The South County Economic Development Council is collecting data regarding the region’s manufacturing base in an effort to find out from employers how it can be expanded and sustained, the nonprofit organization said Feb. 2.

Called the manufacturer outreach program, the effort is being launched in conjunction with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the regional job training agency, and that group’s partners, the San Diego North Economic Development Corp. and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The program aims to meet with local business owners to collect statistical information, including its hiring and relocation plans, and identify concerns about economic and regulatory roadblocks that may impede growth, the SCEDC said.

“This industry is one of the largest contributors to the national economy and over the past 10 years, the country has lost 30 to 35 percent of its manufacturing jobs,” said Cindy Gompper-Graves, CEO of the SCEDC.

The program runs through April. The data collected will be presented to representatives throughout the county to shape policies and programs affecting this sector, the SCEDC said.

Employers interested in participating in the program should contact the Economic Development Council, which has an office in National City.

Mike Allen