Precision Manufacturing

Super-delicate semiconductors to super-rugged communications equipment for extreme environments. Precisely machined aerospace components to precisely crafted musical instruments. Advanced polymers to advanced automation systems. They’re all made right here on the Central Coast.

Spanning family-owned outfits, federal contractors, divisions of multinational corporations and publicly traded companies, these high-tech facilities rely on skilled technicians and cutting-edge equipment to turn out highly engineered products that power modern life.

Connecting with customers and suppliers is seamless, thanks to the region’s strategic location between California’s metro areas along the coastal 101 highway, while top-ranked universities, highly rated community colleges and innovative manufacturing initiatives churn out a supply of engineers and skilled labor.  

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Transphorm, a Goleta-based global semiconductor company with more than 1,000 patents, began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market in February after going public through a reverse merger in 2020.
  • A global semiconductor technology and equipment manufacturer that went public in 2018, San Luis Obispo-based Revasum is now a top 5 holding of the publicly traded venture capital Firsthand Technology Value Fund.
  • Santa Barbara-based Resonant, an emerging leader in 5G technology for mobile devices, was acquired by Murata Electronics for $295 million in February.
  • A recent expansion at Trust Automation, a San Luis Obispo-based leading supplier of automation and cyber defense systems for industrial and military applications, more than doubled its manufacturing operations.
  • A significant segment of Central Coast manufacturers serve the aerospace industry, with numerous NASA contracts, including Next Intent‘s work on every Mars Rover for the last two decades, Deployable Space Systems’ rollout solar arrays, Umbras ultra high-resolution radar microsatellites and ES Aero‘s development of the X-57 Maxwell electric plane.

640

regional specialized manufacturing companies

14,000

jobs

$78k

average annual wages

ASSETS + RESOURCES

Students works on wired materials

Cal Poly

A top 10 engineering program with specialties including industrial, materials and manufacturing engineering, Cal Poly provides a steady stream of top talent. The university also advances innovated by partnering with industry on research, prototyping and product development and offers access to state-of-the-art instruments and testing equipment through its fee-for-service program.

View of UCSB campus from the ocean

UC-Santa Barbara

Ranked among the top engineering schools in the world, the UCSB offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in materials and mechanical engineering. The materials graduate program has ranked #1 in the nation among public universities, with 11 affiliated research centers and a shared instrumentation network. It’s also home to the California NanoSystems Institute.

People examining manufacturing equipment

SLO Partners

The nonprofit SLO Partners, winner of a 2020 CA Partnership for Industry and Education award, provides industry-specific training through its precision manufacturing bootcamp then connects employers to candidates through talent matching and apprenticeship programs.

Professor shows a student something in a factory

Community colleges

Cuesta College’s engineering and technology program offers an associate’s degree in manufacturing engineering as well as several certificate programs. Allan Hancock College offers machining and manufacturing technology as well as welding and electronics technology.

Exterior of the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting building

Manufacturing technology consulting

The nonprofit California Manufacturing Technology Consulting provides an array of programs and services to help manufacturers big and small with supply chain, workforce, exports, innovation and beyond.

Specialized Manufacturing Companies

Explore the map below to discover the breadth of manufacturing companies in the region.