DONGGUAN, China — The Pearl River Delta in southern China is across the border from Hong Kong, home to the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan and one of the nation’s two largest manufacturing centers.

But increasingly, natives of the region encompassed by Guangdong province are not the people who operate the looms and sewing machines in the many local factories. That’s because the influx of business has driven wages in the region up and encouraged many locals to enter administrative and low-level management jobs, according to local factory managers and sourcing executives.

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