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Thursday, Jul 7, 2022

l-harrington

South Central a Manufacturing Powerhouse

I generally applaud the Los Angeles Business Journal’s efforts to provide the business community with the latest insights on what’s happening in our diverse economy. It is not easily understood or explained.

I must, however, address a significant misperception which could be created by your article “Across the Board” in the April 27 edition. If one just looked at the charts provided, one would conclude that while manufacturing leads the list of successful industries, South Central L.A. somehow finishes woefully last as a regional powerhouse. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, South Central is the leading manufacturing region in Los Angeles County. The reason it did not compare favorably in your article is that manufacturing in South Central is not dominated by public companies. Rather, South Central is a vibrant center for privately owned manufacturing companies in a diverse range of industries.

The reason the distinction is so important is that it has been these small to mid-sized, privately owned companies that have accounted for the great majority of new jobs, which have helped lift us out of the recession.

South Central would become even more of a powerhouse manufacturing center if a regional industrial redevelopment plan were created for it and the other cities bordering the new Alameda Corridor. Too many of the current sites lack modern amenities that would enable these fast-growing smaller companies to remain in the area.

Such a plan would enable these areas to recreate themselves from the “inside out” using revenues generated by a growing manufacturing base to then address other redevelopment needs in the retail, commercial and housing sectors. South Central and nearby cities can become a bright light in our new economy, so we need to tell the correct story about their potential.

LEE HARRINGTON

President & CEO

Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

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