Kern Econ Summit slated 3/28March 1, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, email@example.com
A report showing Kern County's economy continues to grow as it continues to diversify highlights the seventh annual Kern County Economic Summit.
The summit, scheduled Wednesday, March 28, beginning at 7 a.m. in the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield, is jointly presented by California State University, Bakersfield, the Kern Economic Development Corp., and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.
Abbas Grammy, an economics professor at CSUB and publisher of the Kern Economic Journal, will inform summit attendees that the county's transformation from a resource-based economy to an industrial and service-oriented economy will continue to push the county's unemployment rate down. Grammy expects to see the county's jobless rate to fall from 7.6 percent in 2006 to 7.4 percent in 2007, and that the regional economy is strong enough to create sufficient jobs for the growing population.
Grammy's presentation sets the stage for other summit speakers whose presentations will underscore his remarks. Speakers are:
- Greg Bynum, president and CEO of Gregory D. Bynum & Associates, who will provide an overview of local commercial and industrial real estate activity during the past year.
- Carla Gazzolo, senior vice president and regional manager of Colliers International, who oversees five corporate offices in northern Los Angeles County, who will discuss the implications of the explosive growth in Southern California and what it means to Kern County.
- David Berri, professor of economics at CSUB, who will evaluate the impact of sports and sporting events in Kern County, along with proposed activities such as the addition of NASCAR races at a new track being built near Interstate 5 west of Bakersfield, and CSUB's move to NCAA Division I.
- Rob Clark, director of operations for ERISS Corp., who will present the results of ERISS Corp.'s 2006 labor market survey and what it reveals about Kern County.
- Susan Scaffidi, assistant director for corporate and community services at Bakersfield College; and John Franckhauser, people development manager for Leprino Foods, who will discuss how BC and Leprino have worked together to create a customized screening program which solves some of Leprino's hiring and workforce challenges.
Keynote speaker is John Husing, president of Economics and Politics, Inc., who will forecast what's in store for Kern County's economy in the coming year and how it will be affected by growth in the Los Angeles basin. Husing, who earned a doctorate in economics from Claremont Graduate University, has spent decades studying the economies of Southern California's cities and counties. The Los Angeles Times listed him in 2006 as one of the 100 most powerful people shaping life in the West.
The purpose of the summit is twofold, Kern EDC President Richard Chapman said. "We want to provide a way to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of our local economy within the context of larger economies, and to discuss the ways we can bring about and sustain economic prosperity to our region, which continues to experience rapid population growth."
Grammy echoed Chapman. "The summit will provide an opportunity to learn how key economic sectors help Kern County create jobs and achieve prosperity. Also, the summit presents perspectives on the strategies of economic development that will benefit the community."
The summit begins at 7 a.m. with registration and a full breakfast, followed at 7:30 a.m. by welcoming remarks from summit master of ceremonies Barry Zoeller, vice president of corporate communications, Tejon Ranch Co. The summit will conclude by noon.
Anyone interested in Kern County's economic development is invited to attend, both Chapman and Grammy said. Registration is $50 in advance, or $75 at the door, and includes breakfast and a midday snack. Mail checks payable to Kern Economic Summit, attached to a registration form, to Kern EDC, 2700 M St., Suite 200, Bakersfield 93301. Registration forms are also available at the Kern EDC website, www.kedc.com.
For more information, please call the Kern EDC, (661) 862-5150, or Grammy at (661) 654-2466.