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June 29, 2012 > Economic Summit 2012: contributing to jobs in Santa Clara County

Economic Summit 2012: contributing to jobs in Santa Clara County

By Dave Cortese

Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. This topic is played out everywhere I look. Every level of government is trying to create jobs. They are trying at the local level, the state level and even the federal level. But the results aren't there. I hear daily from constituents, neighbors and friends that they are in danger of losing their home and financial stability due to the loss of jobs. What can the County do? Is there any role the County can play to alleviate the hardship so many residents are facing?

To answer that question, I have planned an economic summit this August in partnership with Supervisor Mike Wasserman to allow local residents and businesses to provide real time solutions and ideas that the County can implement. Please join me in the Board Chambers at the County Government Center, 70 W Hedding Street, San Jose, at the following dates and times to offer your suggestions:

* Green Economy: Tuesday, August 7, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
* Healthcare: Friday, August 10, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
* Small Business: Monday, August 13, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Even if you are unable to attend I invite you to watch and listen on the Internet from the County's website at

Organized along three policy areas, I am bringing together some of the smartest folks in our County to have a discussion. The discussion will be centered on what is happening today and what can we influence for tomorrow. It will provide answers to the question of how we might foster new and existing industries to succeed and create jobs for our residents.

One of the areas that we will be focusing on is Agribusiness and Small Business. While most of the fields and orchards of the Valley of Heart's Delight have been built on, I'm sure many of you are aware of wineries and garlic production in South County. But do you know how important these and other agricultural operations are to the overall health of our County? If we could find ways to make it easier for them to expand they could hire more residents and increase the tax base.

Another area is in emerging energy generation. Right now all the emphasis is on solar. But what if, five years from now, there are other technologies unknown today. While we should continue to look at opportunities in the solar field, we shouldn't put all of our eggs in one basket. We should be examining other technologies so that we are primed to seize opportunities when they emerge. We should foster innovation where we can. Although this isn't strictly the work of the County we can be a regional leader in finding ways to standardize permitting processes around the region. There isn't any reason for every city to have different requirements.

The final area will be centered on healthcare and bio-technology. Just like the conversation about solar, the healthcare field should be monitored and evaluated for where they will be in five years. If we calibrate our efforts to hit that mark, we have the ability to foster businesses that will create jobs centered on long term careers and build for the future.

These are just a few of the ideas that we know that can improve the local economic climate. If you have other thoughts or ideas on ways that the County can improve its services to benefit local businesses, please join me and the Board of Supervisors at this economic summit. For more information, visit

If you have any questions or comments related to these economic summits or any other topic, please contact me at 408-299-5030 or

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