This morning, I attended the 4th Annual North County Economic Summit, held at CSUSM by the North County Economic Development Corporation under the leadership of their new Chief Professional Officer, Mike Cully. The program was packed with statics and outlooks for our region. Overall, we are in good shape and the future looks promising.
One of the featured experts was Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist for Wells Fargo, responsible for tracking U.S. and regional economic trends. When it comes to understanding trends and forecasting growth, Mark is the man to listen to. Taken from an interview published in the North County Business Journal, here is what Mark has to say about our region:
"North County's climate and location are tremendous assets. The weather makes the region ideal for companies that conduct a great deal of their business outdoors and also helps attract the highly skilled, creative workers necessary to attract and grown new industries. The biggest challenges by far are the costs of living and constant battles with traffic congestion. Unfortunately, there in not a silver bullet that would solve these problems. Easing up on land use constraints and reducing entitlement costs on residential land development would help."
"To improve the economy and create more jobs, we need to encourage innovation and encourage businesses to look to local partners to collaborate with on promising ventures. We also need to make it easier to do business in North County. We have consistently strong job growth in some of the fastest-growing and best-paying industries, including life sciences, biotechnology, wireless communications,
wearable technologies and leisure. The region is also attracting more
venture capital and is consistently looked at as a great place to start a business."
"I am most optimistic that the federal government is now looking at how they can help businesses grow by rolling back burdensome regulations and standing up for them during international trade negotiations."
These insights are important as we consider the educational opportunities for our youth and the industry development for our city.