Learning from Our Neighbors on Regional Economic Strategy

You might think that a region as globally powerful as the Bay Area would have a coordinated and deliberate strategy for growing our economy and creating jobs. But with more than 100 cities, numerous business and community organizations and dozens of public agencies spread across a diverse geography, getting everyone on the same page can be challenging. The Bay Area might learn from a coalition of business and economic development groups from six counties – Sacramento, Solano, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer and Yuba – that have come together to create just such a strategy: Next Economy, Capitol Region Prosperity Plan. Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman on Jan. 28 spoke to members of the group about the challenges here in creating a regional economic strategy and applauded their work in coming together. Wunderman also discussed a Bay Area Council Economic Institute study released last year – The Bay Area: A Regional Economic Assessment – that found the Bay Area operates economically as a single entity, but that our approach to regulation, planning and strategy is focused more on its individual components. The study recommended greater harmony in how regulations and planning are applied and suggested that a regional strategy similar to the Prosperity Plan would help maximize our competitiveness globally. Working with regional partners and leaders like Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, the Bay Area Council is continuing the discussion of how to assemble such regional strategy. To engage in our regional economic work, contact Catherine Lyons.

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