2015 California Economic Summit Sets Boldest Goals Yet To Ensure The State's Prosperity In The Next 10 Years

State convening focuses on the most pressing challenges facing California: Infrastructure, Housing and Water

Nov 13, 2015, 17:32 ET from California Forward

ONTARIO, Calif., Nov. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Private, public and civic leaders from diverse regions across California, joined by an impressive line-up of state government officials, gathered for the two-day 2015 California Economic Summit held in Ontario on November 12-13. The Summit, a unique year-round effort developed by California Forward and the California Stewardship Network, is founded on the belief that a comprehensive, regional-based approach is required to advance the state's triple bottom line: promoting a prosperous economy, improving environmental equality, and increasing opportunity for all. 

"Hundreds of public, private and civic leaders have worked tirelessly in the last year to find ways to improve our ability to create the right kind of jobs in California," said James Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward. "This week we sharpened our strategies of how to create more jobs and more opportunity in more sustainable communities."

Summit participants developed actionable plans on how California can address its infrastructure, housing, and workforce needs over the next 10 years, in order to produce:

  • One million more skilled workers
  • One million more homes
  • One million more acre-feet of water each year

Dubbed the Summit's "One Million Challenges," these ambitious goals speak to the widening workforce skills gap, rising housing prices, and dwindling water supplies that threaten the prosperity of the state.

"California's robust economic growth since the recession has not been spread equitably across all regions and communities. There are two Californias—one that does well—mostly around the coastal areas and another that lags, notably in the inland part of the state," said Paul Granillo who is president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and co-chair of the Summit Steering Committee. "What we achieved at the Summit this week can help narrow that gap."

In advance of the annual convening, leadership released the Summit Playbook to provide additional information on the "One Million Challenges" and outline initial action plans that served to propel the regional collaboration that is at the heart of the Summit.

The Summit is comprised of seven action teams: advancing manufacturing, capital, housing, infrastructure, regulations, workforce, and working landscapes.  During the convening, these action teams, involving hundreds of Californians, laid the foundation for the work being done in the next year. Before the event concluded, action team members signed a commitment to work through the Summit for a shared prosperity in California.

The 2015 Summit developed a number of goals to train more workers, build more homes and save more water. Among them are:

  • To support state policies that will orient community colleges to prepare Californians for quality jobs and support regional coordination among colleges and employers.
  • To work with the California legislature in 2016 to promote increased production and find ways to reduce costs for both market-rate and affordable housing.
  • To use Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, which have long been advanced by the Summit, to fund regional water management that will conserve, capture, and reuse water. 

"Entering its fourth year, the California Economic Summit has achieved a proven track record of effecting real change and influencing policy," said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Superintendent-President of Long Beach City College and co-chair of the California Economic Summit Steering Committee. "The achievements thus far are a clear indication of the power in implementing a regional approach to solving some of the state's toughest economic challenges."    

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership served as the Summit's regional hosts. The inaugural Summit was held in Santa Clara in 2012, followed by Los Angeles in 2013, and Sacramento in 2014. 

On Thursday, November 12, the California State Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, lead by committee chair Assembly member Eduardo Garcia and Assembly member Cheryl Brown, held a hearing on the state's role in building an inclusive economy.

Participating in the 2015 California Economic Summit were Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, state Controller Betty Yee, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, UC President Janet Napolitano, and CSU Chancellor Timothy White, among others. 

California Forward (CA Fwd) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, devoted to improving the performance of government in California. It believes that increased emphasis on accountability and transparency will create government that Californians deserve and expect. CA Fwd strongly advocates for confidence and trust in elected officials as being an essential ingredient to good government. 

The California Stewardship Network was created in 2008, when a group of diverse regions across California came together to establish an alliance of regional partnerships to tackle the state's most pressing economic, environmental and community challenges.

Contact: Ed Coghlan

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151113/287333


SOURCE California Forward