San Francisco is known as the “innovation capital of the world,” partly because of our thriving culture of creative tech companies, but also because San Francisco’s local artisanal manufacturing industry is booming. The thriving local manufacturing sector is making everything from apparel to ceramics, from messenger bags to chocolates and more, all carrying the “Made in S.F.” label. And I want to make sure that manufacturing in San Francisco continues to build momentum and carry this label around the world.
San Francisco has become a national model for local urban manufacturing, a crucial segment of The City’s economy. According to SFMade, a local nonprofit that builds and supports the vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco, The City is home to more than 325 manufacturing firms employing 3,000 people. Many of these jobs are trades- and craftspeople.
I made supporting local manufacturing a centerpiece of my 17-point jobs plan, and I am committed to supporting the continued growth and expansion of this critical sector. I have identified a four-part plan to support our local manufacturers.
First, I will create a manufacturing desk in my Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The City’s manufacturing desk will be a single point of contact at The City for manufacturing businesses, so entrepreneurs can spend less time dealing with The City and more time on their businesses.
Second, we are going to build on the lessons of FashionSF — The City’s initiative focused on supporting the retention and growth of apparel manufacturers and fashion designers — and focus on key sectors where we are well-positioned to compete and succeed.
Third, we will invest in our local manufacturers so we can help them create jobs. The City will continue to fund groups such as SFMade to help San Francisco manufacturers. In 2011, SFMade served more than 75 manufacturers, supporting more than 500 blue-collar jobs.
Fourth, as marketer-in-chief for The City, I want to help sell San Francisco-made products around the world. Working with local manufacturers, I will launch a coordinated marketing campaign to promote San Francisco-made products around the region, around the nation and around the world.
Over the coming months, I look forward to hearing from local manufacturers about the challenges and opportunities that confront their industries. I also look forward to working with members of the Board of Supervisors to discuss their ideas about how we can support local manufacturing.
With a focused effort and clear commitment, we can make sure that manufacturers in San Francisco continue to thrive and produce not only great products, but also great jobs.