OC Hits Pay Dirt with Cleantech

Friday, January 21, 2011

Besides beautiful beaches, Disneyland and the original "Real Housewives" TV show, Orange County might have a new claim to fame.

The fastest-growing segment of the county's economy is now the clean-tech market, according to government and industry officials. Hundreds of green companies are settling in the area, long known for its real estate development and medical device industry.

The number of clean-tech jobs in the county, currently around 20,000, is growing about 5% each year, according to the Orange County Business Council. There are now nearly 300 clean-tech companies in the county, according to trade group CleanTech OC.

"The notion that it's an old, stodgy county is long gone," said Mike Levin, CleanTech OC's co-founder. "It's large, diverse and politically not what you think. Orange County is extraordinarily well-positioned to be a center of the clean-tech industry."

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