Site Regions

One of the largest markets in the world, California is home to more than 36.7 million people and has 58 counties and over 480 incorporated cities. California's size and diversity offer a wide range of opportunities for every kind of business venture. We want to make it easy for you to discover which of the state's ten Site Selection Regions offer the most value for your project.

Upstate California

Located halfway between Canada and Mexico, high technology, food processing, medical equipment, software development, distribution, wood products, and other niche manufacturing fields prosper upstate. Nearly every part of the region is connected by rail service and a growing network of state and interstate highways, making overnight access to California and Pacific Northwest markets and ports, and two-day truck trips to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Boise a reality. The Port of Humboldt Bay boasts deep-water port capabilities. Upstate California combines affordable real estate options with low cost and reliable utilities, abundant water supplies, and high-capacity telecommunications technology. A strong commitment to environmental quality shows in the ancient forests, crystal clear lakes, and outdoor recreational activities.

Sacramento Region

In 1975, government accounted for 40% of the jobs in the Sacramento region. Today, economic restructuring has fostered a rapidly growing service sector, which has manifested opportunities in trade, transportation and utilities, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, agribusiness and government. Coupled with the highest real population growth in the state, growth in construction and manufacturing industries has nearly doubled employment in those fields. Several municipal utilities, abundant water supply, and wholesale gas prices capstone the region with stable utilities. Inland from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento's rich infrastructure boasts expedient transportation on all fronts: an international airport, a deep-water port tapping into the San Francisco Bay, a trans-continental rail line, fast light rail commutes, and the crossroads of several major and interstate freeways.

Bay Area

Renowned as the birthplace and worldwide center of high technology, the Bay Area successfully competes in the national and international markets as a knowledge-based economy with world class research institutions, thousands of technology companies, and a highly-skilled, innovative workforce. As a region, the Bay Area has a national competitive advantage in productivity and employment in knowledge-based industries: computers and electronics, telecommunications, multimedia, movie/television production, bioscience, banking and finance, environmental technology, and business services. The University of California - San Francisco Mission Bay campus is the state headquarters for the $3 billion stem cell program. The Bay Area has three metropolitan centers: San Francisco, a financial and cultural powerhouse, San Jose, in the center of the Silicon Valley - the high technology center of the world, and Oakland, a major manufacturing and distribution center. The Napa Valley is experiencing exponential growth in the winemaking industry. The nine Bay Area counties include three international airports and major international seaport facilities, solidifying the region's position as a major coastal distribution center.

Central Valley

Home to the world's most productive agricultural region, the area lends itself particularly well to the needs of the food processing, chain and logistics industries through a diverse range of agricultural products and support services including the world's most extensive food processing research and development. Light manufacturing industries like plastic products, advanced materials, software, and hardware development jobs, complement the region's workforce. Sustained population growth provides a large workforce available at some of the most competitive wages in California. An integral part of California's transportation infrastructure, the state's two major north-south highways extend the length of the Central Valley. It is possible to ship freight by highway, air, rail, and sea via an inland port, with the advantage of low cost and high availability of developed land for plants, warehouses, and offices.

Central Sierra

The Central Sierra region offers affordable real estate with an emphasis on promoting small business growth. Labor costs are competitive and stable. In recent years the economy once dominated by the lumber and mining industries has shifted to light niche manufacturing, retail, services, and home-based businesses. The terrain and soils of the Central Sierra provide excellent opportunities for both traditional and specialty agribusiness operations. Abundant rangeland offers inexpensive grazing opportunities for cattle, sheep, and even free-range poultry. Unique microclimates support a diverse crop base. Spurred by widespread advanced fiber optics in many areas, information and communication industries are prime for development. The area bills as a foothill Silicon Valley - a refuge for the tech-savvy desiring mountain life.

Central Coast

Situated along the Pacific Ocean between San Jose and Santa Barbara, the California Central Coast region presents natural beauty along with a thriving dynamic economy in a coastal urban setting. Agriculture and tourism drive the regional economy coupled with expanding investment in information, environmental printing and publishing, electronics, metal and wood fabrication, marine research, business services, and global space communications industries. The workforce draws on a million plus population, marked by above average incomes and healthy retail sales. From prestigious business parks to undeveloped commercial property, most of the available property is served by well-developed civic, business and communications infrastructure. With the large selection of commercial and industrial parcels available, the Central Coast can provide a cost-effective option for any business. Convenient access to international markets via air and sea is available in nearby San Francisco Bay Area airports and shipping ports.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles region is considered one of the first globally representative communities, including the largest Asian population outside Asia and the largest Latino population outside Latin America. With a population of over 11 million, there are markets and available labor for every industry. The region is a leader and a major force in tourism, wholesale trade and logistics, technology and motion picture/TV production with unparalleled direct international trade. The high-tech community houses bio-medical research facilities, digital information technology, environmental technology, and creative resource industries. As the largest major manufacturing center in the U.S., apparel, computer and electronic products, transportation products, toys, fabricated metal products, food products, and furniture industries thrive. There are six airports in the region, three seaports, plus extensive freeways and service by two rail carriers. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are numbers one and two in the nation in terms of container traffic handled, while the Los Angeles International Airport ranks number four among the airports of the world in cargo traffic handled.

Orange County

Orange County, home to the world-renowned Disneyland Resort, is a high-productivity urban center between Los Angeles and San Diego. Tech-savvy industries like advertising, apparel companies, architecture, auto design, e-Commerce, professional services, manufacturing, medical devices, pharmaceutical, residential builders, telecommunications, venture capital firms, and world trade have proliferated in its environment. The American Electronics Association ranked the region 10th nationally in its "Cybercities" ratings. A large number of the Orange County workforce is employed in high technology industries . (Orange County is also the second most integrated of the 100 top U.S. metropolitan areas, according to the 2000 Census.) With close proximity to Mexico and major gateways to the Asian markets of the Pacific Rim, foreign trade is a significant component of the Orange County economy.

Inland Empire

With large tracts of undeveloped land, lower space costs, and a huge blue collar labor force, the area offers thousands of technicians, professionals, and executives who are migrating to the new upscale neighborhoods being built across the region, willing to work for local firms for less to avoid coastal commutes. The Inland Empire, comprised of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, is among the highest job growth regions in the nation. Many of Southern California's newest and most technologically and entrepreneurially aggressive companies have started in or are migrating to the region. They are expanding the region's economic base, leading to improvements in local employment, personal income, retail sales, home sales, and home prices. Its rich infrastructure encloses five regional airports including the second largest cargo-handling airport in the Southland, a major intermodal rail yard, and cargo sorting cross-dock facilities for nearly every Southern California trucking firm.

San Diego/Imperial

San Diego made a commitment in the 1980s to diversify the economy and encourage the growth of technology companies. They were motivated by the desire to move away from the boom or bust cycles that dependency on narrow core industries had created. Since then there has been a transformation from an economy dependent on military spending and aerospace contracts to a region where a broad array of technological industries have taken root and flourished. Today's thriving environment of international trade and research breakthroughs, bioscience, communications, electronics, software and recreational goods have added to the defense and space industries in the region. The San Diego/Imperial region provides a wide range of lifestyle choices, from urban chic to rural peace.


TeamCalifornia is a private, non-profit California membership-based corporation that brings together economic development organizations from across the state to market their communities for business investment and job creation in California. TeamCalifornia’s members are important advocates and resources for business development in California; they know how to expedite projects and are invaluable sources of information for site location assistance anywhere in the state.

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