The Historic First California Economic Summit Concludes--For Now

Californians Will Be Able to Comment Online Before a Final Report Is Issued

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 500 Californians concluded the first ever California Economic Summit in Santa Clara on Friday by pledging to continue their work to champion initiatives in five policy areas that they believe will improve California's ability to create jobs and to compete in the global marketplace.

The Summit was a continuation of discussions that attracted thousands of Californians at fourteen Regional Economic Forums around the state this year. At these Forums, ideas on how to fix the state's economy and return California to prosperity were defined and discussed.

To symbolize their work, hundreds of attendees signed a document called A Commitment to California's Economic Prosperity, which pledges that they will continue to work together to implement and champion the initiatives. 

The five policy areas were preparing the state's workforce, investing in infrastructure, encouraging innovation, streamlining regulation and improving access to capital. Speakers who attended the Summit included Michael Rossi, Governor Brown's Senior Jobs Advisor, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman; but the real stars were the regional and civic business leaders from around the state who traveled to Santa Clara for the Summit.

With a state unemployment rate of 11%, workforce preparation was one of the main issues of the Summit. Lt. Governor Newsom pointed out there are 465,000 jobs available today in California. Attendees called for state leaders to act swiftly to align industry needs with education immediately, including developing incentives for better training of workers for 21st Century jobs.

Over 40 specific initiatives in the five policy areas were developed during the afternoon sessions. Those areas will continue to be defined in the coming weeks.

"This was an outstanding day for California. To watch people from every corner of this state bring their knowledge, expertise and passion to find solutions that can help revitalize the state's economic vitality was inspiring," said Dr. Laura Tyson, who was co-chair of the Summit Leadership Group. "This is how real economic progress can be made, with a bottoms up regional approach that gathers input from Californians who are on the front lines of their communities and whose recommendations can inform and educate policy makers and elected officials."

The Summit's work will resume online where participants will continue to work to create policy recommendations. In addition, all Californians will have an opportunity to comment online on the ideas developed at the Summit beginning on May 21. The comment period for everyone will end on June 15. A final report is projected to be issued before the end of June on http://www.caeconomy.org/.

It is expected that the California Economic Summit will become an annual event. California Forward and the California Stewardship Network were partners in holding the first Summit.

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The California Economic Summit (www.ca.economy.org) is an unprecedented effort to develop job creation and increase competitiveness in the state. The framework for the Summit is based upon recent reports developed by the Think Long Committee for California, the Brookings Institute/McKinsey Global Institute, the California Stewardship Network and California Forward. The Summit is hosted by California Forward, a bipartisan government reform effort engaging regional leaders to improve performance and democracy (www.cafwd.org) and the California Stewardship Network, an alliance of regional partnerships promoting California's economic vitality (www.castewardship.org).

Contact: Ed Coghlan
California Forward
(818) 489-4774

SOURCE California Economic Summit



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