The economic and social progress of the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) was discussed recently at the University of the Pacific’s Center for Business and Policy Research (CBPR) fifth annual the State of the North San Joaquin Valley Conference in Stockton. In addition to the NSJV Index, an annual review of the socio-economic well-being of the region, the conference focus was on transforming skills ecosystems.  Linda Bidrossian, senior vice president of the Bay Area Council and head of the Council’s Workforce of the Future policy initiative, participated in the expert panel on workforce skills.

“The index highlights the emerging and developing economic issues, as well as the economic and demographic outlooks for a three-county region that needs more recognition as a unique and important place in California,” said Jeffrey Michael, CBPR’s executive director. “The index and the conference are tools for building regional identity and for sparking collaboration on economic development to enhance the quality of life in the region and across northern California.”

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs’ delivered a keynote address discussing the need to transform employment opportunities in Stockton and the city’s Workforce Development Action Plan.

“It is important that we focus and prepare for the changing trends in our economic future,” Tubbs said. “We must situate Stockton and our greater region to build upon local advantages such as our port, our proximity to the Bay Area and our easy access to major transportation routes, all while providing our community with tools needed to fulfill the high-skilled jobs of tomorrow.”

“This three-county region faces a multitude of challenges as well as opportunities to transform its skills ecosystem and make sure there are more skilled workers,” said Thomas Pogue, CBPR’s associated director, who moderated the expert panel. That, in addition to the Bay Area Council’s Bidrossian, included Robert Tibbs, founder and CEO of ConSol-USA; and Ann Rogan, FUSE executive fellow in the mayor’s office.

JP Morgan Chase and Co., Pacific Gas and Electric and San Joaquin Council of Governments co-sponsored the event.