By Josh Stephens.
In the old days of manufacturing, you knew where the factories were. Smokestacks, rail spurs and looming brick buildings bespoke the construction of I-beams, truck chassis and household appliances that came churning through the cities of the Rust Belt. If you lived near them, you definitely knew where they were, and you probably didn’t like them.
It’s quite the opposite in Los Angeles. With over 350,000 manufacturing jobs, Los Angeles County has more than any other county in the U.S., and an attendant number of factories. The City of Los Angeles wants more of them, in fact.
First, though, it has to find the ones it has. That’s why the city recently launched the “Make It in L.A.” survey and acomplementary website.
“It became very clear that unlike other cities where the sector is pretty easily definable, L.A. is so big and so complex that it’s important to take a step back and try to understand it,” says Krisztina “Z” Holly, entrepreneur-in-residence in the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
In charge of fostering relationships between innovative firms and the city, Holly is overseeing the Make It in L.A. effort. A collaboration between Garcetti’s office and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the survey is designed to give the city much-needed insight into the new local face of manufacturing.