chapter  9
High-Tech Manufacturing: Problems and Prospects
WithAmy K. Glasmeier
Pages 20

This chapter begins by situating the rise of high-tech industries in the context of post-World War II manufacturing development in the United States. It examines the industrial composition of high-tech industries in rural areas by tracking both the growth of employment and plants over the study period. The chapter argues that explanations of rural industrialization, based on models of cost-driven industry decentralization, have been superseded by production imperatives that emphasize workplace skills over strict differences in labor cost. Rural areas could compete for low-skilled, branch plant employment. Using occupational statistics, high-tech industries are defined as those with greater than the national average of engineers, engineering technicians, computer scientists, mathematicians, and life scientists, including chemists and geologists. Rural communities in the Northeast were early recipients of high-tech manufacturing employment that decentralized out of cities. The implication is that rural high-tech growth is significantly affected by growth in traditional rural industries and neither independent of nor a replacement for them.