It’s not Silicon Valley but Riverside and the rest of the Inland Empire are fast becoming a high-tech hotbed. (Photo:
It’s word association time. What comes to mind when you hear the words: high-tech jobs? Did you answer, Silicon Valley? Well, you are probably not alone. That’s the region that comes to many people’s mind as it is home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, not to mention thousands of small startups.
Did anyone answer: the Inland Empire, in Southern California? The IE, made up of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, came out on top in a new report conducted by the Praxis Strategy Group and published at Forbes.com and NewGeography.com.
That’s right, if you or anyone you know is looking for a tech job, you may want to look outside of the Silicon Valley, as other regions, are generating more tech jobs.
According to the findings, in the past 12 years, the IE beat out Seattle, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. From 2001 to 2012, high-tech jobs grew by 18.6 percent. Only the Washington, D.C. area did better than the Riverside, San Bernardino areas.
This is great news for a region mainly known for warehousing, logistics and manufacturing.
“The evolution of high-tech industries in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties reflects the growth of our region whose population is now 4.2 million and is the result of innovators in our educational institutions working hard to diversify our economy,” said Paul Granillo, president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.
The tech industry appears to be helping the area’s unemployment rate. In December, the unemployment rate for the Inland Empire was 10.9 percent, down from 11.3 percent in November and added 3,400 jobs.
But, the Silicon Valley shouldn’t worry, just yet. In San Bernardino County there are 5,267 high tech jobs compared to the Silicon Valley’s 9,874 job listings between January and August of 2012.
Granillo believes the next generation of innovators will come from the region’s colleges and universities. Preparing and educating students in the sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curricula will be the key.
The California Community Colleges system has been working with regions to help better align programs to fit the needs of industries under the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy.
“We are targeting investment in sectors important to regional economies like the Inland Empire. Community colleges have a vital role in delivering the skilled workforce,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development for California’s Community Colleges.
The Inland Empire is capitalizing on areas of opportunities and becoming a bright spot for high-tech jobs.