Bay Area Experts Agree: Manufacturing Creates Wealth
The Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce held its third annual Innovation Forum on July 27 with several top Bay Area executives in attendance to discuss the Tri-Valley's potential as an innovation hub. While this local event centered on the Tri-Valley area, a triangle-shaped region in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, there are national and global correlations, and indeed that was a key part of the agenda, to explore how concerted regional efforts can lead to global competitiveness.
According to coverage in The Independent, a Livermore, Calif.-based publication, the event substantiated the premise that "manufacturing is the key to improving the economy and creating more wealth for the middle class." In order to get back on track and create more manufacturing jobs, it's going to take increased innovation, more educational opportunities and a business-friendly atmosphere.
These were some of the ideas and solutions being generated by an expert panel who met to shed light on the question "Can the Tri-Valley Change the World?" Considering the talent pool of the Bay Area, home to the mindshare of Silicon Valley, the prestigious Livermore Lab and other top-notch research institutions, the region has the potential to generate real forward-momentum.
The distinguished panel included John Chen, CEO of Sybase; George Miller, president of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; S. Shariq Yosufzai, vice president of Chevon and president of the California Chamber of Commerce; Rob Lamkin, CEO of Cool Earth Solar; and John Dulchinos, CEO of Adept Technology (robotics).
The panel was moderated by John Fortt of CNBC who asked participants about "the impact of the national debt, the role of innovation, roadblocks to manufacturing, and steps to improve the economy." While the panelists held diverse opinions on many of the topics being put forth, they all agreed that changes to manufacturing would be instrumental to increasing the country's wealth.
Sybase CEO John Chen held one of the more pessimistic outlooks: "Forget about political chicken. The fact is we are not generating enough wealth in the country. There are too many priorities for the use of money. Somebody needs to take a leadership role. I feel like there needs to be a third party — neither the green or tea party — one that is action oriented. The standard of living is decreasing. Manufacturing is one way to generate wealth. We have to bring back those jobs."