The Manufacturing Industry: Building Back Fast

Despite turbulence caused by labor and supply chain challenges, the manufacturing industry is experiencing a positive trajectory as it recovers from the pandemic.


Approximately two of every three North American manufacturing companies surveyed by Thomas reported COVID-19 business disruptions. For four decades, companies have offshored manufacturing operations overseas to save costs. The COVID-19 crisis has reversed the race to cut costs with onshoring increasingly embraced to reduce the risk of future disruptions and supply chain delays.

The City of Tracy, CA is uniquely positioned to accommodate the reshoring trend and enable business growth. It is a community of 95,000 that is strategically located at the center of the Northern California megaregion. It has a readily available and diverse pipeline of industrial real estate, large and affordable labor force, business friendly environment, new infrastructure, and high quality of life. Tracy is situated just an hour from San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento.

Prior to COVID-19, Tracy had already built significant momentum drawing new advanced manufacturing businesses like Thermo Fisher Scientific and Medline. City leaders had planned for growth with infrastructure master plans that guide water, wastewater, drainage, roads, parks, and other public facilities delivery. The City has invested in reliable infrastructure to accommodate future business growth. This investment is leveraged on a regional scale with planned transit and freeway expansions. With average daily traffic of 146,000 vehicles, Interstate 205 is planned for a managed lane expansion, while strategic transit investment is integrating Tracy into the regional Valley Link light rail service that will enhance connectivity to the Silicon Valley and the East Bay.

Tracy’s shovel-ready land supply is also contributing to the City’s implementation of a bold economic vision. Businesses attracted to Tracy enjoy diverse choice of building space and build to suit opportunities in the International Park of Commerce and Northeast Industrial area. Both business parks are some of the largest in the region and take advantage of Tracy’s gateway location in northern California with the Port of Oakland and Port of Stockton nearby. The International Park of Commerce, one of the largest industrial master-planned business parks in the nation, is being developed by Prologis and is about half built.

A large, dedicated, and affordable labor force resides in the area, with a significant portion of employees skilled in Advanced Manufacturing sector. Tracy’s strategic location offers the opportunity to draw on the broad skills of two million regional workers. The City also streamlines the entitlement process with zoning permits approved at staff level and offers incentives for advanced manufacturing businesses. With an ample supply of affordable real estate, the City is undergoing a major population and employment growth. This growth has been amplified by the reshoring trend.

Tracy is also regarded for exceptional quality of life. Businesses operating in Tracy enjoy a safe community with high-quality schools, ample recreation amenities, lively restaurant and shopping scene. WalletHub ranks Tracy in the top 40 best places to live in California for families, as well as being in the top 20 for affordability. Local schools rank consistently high in terms of graduation rates and college readiness. Additionally, culture and recreation are entrenched in the City’s history. For example, a restored historic Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, located in the heart of downtown, offers a unique environment with concerts and shows, art galleries, classrooms, and community events.

Tracy is committed to a strong, growing business climate. While business relocation process may seem daunting, the City staff understand business needs like site selection, permit processing, data collection, entitlements and construction, financial incentives, and hiring and training. The City partners with the business community to enable success across these categories. Whether capitalizing on onshoring or domestic growth, Tracy advantage has proven to be a winning strategy for large and small businesses alike.