California Redevelopment Agencies Are a Thing of the Past but Opportunities Still Abound

Experts Spur California Economic Developers to Embrace Opportunities in Tough Times

Mar 23, 2012, 11:39 ET from California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- What's next for economic development in California? That question and others were tackled at California's largest economic development conference presented by the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). The dissolution of hundreds of redevelopment agencies has forced California economic developers to redefine their roles and employ new tools and CALED's event served as a forum to spur economic developers to embrace opportunity.

Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios spoke about federal efforts to bolster the economy and how important it is for all parties to work together to ride this wave of change. She noted, "Innovative collaborations involving the private and nonprofit sectors are models for working together to build the small business sector, which is key to economic recovery." 

California Assembly Speaker John Perez and Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez were recognized for the important roles they played in economic development this past year. Specifically, Assembly Speaker John Perez worked to codify the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development through Assembly Bill 29 and Assemblyman Manuel Perez continued his efforts to promote economic development as chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy.

Dr. Timothy Stearns, Executive Director, California State University, Fresno, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, emphasized promoting entrepreneurship as a way to grow a thriving business community and identified ways to nurture entrepreneurs within every community.

President and CEO Jeff Finkle of the Washington D.C.-based International Economic Development Council returned to the CALED Conference to speak on "Trends in Economic Development Organizations." According to Finkle, "CALED is the California leader in helping communities grow economically and rebuild from this recession."

Economic developers were provided information and resources on such topics as attracting and retaining businesses in California, the importance of infrastructure, jumpstarting economic development programs, making the most of innovative funding, optimizing social media tools, working with local utilities, customer service training and more.

"Economic development is not dead!" stated Wayne Schell, CALED's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Change creates the opportunity to shift our thinking in a positive direction, and that's why we're here today. Through the efforts of industry experts, paired with CALED's unfailing support of economic development in California, economic developers continue to identify and implement workable solutions that essentially bring back the luster to our golden state."  

CALED is a statewide, professional economic development organization dedicated to local economic development. Its more than 900 members represent cities, counties, state and federal agencies, economic development corporations and the private sector. These include developers, economic development directors, city managers, realtors, finance consultants, marketing experts, redevelopment professionals, utility representatives, bankers and many others.


SOURCE California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED)