Three Keys to Success:
Talent, Talent, and Talent


When we sit down with CEOs and ask them what keeps them up at night, they almost always say the same thing: finding the right talent.  

Naturally, we think location is important too, but Fremont has a great story to tell when it comes to our talent pool. 

Take it from Seagate Technology, the company that invested $180M to house its R&D center in Fremont to accommodate up to 600 employees. “Fremont has the high-level skills (and the Ph.D.s) that I’m looking for,” declared Steve Hwang, vice president of development for Seagate Technology. “I’ve had no problem finding top-notch employees in this area.” 

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That’s because Fremont’s residents are highly educated and global.

Need proof? 49 percent of Fremont’s adult population holds a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. The 98 languages spoken in Fremont homes demonstrate that the city has been a magnet for diverse tech talent. According to, there are more startups in Fremont on a per-capita basis than any other U.S. city.

So how did we get here? Fremont has a long history in advanced industries and production capability, with an Internet of Things (IoT) orientation. Back in the ’80s, Apple and Steve Jobs chose to open their first manufacturing site in Fremont and made the original Macintosh computer here.

Other semiconductor and telecommunications firms soon followed, and today, emerging technologies such as clean tech, biotech, and photonics represent some of Fremont’s top manufacturing fields.

In fact, a quarter of Fremont’s population is employed in the manufacturing sector because our manufacturing roots run deep.

But what about 10 or 15 years from now? Who’s going to be filling our job needs then? Glad you asked. Making stuff in today’s world (i.e., advanced manufacturing) calls for a different approach to creating a talent pipeline.

Enter, Parker Thomas, the new FUSE Corps fellow we’ve brought on to engage the Fremont Unified School District and the larger community in the Maker Education curriculum.

With Parker’s help, we hope to steer public perception of manufacturing away from images of smokestacks and assembly lines. Instead, we’ll show kids (and parents) that making things is cool again through maker-themed events, clubs, projects, partnerships with local manufacturing companies, and teacher trainings.

Speaking of local companies, Fremont’s all-star lineup is also helping us shatter perceptions and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Every year, Fremont companies participate in Manufacturing Day on the first Friday in October by opening their doors to local students and job seekers. In fact, for two consecutive years, more than 10 percent of all Manufacturing Day tours that took place in California were held in Fremont. Now that is how we open minds and career paths!

Since Marc Andreessen famously wrote, “Software is eating the world,” demand keeps increasing for people who are fluent in programming languages like Python and Java.

Our solution: 42 Silicon Valley, a one-of-a-kind coding school that opened its first U.S. school in Fremont last year. This coding school doesn’t believe in teachers, lectures, certifications, or even fees (yes, tuition is free). What it does believe in is a rigorous peer-to-peer model that produces top-tier, self-driven tech talent. Even though the Fremont campus is still in its early days, a few of its students are already getting snatched up by big-name companies like InstaCart and LinkedIn.

“You won’t see any teachers at 42 Silicon Valley. The students are expected to teach each other.”

— Kane York, Ecole 42 Student

So if you’re worrying about where to find talent that’s a cut above, put away the Pepto-Bismol. We’ve got such a talent pool right here in our backyard.