Commentary

11/04/2013  by Ed Coghlan

The Economic Summit nears, job creation improving?

When more than 400 Californians gather in Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday for the 2013 California Economic Summit, they will seek answers to the following question: How can we create more middle class jobs and maintain California’s economic competitiveness?

Polls indicate this is issue number one in California.

The Summit is a yearlong partnership between California Forward and the California Stewardship Network that recognizes how California is made up of distinct regions that often have different economic drivers, but face the common challenge of how to restore and maintain job growth in the Golden State. 

Nearly 2,000 Californians have met in 16 regional forums across California over the past year and have identified seven areas that they believe are key to improving job creation in the state.

Those seven areas are:

  • Modernizing the state’s infrastructure
  • Developing a 21st century workforce
  • Improving access to capital
  • Advancing manufacturing
  • Creating efficiencies within the regulatory environment
  • Enhancing the working landscapes interface between rural and urban regions
  • Increasing the supply of housing

Many top state officials will be on hand to listen and speak with these California civic and business leaders who have been working on this process for the past year, including Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom,  Michael Rossi, Governor Brown's Senior Jobs Advisor, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, and Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz).

Because California is a regional economy, many of the Summit attendees are sensitive to the uneven nature of the state's economy. The head of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership Paul Granillo caught the essence of that concern in an op-ed published in the Riverside Press Enterprise over the weekend. (To read it, click here). Granillo is also the co-chair of the Summit Steering Committee.

The Summit this year finds California in better shape than the 2012 Summit which was held in Santa Clara. In fact, California's Legislative Analyst indicated at a recent conference that the state is doing better. However, he cautioned, there is still work to do.

“We’re in reasonably good shape,” Mac Taylor said Oct. 24 at Lighthouse Bank’s annual business and economic conference in Santa Cruz. The statement of general confidence from the state’s chief nonpartisan fiscal advisor comes after Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year won budget that holds promise to produce small surpluses in the coming years. In addition to budgetary restraint, Taylor cited positives like an improving economy and voter approval of Proposition 30, which now funds education programs with temporary taxes for high-income residents. Here's the article from the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

As we mentioned, the California Economic Summit is a year round effort. We have a website that is dedicated to covering the Summit process: http://www.caeconomy.org  We have fresh business stories up every work day of the year, exploring progress that Action Teams are making on advancing the seven initiatives. 

Let us know what you think.. 

Categories: Economy

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