Strategic Framework for Region’s Inclusive Economic Recovery and Growth Released
The path forward is based around making key sector job opportunities accessible to all
May 28, 2020: A newly launched strategic framework for the recovery and growth of the Sacramento regional economy lays out a pathway that prioritizes our core economic initiatives resulting in a more aligned, prosperous and resilient Sacramento Region.
“Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy” is the
result of two years of work by the Greater
Council, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of
Commerce, SACOG, and Valley Vision.
It reflects the follow-up
work to the Brookings
Institution report in
2018 that painted an economic picture of a region
that was not growing compared to other
mid-market regions and presented many indicators that
those most in need were falling behind.
As the Prosperity Strategy was being finalized, the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting our culture, economies, and populations more than anything in living memory – in our region and across the state, our nation, and globe. In this context, it became evident that all the work that had gone into the Prosperity Strategy over the past two years — including hundreds of interviews, meetings across the six counties, research by staff and Brookings Institution — has led to a plan that can be our framework towards economic restart and recovery at a time when it is needed most.
The Prosperity Strategy is subtitled “A bridge to action for inclusive economic recovery and growth” and as GSEC CEO Barry Broome has said, true inclusion for all people and communities is a “survival objective … you can’t have a third of people not participating in the economy and then expect your community to be sustainable.”
Inclusion is baked into the six core strategies of the plan, which are:
- Be the global leader for entrepreneurs, firms and workforce in Food, Agriculture and Health Innovation.
- Be the global leader for entrepreneurs, firms and workforce in Life Sciences.
- Be the global leader for entrepreneurs, firms and workforce in Future Mobility.
- Target infrastructure investment to support economic clusters and market drivers.
- Expand demand-driven, sector-based workforce development, aligned to key opportunity clusters and a more inclusive workforce, prepared for future work.
- Create an environment to be the most business-friendly region in which to operate in the state of California.
The first three strategies are based around the three tradeable clusters that Brookings had identified as key opportunities for the region and it is the high-wage jobs in those clusters that present the best opportunities for economic mobility. As Broome points out, each new job created at Aggie Square, the new life sciences hub under construction in Oak Park, is expected to generate five new jobs in the community, whereas it takes five government jobs to create one new job in the community.
The six core strategies work together. For example, SACOG Executive Director James Corless said that infrastructure and transportation investments must be aligned with the tradeable sectors strategies, which has not been the case in the region’s past. The best opportunities for economic mobility for disadvantaged communities will fail to fulfil their promise unless those communities have efficient transportation options to access those jobs. Being strategic and targeted in where we invest transportation and infrastructure funds is even more essential as the Covid-19 recession will cut those already limited budgets.
The Covid-19 crisis has already spurred innovation is another of the key tradeable clusters, Food, Agriculture, and Health Innovation, said Trish Kelly, Managing Director at Valley Vision, and has underscored the importance of robust local supply chains.
Of course, as Metro Chamber CEO Amanda Blackwood said, we can have the greatest plan in the world but if we can’t fund it and stand it up, then we won’t create the environment for the key clusters to be the key economic drivers we need them to be to ensure inclusive growth. That means that as we transition out of the Covid-19 crisis, we need to position our high-growth clusters and make sure they have the access to the capital and business-friendly tools and policies they need to be successful.