November 25, 2019 by John Guenther
2019 Summit video recap: Capturing the energy of the largest Summit so far
In our latest video, we're letting partners and attendees of the 2019 California Economic Summit in Fresno give a recap of the largest gathering in the Summit's history, which continued the work on initiatives aimed at renewing the California Dream.
Gavin Newsom, who has been integral to the California Economic Summit since it began eight years ago, provided the keynote speech, this time as Governor, and gave an overview of the importance of the Summit's regional economic focus and the leaders who gathered this year in the Central Valley.
"I'm here to just to say 'Thank you.' I'm here to compliment you," said Newsom. "You guys are the doers, not just the dreamers. This is a remarkable and talented group of folks."
Before the Summit turned its spotlight this year on Fresno and the Central Valley, the Governor's Regions Rise Together initiative held several joint strategy sessions to gather input from local leaders to understand the challenges that face the regions as well as assets that could be put to use for future economic growth.
"The state's vision on economic development will never be realized from Sacramento down," said Newsom. "It's realized at the local level. That's the spirit of regions rising together. We're not one economy. We are a cross section of literally a dozen-plus economies in the state of California."
In addition to providing working sessions for solving some of the state's more pressing issues, the Summit also served as a stage for big announcements in higher education, workforce development and forest resiliency, aimed at bolstering economic growth, specifically in inland regions.
The Summit coming to Fresno was a catalyst to the region, said Ashley Swearengin, president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and Summit Steering Committee co-chair, "giving us a reason to do important work that we need to do anyway."
Regional organizations announced at the Summit the DRIVE Community Investment Plan, which aims to attract $4.2 billion of investments over 10 years to the Central Valley, funds to support expanding higher education, small business, and affordable housing in the area.
Coming in January, the 2020 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity will sharpen the good ideas and strategies California leaders brought to the 2019 Summit in Fresno and will be the framework for the policy work and legislative proposals in the coming year.
And on December 3 and 4 next year, the California Economic Summit is set to come to Monterey for the first time and will mark the ninth annual statewide gathering of the Summit network.