As a member of the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, I was invited to a conference today entitled “Manufacturing, Exports and Job Creation in the New Economy”. It was put on by the U.S. Department of Commerce. While it technically was about manufacturing in general, the topic was largely how to generate manufacturing jobs to replace those that had been lost by the closing of NUMMI.
The main host was Ro Khanna, a lawyer from Fremont who now works in the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Domestic Operations. Ro noted that the President himself is very concerned about manufacturing. Indeed, much of the stimulus funding has been focused on this. Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke and noted how generating exports via increased manufacturing are critical to a healthy economic recovery. She also stressed that the NUMMI site should be kept for manufacturing. I couldn’t agree more.