Elk Grove city officials are keeping their fingers crossed in the wake of comments by Apple CEO Tim Cook that it could begin manufacturing some of its computers in the United States.
Apple opened a campus in Elk Grove in 1992 when it was seeking a better quality of life for employees and looking to escape the freeway congestion in the Silicon Valley. It manufactured iMacs for many years until it moved operations overseas in 2004.
Elk Grove Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck says Apple still employs around 1,200 service type employees at its large campus on Laguna Boulevard near Interstate 5 and could easily ramp up computer production.
‘We’d be thrilled to see additional production return back to that facility,” said Starbuck.
The recession hit the city of 157,000 residents hard as businesses closed or left. The unfinished Promenade shopping mall with its partially built structures along Highway 99 are a reminder of the city’s unfulfilled expectations.
The city has begun to recover with the expansion or location of several large medical facilities in town.
Mayor Jim Cooper says he hasn’t heard if Apple is interested in Elk Grove.
“We don’t know, Apple is very secretive. They don’t tell you, they don’t comment much on it,” said Cooper.
But he said the reasons Apple moved a plant to Elk Grove still exist and the city says it’s become more business friendly since 2004.
True to form a spokesperson for Apple told Fox40 News that there was no further information about its plans beyond the short comments by Cook.
“We’ve built the groundwork for more business, reducing fees, reducing red tape and being aggressive about chasing employers,” said Gary Davis, a long time City Council member and the Mayor-elect.
And the city says it wants to take the initiative despite the lack of information or intent by Apple.
“We’ve approached Apple and said hey, whatever you need Elk Grove’s ready to make it happen,” said Cooper.