Re: Why California?
While cost of living may be high land costs in California are actually ridiculously cheap for industry. Wafer fabs in California are some of the only ones built in a linear fashion, similar to car plants. Everywhere else builds them in a daisy petal design with a single photolithography room in the centre. When I was doing semiconductor engineering the wafer fab was based in El Segundo, California for this reason. To get around health and safety laws though the usual trick is to relocate the more labour intensive work to Mexico where the health and safety laws a re more relaxed. Thankfully for the workers in Mexico the supplier of the testing equipment refused to supply the test kit without the safety cut-off switches in place. The company wanted them removed to save 5000 dollars per machine, but the manufacturer pointed out that left nothing between the operator and a potential 10,000 volts. When the company still insisted on not having the safety cut-outs that was when the manufacturer dug in and refused to sell without them, and quite rightly so.