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Another View: Positive moves toward economic growth in Placer County

By: By Jim Holmes, chair, Placer County Board of Supervisors
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Placer County is moving forward to expand its economic development efforts in cooperation with other agencies and business groups in the greater Sacramento region.

One sign of Placer County’s increased focus on economic development is its action in support of the Next Economy Regional Prosperity Plan, a broad-based campaign to stimulate job growth, investment and innovation in Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to endorse the plan Jan. 8.

Another sign is a decision by new County Executive Officer David Boesch to make economic development one of his top three initiatives being implementing with board support. The other two focus on employee engagement and priority-based budgeting.

I am pleased to report that David’s economic development initiative already is getting results. Recently, Placer County hired Paul Griffith to fill an important new position: business development manager.

Placer County has had an ambitious economic development program for many years, and its Office of Economic Development does an outstanding job. It works closely with incorporated communities and industry groups through the Placer County Economic Development Board.

I believe Paul’s experience and training will prove invaluable as the office expands its efforts to encourage local businesses to stay in Placer County, support those that want to expand their operations here and attract new businesses to our county.

Paul’s career in commercial real estate and business development spans more than 20 years. Most recently, he worked in San Jose as director of real estate for Orchard Supply Hardware. In that role, his duties included real estate strategic planning and site selection and lease negotiations for new stores in California and Oregon. Paul has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and real estate from Weber State University and holds a real estate broker’s license in California.

Having Paul on board will help Placer County implement Boesch’s economic development initiative.

I am convinced the timing could not be better. The local economy is regaining the momentum it lost during the recession years, and Placer County needs increased bandwidth to work with other agencies, chambers of commerce and trade organizations to help the economy pick up speed more quickly and be in a position for long-term, sustainable growth.

The county’s efforts will focus largely on such areas as the Sunset Industrial Area in West Placer, the Highway 49 corridor in the Auburn area and North Lake Tahoe.

The CEO’s initiative is a broad-based campaign that will remind employees how important it is to support local businesses, provide outstanding public service and show pride in how they represent Placer County.

The initiative also will allow Placer County to refine and strengthen a countywide economic development strategy known as the Economic Development Board Roadmap and align efforts with the Next Economy Regional Prosperity Plan.

Development of the regional plan was spearheaded by such organizations as the Sacramento Metro Chamber, the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance and Valley Vision. Many Placer County business leaders, educators, government officials and nonprofit organizations helped develop the plan.

The plans goals are:

· Fostering a strong environment for innovation

· Amplifying the region’s global market transactions

· Developing and maintaining a world-class talent base

· Improving the region’s business climate for economic growth

· Diversifying the regional economy through the growth of core business clusters

For more information, call county Director of Economic Development David C. Snyder at (530) 889-4016.