Kaiser Steel, Fontana (Images of America)

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Kaiser Steel Part 2

The automobile company he formed with Joseph Frazer in produced some models but ceased productions in the US in In founded the largest American Health maintenance organization now known as Kaiser Permanente. Started cement company in Oakland, CA in the s - founded Permanente in - world's largest cement plant. Built by Kaiser Permanente [Kaiser bus]. Rear axle counter-steers for precise wheel tracking pp94 - American Buses - Woods.

Kaiser Aluminum

The community faced a transition in when Fontana was selected as the site for a steel mill. The City was incorporated June 25, , with a population of 13, and became Southern California's leading producer of steel and related products. The steel industry dominated the City's economy since the mill was built. However, in the late 's, Kaiser Steel began to cut down on production and manpower and the steel mill closed in For more information please read:.


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William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses Photo Archive. Luke - Prevost Buses Photo Archive. Luke - Trailways Buses Photo Archive. Robert R. The closings also brought a frenzy of state government action by Fast forward to Labor Day , and what transpired over 36 years. The task forces, committees, and proposed legislation of that earlier time had little lasting impact.

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None of the schemes of new regional development banks, planning counsels, or additional government economic development staff, were implemented in California—and even the ridesharing for displaced workers was soon abandoned for lack of participants. Yet, most of the communities affected by deindustrialization in California rebounded over the next decade, and in the most recent decade have achieved strong job creation numbers. The communities noted above of Fontana, Siskiyou, and Fremont, for example, all built new economies, with occupations and sectors not envisioned in The closing of the Kaiser Steel Plant in Fontana in received national attention, a symbol of the decline of heavy manufacturing—the steelworker replacing Tom Joad as the symbol of profound economic dislocation, as journalist James Fallows noted at the time.

For one, the steel plant came back to life, purchased by a partnership of Japanese and Brazilian interests, and reopened--albeit with a reduced workforce. Steel plant operations continue to the present on a section of the original acre site--with an auto racing speedway on another section. More importantly for Fontana, new manufacturing firms were established, so that today the city of slightly more than , residents, is home to more than manufacturing firms. We also have diversified the local economy with new jobs in health care, education, logistics, warehousing and construction.

Projections are for over 1.

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Images of America: California Series

Fontana and the County have benefited from several factors beyond their influence, particularly the overall dynamism of the California economy nearly 3 million payroll jobs added since early and the affordability of their housing and business operations, compared to other areas of the state. But also they have made their own good fortune. Similar practical, adaptive, market-based approaches have enabled other communities hit by plant closings in the early s to rebound.

The closing of the International Paper plant in Siskiyou County in was only one of numerous plant closings in rural northern California with the restructuring of the timber industry. But the timber industry did not die; it has carried on in the region in the s, if, as with other heavy manufacturing with reduced workforces the International Paper plant itself was re-opened by Roseburg Forrest Products and continues to the present.


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  • More broadly, new industries emerged in agriculture, including the recently-legalized cannabis production, forest management, tourism, and heath care. Little of the growth, though, was foreseen thirty or forty years ago; it grew organically, as the communities adapted to markets, and, in their own ways, to globalization and technology. Government forestry and education departments are major employers, but main employment is through individual entrepreneurs and businesses.

    Then there is the community of Fremont, in the south Bay Area, one of the best illustrations in the state of job growth that was not remotely foreseen in NUMMI, in turn, closed in , only to be re-opened soon thereafter in its current role as the Tesla motor factory. Heavy manufacturing, though it continues in Fremont, is only a part of the economy. The area has become a hub of tech research, development and production. It has become home to firms developing and producing semiconductor processing equipment, hard disk drives and storage equipment, solar panels: Lam Research.