor, cheap energy, land and low construction costs. Considering this criteria, you might think a crowded, high-cost state like California couldn't compete.

"I'm going to surprise you," writes Bill Fulton. "I'm going to say we have some of these things. We've actually got highway accessibility – though highways are often congested. We've got skilled labor, though not low labor costs. And because of California's remarkable energy efficiency, our energy costs are actually pretty low."

However, manufacturers increasingly have to compete with housing developers and new economy proponents for industrial tracts.

Full Story: Can California Compete In The Old Economy?

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