Bestronics brings dozens of new jobs to Silicon Valley

March 27, 2013 7:35:35 PM PDT
San Jose appears to be winning an on-going battle with Texas and other states, trying to lure high tech companies. A key reason appears to be a resurgence in manufacturing.

Bestronics has been a contract manufacture in Silicon Valley for 27 years but lately, it has been running out of capacity as its clients try to do more assembly, so it has expanded and is hiring. Electronic manufacturing jobs have been on a steady decline, down almost 20 percent in the past five years. But a turn-around is in the works.

Bestronics is a contract manufacturer for a variety of companies. And based on demand for local assembly, they've moved to a facility three times larger. They plan to go from 126 employees to 200 in the coming months.

"We've got plenty of people right now who need a job, and it's great to see they have this opportunity, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said.

Even more jobs are on the horizon. Samsung this week received $7 million in incentives from San Jose to build a new headquarters building on North First Street.

And semiconductor maker Telefunken is close to taking over the former SVTC manufacturing complex nearby.

San Jose's Economic Development Director, Kim Walesh says companies are sold on locating here.

"The biggest incentive to locating in San Jose is access to the technical work force, to the best public transportation in the Silicon Valley region, and the many amenities that come from being part of a big city," Walesh said.

The resurgence of manufacturing won't be lost on college students studying science, technology, engineering and math. Some may shift from developing software to working on advanced manufacturing processes.

Local companies are starting to recognize they can keep tabs on quality and speed up development by manufacturing in Silicon Valley.

"Each of them is making a decision on their projects. Does it make sense for me and my product to be made here in Silicon Valley, and overwhelmingly a lot of those products, they essentially say yeah, we need some local manufacturing for that part of it," Bestronics President Nat Mani said.

San Jose is fond of saying it moves at the speed of business, and its deal with Samsung, which was also considering Austin Texas, is proof of that.

"We permitted that project in 76 days, so the city of San Jose can move as quickly as any quality developer wants to move," Walesh said.

It takes millions of dollars to expand manufacturing capacity. Bestronics and others have done their homework and trust that "made in California" has a long-range future.

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