Madera ranked #1 nationally for manufacturing jobs

The Madera Metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes most of Madera County, has been highlighted and ranked in the coveted No. 1 position of best place for manufacturing jobs in a report published by

The report documents a 59.8% growth rate in manufacturing jobs from 2009-2014.

Additionally, Madera was ranked No. 49 nationally on Forbes list of the Best Small Places for Business and Careers under their Job Growth Ranking.

Madera is the only MSA in the Central Valley that was included in the Forbes list. The rankings are a remarkable accomplishment for Madera and while some think it may be questionable, a closer look at the improving industrial sector makes it start to make sense.

“When the economy went into deep recession, it definitely put stress on our local manufacturers,” Bobby Kahn, executive director of the Madera County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC) said.

“Companies that were in food processing or a related industry fared okay and some even grew during the recession. But it was a real struggle for all others.”

Statistics show that in 2010, there were 465 food-processing jobs in the county. In 2014, that number increased to 1,465, a growth increase of 215%.

“Currently things look much brighter,” Kahn added. “With the addition of new industries coming into Madera County over the past few years coupled with the growth and expansion of several local companies, there has been hundreds of new jobs created.”

Occasionally, it’s a larger business that brings work into the county, but more often than not, it’s smaller employers who add 15-25 jobs. For nearly two years, Madera County has maintained a 1% or less vacancy rate for industrial space.

This trend has spurred the City of Madera to partner with Span Construction to develop Freedom Industrial Park, a 98 acre industrial park located on the northwest corner of Pine and Pecan Avenue in Madera.

At build out, Freedom Industrial Park could add another one million square feet of industrial space and create hundreds of new jobs.

“We are extremely proud to receive the positive rankings” said Julie Herd, Marketing and Business Development Manager for MCEDC. “We are a small agency that works hard for all of Madera County so getting this type of acknowledgment is very satisfying, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to continue to do all things possible to assist the growth of our local economy.”