North Bay manufacturers cope with economic uncertainty

With the fiscal cliff looming and demand for manufactured goods falling, North Bay manufacturers are finding ways to cope with uncertainty.

One thing is sure: manufacturing is not for the timid.

“To stay in the game you have to make your own opportunities,” said Jim Judd of J & M Manufacturing Inc. in Cotati. “You can’t sit around waiting for things to improve.”

According to the November report from the Institute for Supply Management a leading index showed a decrease of 2.2 percentage points from October's reading, indicating contraction in manufacturing for the fourth time in the last six months.

Distrust in national leadership added to the usual burden of state and federal regulation is taking its toll on the industry, according to some local business owners.

[caption id="attachment_66114" align="alignleft" width="300"] The crew at Datum Technologies. The owners hope to add to add to the staff sometime next year.[/caption]

“We saw the slowdown start in November and we don’t expect much change through the first quarter of 2013,” said Richard Hunt of Datum Technologies Inc. in Santa Rosa.

The precision machine shop saw a fall-off in the semiconductor industry, while oil and energy sectors flattened.

“Medical equipment is showing steady growth and aerospace is looking good. In times like these diversity is key,” said Mr. Hunt.

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