Over 200 Business, Labor, Education & Government Leaders joined Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom at Wyse Technology to unveil his Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California, on Friday. The plan, which articulates a vision for success in building the Next Economy in California, was a result of studies of the California economy as well as his much-publicized trip to Texas.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin was quick to praise Newsom, saying his “‘Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda’ is right on the money.  It is precisely the economic development strategy our state needs.”

For over a decade, California has lacked a comprehensive economic and workforce development strategy, leading to a severe lack of focus and inefficiency in California’s ability to work with business. Shortly after being elected Lieutenant Governor, Newsom began work to develop a comprehensive economic and workforce strategy.

“This document, and the actions it calls for, outlines how we can retake control and drive forward again, moving California back into the lead on sustainable growth and real job creation-regaining our leadership role as America’s opportunity capital,” said Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. “It marks the beginning of a statewide conversation about how we can win again.”

The agenda is guided by a set of principles that must be agreed upon by stakeholders at all levels and does not seek to recreate the past and restore the jobs lost to global competition or to revive the debt-fueled follies of the past. It embraces a shift from a consumption-based economy to a production economy focused on global trade.

“This is a strategy to help ensure that traditional and high tech manufacturing remain a pillar of the California economy. The manufacturing sector is growing, and it our job to make sure that it grows in California,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein. “I applaud Lt. Governor Newsom for a thoughtful report that cogently outlines a way to return California to economic competitiveness and an engine of job creation.”

“This report demonstrates Lieutenant Governor Newsom’s commitment to deploy California’s competitive advantages to sustain and grow jobs through manufacturing and innovation in areas like clean energy and health care,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “By developing a more versatile, agile, and in-demand 21st century workforce that can take on the world, we can create and sustain jobs for California.”

The new agenda presented today focuses on eight pillars that are essential in delivering the Next Economy, including: 

  • Gearing up Exports: Next Economy success depends on global trade and production; every sector, cluster and region must embrace exports as a core focus of its economic strategies.
  • Reinvigorating Manufacturing: The manufacturing agenda is of enormous importance for California’s competitive position and future prospects. The state needs to design its strategy to bring about a renaissance in manufacturing on a scale commensurate with its importance.
  • Driving Innovation: California, and Silicon Valley, wrote the book on innovation. Everywhere, other states and nations are resolved to write the sequel, and they are investing heavily in the capacity to do it.
  • Accelerate the Clean Economy: California is recognized as a world leader in environmental advances and the development of clean technology, as high-tech firms in the state move rapidly to expand in areas from solar energy equipment to wind turbines and new types of batteries.
  • Skill up for Opportunities: Innovating more, making more, and exporting more will produce another crucial Next Economy attribute: broader opportunities for good-paying jobs at all levels.
  • Build Infrastructure: The need for adequate infrastructure undergirds every aspect of the Next Economy agenda.
  • Align with Regional Strengths: The global economy is increasingly driven by the competition between and collaboration among an international web of high performing, interconnected metropolitan areas and regions, each serving as the resource base for powerful clusters of enterprises.
  • Organize for Success: To revitalize California’s economic competitiveness, its leaders must streamline the clutter of agencies, commissions, offices, and entities engaged in economic development.

“The Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda proposed by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is bold and comprehensive,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino. “It includes input from 100 Silicon Valley executives and importantly specific targets and timetables for accountability. This plan will help California grow the innovation economy and jobs.”

The agenda’s overarching imperative for action is clear: to restore California’s economic competitiveness and regain momentum, California must redefine the state role in economic development. The new Economic Growth and Competitiveness plan includes powerful strategies centered on the pillars of the Next Economy described above.

“As the global leader in cloud client computing, Wyse is proud to call Silicon Valley our home and is committed to exporting the innovation developed at our San Jose headquarters to customers and partners around the globe,” said, Tarkan Maner, President & CEO, Wyse Technology. “The Next Economy will be driven by the continued explosion of innovation centers such as Silicon Valley, and Wyse is proud to play an ongoing role in helping California’s economy expand worldwide.”

The agenda makes initial recommendations designed to both open the conversation and take the first step. The recommendations identified in the report are specific measures that are low-cost, high-impact, and achievable actions that can set the course to success. 

To read the full report including its recommendations, visit: http://ltg.ca.gov/docs/LGN_Econ_Agenda.pdf