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With a 250,000-Strong Workforce, Multifaceted Torrance Defies Categorization

Torrance is a large employment hub and home for many businesses in South Bay, Los Angeles. With a working daytime population of a quarter of a million workers, Torrance defies easy characterization other than as a good place for business. Fran Fulton, Economic Development Manager for Torrance explains,

“Torrance is a big city for our region. It’s a centralized hub, and there is not just one thing that identifies us.  When working with Discover Torrance, it’s hard to describe it in just one word.  Businesses that choose to locate in Torrance tap into how much we already have here in skilled workforce, customer base, suppliers and vendors.  We are centralized between LAX and the ports, have a good safety record and school systems.”

A quick look at some of the large employers in the city shows its diversification:

With a 250,000-Strong Workforce, Multifaceted Torrance Defies Categorization

Majors in Manufacturing

One of the first things that comes to mind about Torrance is manufacturing of all sorts.  Some examples of companies with manufacturing in Torrance  are Physical Optics Corporation, Phenomenex, and Bachem (polypeptides). 

Reputation for Microbreweries

With a 250,000-Strong Workforce, Multifaceted Torrance Defies Categorization

Torrance is a microbrewery hub for Southern California. Tasting rooms and brew pubs abound.  Brands include Smog City, Strand, Monkish, Red Car, Yorkshire Square, and Hop Saint. One local R&D Vice President says,

We consider some of these to be our extended conference rooms. If we go to Smog City, it’s ‘Meeting Room SC.’ If we go to Strand, it’s ‘Meeting Room S.’”

Looking to the Future with Alternative Fuel Technologies

Torrance is also home to a number of alternative fuel technology centers, including Honda, Toyota, General Motors EV Tech Center, Tritium, Londi Renzo, and E Velocity.

Solving Setbacks with an Evolving Mix of Industries

One notable loss, the Oct. 2017 sale of Toyota’s large campus and the movement of those jobs to Texas, was an economic blow to Torrance.  Since then, a new growth area is the arrival of additional coworking and shared office space.  Says Fulton,

“The smaller businesses and collaborative workspaces on the west side of LA have been pushing into El Segundo. We’re starting to see that movement into Torrance now.  We envision a coworking player like Biz Haus opening up a location in downtown Torrance.  That’s a good fit for the area, which is mainly independent businesses. The city also provides support to startups with the South Bay Entrepreneurial Center.”

Fast-Growing Companies

Torrance has its share of companies enjoying significant growth, and these fast-growing companies are just as diverse as the rest of the business landscape. Health-Ade Kombucha supplies its fermented tea to over 15,000 stores. Sage Millimeter products enable RF engineers to create the technology of the future. DocMagic digitizes the mortgage process, with over 300 million esign transactions. Other companies include Partner Engineering, Weckerle and Phyn.

Torrance is a city-wide adherent to one of my key philosophies: creating success by diversifying your networks. With a traditional base in manufacturing, along with establishing roots in newer industries like microbreweries and alternative fuel technologies, Torrance mitigates the risks facing either “monotowns” or “boomtowns.”

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