Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner. It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.
Manufacturers are by nature entrepreneurial. Think about Henry Ford or Bill Gates. At the time, they had a revolutionary idea that probably seemed far fetched and unattainable. The entrepreneurial spirit remains alive and present in our region; Yakima County is home to many creative and innovative companies and innovation is a big part of what keeps manufacturing strong here. Companies in our county are making custom farm equipment, music stands, fishing lures, juice, neon signs, even the machinery that produces many of the items we use every day (Starbucks cups, McDonald's to-go containers, plastic bread ties, etc.) and on and on. Manufacturing in Yakima County has seen its share of ups and downs over the last couple of years, but the industry remains vital to our economy. While overall, jobs have decreased in manufacturing and food processing, things are looking better for 2010 than in 2009. Some of our local manufacturers have had to lay off employees, but are cautiously optimistic and remain committed to keeping their business in Yakima County. A few bright spots on the local front are:
Why is manufacturing so important to our region, and the United States? Manufacturers tend to pay higher wages and have better benefits than other industries. The capital investment in plants and equipment helps support the tax base. Manufacturing and innovation go hand in hand. According to the American Manufacturing Association,
Manufacturing is vital to the Yakima County economy. We have experienced some struggles but the innovative nature of our companies helps diversify and stabilize the employment base. Some of our manufacturers are a well kept secret to the general public but products are known and supplied around the world. We are confident that with our accessible northwest location, lower costs of doing business and the creative and entrepreneurial spirit we have, Yakima County will remain home to many inventive manufacturers.