California Economic Summit’s “regions up” approach attracting top support

580 200 Ed Coghlan

San Diego skyline (Photo Credit: Rctckc/Wikimedia)

Civic, business and regional leaders from across California are ramping up their work in preparation for the annual California Economic Summit which will be held in San Diego on November 2-3. Several hundred regional leaders working on some of the most important economic issues will advance the Summit’s work on the importance of improving workforce preparation, building more housing and infrastructure and to expand the state’s middle class. An effort of this magnitude takes support from corporations and foundations who understand why the solution to these challenges are critical for the future of California.

U.S. Bank is one such underwriter. Michelle Brega, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, agreed to share a few thoughts about why her company supports the Summit:

Why did U.S. Bank get interested in the California Economic Summit?

In 2015, when a regional business council approached us to support the California Economic Summit – a statewide, unified effort to solve some of California’s biggest economic issues –the agenda seemed ambitious, but possible. Then again, California is a state where an “ambitious, but possible” attitude built the sixth largest economy in the world.

The Summit’s agenda has been developed by regional leaders throughout California. What about the agenda is particularly attractive to U.S. Bank?

Community impact and economic development are at the heart of our business. The Summit’s focus on an economic agenda, grounded in workforce preparation and affordable housing, is what particularly resonates with us at U.S. Bank. The building blocks of this country – stable employment, and a home to call one’s own – is what makes Community Possible, and is at the heart of U.S. Bank’s approach to supporting communities. In the communities U.S. Bank serves throughout California, there are many initiatives underway to improve the environment for affordable housing, as well as a number of effective job training programs to fill middle skill jobs. We know that because we are partners with the organizations doing this work.

At the Summit, we have found that many Californians respond to the “regions up” approach—identify the problem in the regions and look to solve them.

I couldn’t agree more. Public, private, and nonprofit organizations across the state have found innovative solutions, and the California Economic Summit brings those ideas to the forefront. By enhancing the visibility of these local efforts, other communities and statewide bodies can adapt those learnings to address the economic issues either locally or systemically. And perhaps large-scale adaptations can be pursued with enough examples of successful programs and data gleaned from these local initiatives.

The Summit’s collaborative and comprehensive method of convening regional organizations is an appealing approach to managing problem solving and best practice sharing across a geographically and socioeconomically diverse state of more than 30 million residents. This sense of “ambitious, but possible” could and will solve the state’s housing and employment training challenges.

The Summit is grateful for the support of US Bank and others fur supporting the effort:

This year, U.S. Bank has stepped up its support for the California Economic Summit to help accelerate its work, and encourage others to join us in doing the same. We hope to see you, too, in November in San Diego for the 2017 California Economic Summit.

To see the agenda of the two-day 2017 Summit and register to attend, please click here.


Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan