The Center of the California Enterprise Zone Information Universe

Enterprise Zone Not Enough – Redding

It’s been a while since I’ve had a story for the “Not Enough” category, but here is a new one from the Redding Record Searchlight:

It’s possible that nothing anyone in Shasta County could do would have persuaded executives at Millipore, a bioscience- and medical-device manufacturer, to keep the Anderson plant that it acquired in 2006 with the purchase of Newport Biosystems.

A multinational company that employs nearly 6,000 people, Millipore said last week that it was consolidating production at a headquarters plant in Massachusetts. The Anderson factory wasn’t suited for Millipore’s planned expansion of the product lines. It’s hard for economic-development leaders to swim against that tide.

But the Economic Development Corporation of Shasta County wasn’t even in the water.

The May closure’s announcement blindsided EDC President Greg O’Sullivan, even though the group has refocused its efforts, in a year when expansions are rare, on retaining local jobs. In disappointed reaction, O’Sullivan told a reporter, “I don’t know if the company was taking full advantage of all the enterprise zone tax credits.”

It’s a little late to wonder about tax incentives. That’s the kind of thing the EDC needed to be asking Millipore six months ago.

Not that every local employer isn’t a prize, but Millipore is the type of company that deserved special attention. It’s in the heart of an industry, medical-device manufacturing, that the EDC has long targeted. Not only is the region losing the nearly 80 jobs Millipore provided, but it’s also lost the ability to point to a successful local company in the field. Even in our networked world, industries still cluster. Sad to say, in this case the cluster is forming back East.

Shasta County’s job boosters can’t control the economy or major companies’ decisions. They can at least ensure their efforts match their stated goals. It’s hard to see how that was happening here. That makes the loss of Millipore doubly disappointing.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow maxshenker on Twitter

Receive By Email

Enter your email address and receive the EZ Policy Blog by email.