The other economic vision

In a city that grew up as a manufacturing hub and that has proudly revived that heritage with the arrival of advanced new industries, the political and Chamber of Commerce focus on attracting the next big manufacturers on the coattails of Alstom and Volkswagen is understandable. But just as technology is driving smart manufacturing that needs fewer and fewer workers, it also is driving cities to look toward a redefined economic future where mainstay jobs will depend increasingly on innovation and knowledge-based skills, and on the amenities that will attract the entrepreneurs of the future.

Small wonder, then, that Mayor Ron Littlefield was at a Wednesday luncheon to introduce Dr. Norm Jacknis, the strategic think tank director of Cisco Systems, a global leader in the sphere of computer networking, communication and collaboration that will create many of the jobs of tomorrow.