SUPER BOWL XLVIII: Focus on Seattle’s manufacturing sector

Posted by LDonia on 01/31/2014

We know the drill. You're gearing up for sunday's game -- filling your refrigerator with wings and hot sauce and your pantry with chips of every variety, when it hits you: I have no idea how Seattle and Denver stack up from a manufacturing perspective. No worries. Your friends at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) thought took this as an opportunity to look at the manufacturing footprints of the Superbowl's competing teams’ home cities: Seattle and Denver.

Below is the Seattle Post. Check out the Denver post here.

As of December 2013, 281,800 people in the state of Washington were employed in the manufacturing sector. Of them, 170,100 were located in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area.

Overall, the state of Washington lost 50,200 manufacturing jobs due to trade with China between 2001-2010. 6,400 of those jobs were lost in the 7th congressional district, which encompasses most of Seattle.

In May of 2013, Joel Kotkin at Forbes ranked the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area as the #3 new ‘Manufacturing Boomtown’ in America. He highlighted the fact that the sector saw 12.9 percent job growth from 2009 to 2012.

But let’s look beyond the numbers. What’s Made in the Seattle area? That’s what you want to know, right?

Of course one of the biggest manufacturers, one that’s been in the news a ton lately, is Boeing, which makes its airplanes in Everett.1 But there are plenty of others, ones that are more … accessible … to the average, non-airline-owning American.

Well, since it seems most of the country is in the midst of cold weather, let’s start at Crescent Down Works. Anne Michelson started the company in 1974 with the intention of it serving as a custom down vest maker, but Crescent now manufacturers a full line of down winter-wear, for both adults and children. All of its parkas, pants, and vests are made in a Pioneer Square facility, only spitting distance from Century Link Field, home of the Seahawks.

Not a cold weather person? Perhaps, then, you'd prefer a spring or summer ride on a bicycle from Rodriguez Cycles. These guys don’t only make their own bikes in Seattle; they also make custom parts for those bikes, create the software necessary to run their business, and have manufactured their own fitting machine. Have a family? These guys make and sell tandem and extra-long bikes as well.

In fact, there’s quite an array of Seattle-made products: Filson’s American-made clothing is manufactured in Seattle, as are Tom Bihn bags, Westland single malt whiskeys, Alchemy Goods upcycled bags and wallets, and Marge Granola. Indeed, Seattle-area manufacturing has a little something for everyone.

1.In the area? Boeing gives factory tours!

Post researched by AAM intern Pamela Tom-Jack.

Image by Flickr user bryce_edwards, used following Creative Commons guidelines.

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