Production line inside the Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, CA (Credit: John Guenther)
As Californians begin to actively engage in discussing ways to improve the state’s economy, not surprisingly, the dialogue is spawning a number of ideas.
California State Senator Alex Padilla introduced a bill recently that is designed to spur manufacturing jobs creation in California, noting that there is an increase in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and that “California must still compete with other states for these jobs.” California is one of only three states that taxes the purchase of manufacturing equipment, which Padilla said hurts the state.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who spoke at the California Stewardship Network Regional Forum in Chico, was quoted in San Luis Obispo as cautioning that California has rested on its laurels over the past three decades during which growth dropped and the state “flatlined.”
It is just that perception that California Forward and the California Stewardship Network is addressing through its Regional Forums and the upcoming California Economic Summit, which is scheduled for May 11 in the Santa Clara. At two recent regional forums (in Chico and Sacramento), we started to identify and define key issues and also to recruit regional champions who will get involved in “fixing” the economy. There will be a series of these regional forums around the state this month. The next one is scheduled for San Diego on March 9.
By the way, even though most Californians would tell you the economy could be much better, there is evidence that the recovery from the recession has begun, although certainly not as quickly as most of us would like. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation reported that the state is poised to add nearly half a million jobs over the next two years.
Some regions are improving faster than others which is understandable given that California’s economy is made up of distinct regions. What makes the economy recover in Fresno will be different from what makes the Los Angeles economy improve. That’s why the Regional Forums are addressing issues in those specific areas to help develop public policy that insures thriving regional economies which will result in a thriving state economy!
We urge you to get involved.
Sign up for email updates from CAeconomy and check out our Regional Forum page for an upcoming event near you.