In its 2001 rankings,
Forbes magazine placed the Sacramento region 11th out of the
top 200 metropolitan areas in their annual listing of "Best Places
To Do Business". Yuba City ranked 11th among 94 smaller communities
in the same category.
Is the Central Valley
undergoing a major "makeover?" Are traditional businesses
that launched California to the forefront of agricultural abundance
being overshadowed by a new "high tech" revolution? The names
of "Hewlett-Packard" and "Earthlink" are as noticeable
these days as "Monsanto" and "Del Monte". According
to the Sacramento Business Journal the number of hi-tech companies
in the Sacramento region jumped from 236 in 1996 to 714 in 2001.
Perhaps it was inevitable
that the technological revolution would eventually catch up to the Central
Valley. In the path of the population explosion the expansion into new
business and manufacturing opportunities seems a certainty.
A report from the
Great Valley Center titled "New Valley Connexions" states:
it fails to embrace the new economy values of speed, knowledge, and
innovation, the valley runs the risk of losing its' youth and core
industries to the new economy centers in California and the world."
From the U.S. Trade
and Commerce Agency came this:
technology will continue to be a driving force in California's economy."
And from the Fresno
is leveling old barriers to prosperity, geography, language, time
It's apparent that
horizons are changing in the Valley when it comes to who will be doing
business and what kind of business will be conducted in the Central
Valley of the future. These future prospects are being met with anticipation
and concern. Anticipation of a new era of growth and prosperity pinned
to the promise of innovative technologies, coupled with concerns that
the Central Valley's future will go the way of Silicon Valley where
swift, untamed growth led to overcrowding, traffic congestion, and bad
air and reached critical mass when its' economy overheated. Welcome
to the New Valley. Is there silicon in our future?