11/07/2019 by Nadine Ono

Economic Summit Opens with Investment in Service Opportunities in the Central Valley


State of California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday at the 2019 California Economic Summit(Photo: David Jon Photography/CAFwd)

Realizing the “California Dream” in every part of the state is the focus of this year’s California Economic Summit as more than 900 civic, business and community leaders are convening in Fresno November 7-8.

The goal is to create and implement solutions to the State’s most pressing problems - lack of affordable housing and economic mobility, the creation of a strong workforce through a culture of lifelong learning and a viable ecosystem that incorporates water sustainability and forest management. Many of those problems are magnified in the inland regions of the state which includes the Central Valley.

The annual event kicked off with an investment from the state to the Central Valley region. “l am thrilled to announce, at this conference, we are making an historic investment of $13.1 million into the Central and San Joaquin Valleys to create service opportunities for Californians to address educational and health needs in their communities,” said Josh Fryday, California’s Chief Service Officer. This new regional investment will award anyone enrolled in any of the state-sponsored AmeriCorps program a $10,000 scholarship toward their education.

"This money creates hundreds of service jobs and opportunities in the region and will begin hitting communities throughout the Central and San Joaquin Valley this year.” Fryday added that local community input steered the investment toward health access and education.

This investment is welcomed by local leaders including Fresno Mayor Lee Brand who welcomed Summit attendees to his city, “This is Summit is about restoring economic and social mobility for so many Californians for whom the California Dream has become an empty promise.”

The Economic Summit continues tomorrow with a keynote address from Governor Gavin Newsom and a call to action to continue the work started in the convening’s working sessions.

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