Small manufacturers are finding a viable market with emerging industries, such as those in the clean-technology sector, as more traditional clients go by the wayside. Paragon Machine Works in the Bay Area of California used to make locking systems for nuts and bolts for large companies such as Caterpillar but now has found a niche with smaller orders. Still, a downturn in construction and other industries has helped dwindle the number of machine shops in the Bay Area to 663, down 17% from 2001.

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