New Valley 106
Help Wanted

How do you monitor the economic health of a state as large and diverse as California and do justice to all regions involved? According to the Public Policy Institute of California, you can't. "A software firm in Palo Alto has little in common with an agribusiness in Fresno or an apparel manufacturer in L.A.," states an institute report.

The economy of the Central Valley is growing by leaps and bounds - a twenty percent growth spurt over the last decade. That growth has forced the shaping of a new economy for the Valley -- an economy dependent on global markets and "technology" intensive. An economy demanding a new set of skills from our varied workforce. Not just a reworked "ag" economy; the Valley's new economy is networked and linked. Our diverse workforce is learning new ways of doing business. Small valley towns and large metropolitan centers are creating competitive markets where all sorts of products and services are exchanged; where entrepreneurs are bringing new blood to markets outpaced by the burden of unexpected growth.

The Great Valley Center targets three qualities required to maintain the success of our new economy: Diversity, Distinctiveness, and Quality. Diversity in industries that drive a region to success. Distinctiveness that gives a region specialization, providing a unique position in a global economy. And the Quality of an economy that is expressed through a high living standard for the population.

As that population grows, we can see different economic patterns taking shape; patterns that fit new profiles of industrial and demographic change. A promising trend up and down the Valley is the development of "cluster" industries; companies serving the needs of each other and forming pockets of economic stability. And in an irony that can't be ignored, attention is being focused on bringing the Highway 99 corridor into the new millennium. Some analysts believe that cleaning up the aging highway will foster new interest from entrepreneurs and businesses looking at the San Joaquin Valley as a possible location for development.

But if our economic blueprint is so dynamic, how do we explain a widening gap between the "haves" and "have-nots"? According to the Public Policy Institute, the chasm between rich and poor is growing. Is that Valley sun rising or setting on our new economy? This is the New Valley: Help Wanted!

Plus...don't miss our special

New Valley Town Hall
on the Economy and Employment


John Melville
Director, Collaborative Economics

Ashley Swerengin
Director, Central Valley Futures Institute


Produced by Jerry Blair

Family Values
Produced by Jerry Blair, Jennifer Fischer,
J. Greenberg, and Pat McConahay


The complete text of New Valley Episode 106 -- Help Wanted...


Presentation also made possible by a grant from
the Great Valley Center


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