When a group of top-level, local business and civic leaders from San Diego and Imperial Counties get together on Friday March 9, they’ll be focused on how best to develop job creation and competitiveness in their region.
The San Diego area is doing well, compared to some other regions in California. Unemployment is too high at 8.8% but is below the state average as a whole. And the region is poised for a turnaround.
The organizations that are partnering to manage the Regional Forum, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation are looking for ways that the local economy can improve.
The San Diego-area economy is being driven by four principal economic drivers: tourism, military, bio-tech and high tech.
The regional leaders are being asked to concentrate on four areas as they analyze how they can make recommendations that can improve the regional economy:
- How to develop and recruit a world-class work force
- Define what improvements in local infrastructure need to be made
- How to inspire and attract innovation in economic development
- How to streamline the regulatory process
San Diego has been a leader in developing and expanding public-private partnerships to enhance economic development, and the regional leaders on Friday will be conscious of building on this asset.
In addition, the local economy is unique in that is it is a mega-region that not only includes the two large counties that border Mexico (San Diego and Imperial) but also considers Baja California as part of the region. As a result, the region never forgets that it has an international focus to its local economy.
We will keep you up to date on this blog on what happens at the Forum, where issues and regional champions will identified. The results will be part of the first California Economic Summit which will be held in Santa Clara on May 11. The Economic Summit is based on the very smart premise that thriving regions can lead to a thriving state economy.
As the San Diego leaders identify ways to improve economic development in their “mega-region”, they will not only be helping themselves, but helping the entire state as well!
Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers