CA Economic Summit looks to resilient recovery

As the Central Coast girded for the impending renewed stay-at-home orders Friday, the REACH team spent the day in a regional strategy session as part of the 2020 California Economic Summit, shaping an action agenda for the year to come.

The session brought together economic development leaders from Monterey to Ventura to share resources and success stories and plan for regional action on issues including housing, workforce development, broadband access and beyond. 

The session will inform the statewide 2021 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, a shared action agenda that will launch in January. This year’s summit focused on resilient recovery and equitable economic revitalization, recognizing that economic growth in California has been unequal and that inequities have been magnified during the pandemic.

(We have a) unique opportunity to reimagine California’s economic renewal and redress the racial inequities that will ultimately help more Californians achieve prosperity. Now is the time to be deliberate about developing triple-bottom-line solutions that balance equity, the environment and the economy.
— CA Economic Summit playbook 

Read a recap of Day 1, covering updates on policy priorities including:

  • Increasing community investment
  • Expanding home ownership
  • Ensuring broadband for all
  • Strengthening education from cradle to career
  • Providing meaningful career pathways
  • Empowering resilient and productive landscapes
  • Investing in small businesses owned by people of color

SLO Partners recognized

The summit also recognized the impactful work of SLO Partners apprenticeship program with a Partnerships for Industry and Education award. Read about SLO Partners’ work and the award here.



New tool tracks equity measures

The new California Dream Index, debuted at the summit, measures 10 key indicators of economic mobility, security and inclusion across the state, region and counties, tracking progress toward a more equitable California where all can prosper.

So how are we doing?

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties are both just ahead of the state overall, with scores of 65 and 62, respectively, to the state’s 60. The two counties earn high marks for clean air and water, broadband and prosperous neighborhoods but rank much lower in home ownership and affordable rents. The data can be filtered for income, race/ethnicity and educational attainment, meaning there’s lots of ways to use the index to drive action and hold policy-makers accountable.

We resemble those recommendations

Not long before the summit convened, the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery issued its final report.

We were encouraged that several of the recommendations from 100 of the state’s top business leaders, including Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, are already core parts of REACH’s work on the Central Coast:

  • Preserve California’s competitive edge
  • Expand efforts to create quality jobs for all Californians
  • Focus on sectors that correlate to California’s strengths
  • Pursue inclusive regional strategies that leverage each region’s assets and mix of industries

These recommendations are a strong endorsement that REACH is focusing on the right efforts to rebuild a more equitable, sustainable and resilient economy.


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