Agenda for 2015 California Economic Summit firming up

150 150 Ed Coghlan

The California Economic Summit annual gathering is set for November 12-13 in Ontario, the first time it’s been held in the Inland Empire.

This week, the Summit leaders met in Ontario to firm up an agenda that will ask three important questions for California economic development:

1.     How can we train a workforce with the additional 1 million middle skill credentials and degrees that will be needed in California?

2.     How do we build the 1 million more housing units needed for low and middle-income Californians?

3.     How do we save 1 million acre-feet of water annually for the next ten years?

“The goals of the Summit are the key issues in California,” said University of Southern California’s Mark Pisano, who for 31 years served as executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). “By concentrating on these issues, and how they impact the regions and localities of California, the Summit is onto something big.”

The Summit, which is a year-round, regions-based approach to creating middle class jobs in California and tackling economic, environmental and equity issues, has attracted hundreds of California civic, business, and elected officials since its inception in 2012.

“The Summit can really create a California agenda for elected officials to follow,” said Deb Nankivell, CEO of the Fresno Business Council.  

It’s evident that state elected officials are paying attention. The Summit has already received confirmation that State Treasure John Chiang, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and State Controller Betty Yee will attend, in addition to dozens of other state and regional policy leaders will come together to advance a shared agenda.

In addition, a dozen companies and organizations have already pledged their financial support for the Summit.

“These companies and organizations are more than just sponsors, they are thought partners as well,” said Jim Mayer, CEO of California Forward, which founded the Summit along with the California Stewardship Network. “These are organizations that are working in and serving California who recognize that solving our problems collaboratively is the best path.”

While people often look to Washington and Sacramento for solutions to our economic issues, the Summit recognizes that California’s economy is not one economy, but a series of regional economies that have similarities and distinct differences.

Engaging with local and regional leaders throughout the Summit process has helped identify the issues that need to be solved in order to help create more middle class jobs and to help preserve and ultimately expand California’s position as a global economic force.

For Summit Steering Committee co-chair, Paul Granillo, the fact that this year’s event is being held in the Inland Empire is an indicator of what makes the Summit unique and why it has grown to be a critically important part of California economic development.

“We are a regions-based process,” said Granillo who is CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. “For the California dream to be recognized, middle class jobs must be created in all the regions of the state. Creating those jobs is a big issue for those of us who live and work in the Inland Empire and it’s a good reason for the Summit to be held here.”

The Summit has seven action teams, made up of individuals across the state, that are working year round.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Capital
  • Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Regulations
  • Workforce
  • Working Landscapes

The Summit’s work is guided by a roadmap that promotes the three imperatives that are under discussion this year:

  • Aligning regional workforce training, industry and community needs
  • Building the communities that California needs in order to thrive
  • Improve public decision making about how to achieve prosperity

To register for the 2015 California Economic Summit and view the agenda, visit the CAeconomy Summit page. 



Ed Coghlan

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