First Forum for Furthering Economic Opportunities

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ridley-Thomas convened a first-ever gathering of 171 leading economic development officials, policy makers, practitioners, and business organizations within the Second Supervisorial District. The event hosted at California State University, Dominguez Hills was initiated to discuss economic development priorities, address challenges, identify solutions, and encourage greater intra-regional collaboration by bringing together academic, business, community, and governmental leaders across a diverse district of eight cities and nearly two million residents.

“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas during his keynote address. “Today, we are looking to you to bring forward innovative and creative solutions to the challenges we face creating sustainable, well-paying jobs.”

Fostering economic prosperity has been a long standing priority for the Second District.   Evidence of the County’s commitment includes the County’s new small business assistance programs, a commitment to local hire, and facilitating transit oriented development.  Additionally, the neighboring cities of Compton and Inglewood were recently selected as finalists in the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation’s annual competition for Most Business-Friendly City.

In addition to the keynote, the forum featured an address from Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price, an overview of the regional economy by the Economics Institute of CSUDH, an informative panel discussion on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship and a presentation on the thriving sports economy that is taking hold across the Second District by SVP of the Los Angeles Football Club, Mr. Benny Tran.

A recent report by LA Biocom demonstrated the important role of bioscience in boosting the local economy, generating more than $40.3 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 69,000 direct jobs and 162,000 indirect jobs.

“Many may see bioscience as a ‘lab coat’ industry, but in reality it provides job opportunities at all levels,” the Chairman said.

The forum also addressed the important role of health services, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and expanding sports and entertainment in strengthening the economy.

“Think outside the box and be bold in bringing forward ideas that will help our collective efforts to bring hope and opportunity to all in Los Angeles County,” the Chairman said.

A critical component of the economic forum were four working sessions focused on specific topics, including Access to Capital; Education, Training & Workforce Development; Housing; and Technology Infrastructure.  The Supervisor looks forward to receiving the recommendations from each group and working with all interested parties to implement plans that can strengthen the district’s regional economy.