Local Employers Levi Strauss & NUMMI
Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 13, 2009
I do see a connection. Both at their core are "creative" companies, and create value because they attract and foster creativity in their work forces.
Neither is a high tech Silicon Valley type company where creativity is highly sought, but both are among the most creative in their respective markets, both of which date back to the 1800's.
This part of the world is very good at fostering innovation, and sometimes we forget that it is not just IT related.
It is not clear just what will happen with NUMMI, but since it became a joint venture inherited from GM, it is a very profitable and successful auto plant. Whether that is enough for Toyota to fully take it over remains to be seen. Nearly 5,000 people work there.
Much of Levi's production is now off-shore. I am of the opinion that "off-shoring" creativity in a brand like Levi's is a more daungting and risky challenge, and I am glad that Levi's management came to a similar conclusion, and will remain here, and attract the types of creative minds which endow the Bay Area.