The 7th Annual Regional Economic Forum was last week. The event was organized by Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Each attendee received a copy of the “Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project 2018 Update” and I wanted to share some of what was published in that, as well as some tweetable-moments from the event.
The following key findings from the report reflect two critical components of livability: Silicon Valley housing and transportation. The two situations have continued to worsened, even though our area is an innovation leader.
Silicon Valley’s innovation industries continued to create jobs at a faster rate than any other U.S. innovation region, though the pace of growth slowed in the Valley and several other innovation hubs.
More people left Silicon Valley in 2016 than moved in.
The median home value in Silicon Valley grew faster than in other innovation regions, topping $1 million for the first time in 2017.
The gap between job and housing growth is large and widening.
Silicon Valley’s cost of doing business is among the highest in the nation, and its labor productivity is higher than in other innovation regions.
Silicon Valley experienced the largest growth rate in STEM degrees conferred per capita of any of the innovation regions.
Silicon Valley third, eighth, and eleventh graders continue to improve in English Language Arts and Mathematics proficiency, but ethnic disparities in test results suggest that inconsistent access a good education remains, leaving thousands of students ill-prepared for college or careers in STEM fields.
As a social media professional, I can’t help myself—I listen to conversations and pull out “tweetable-moments,” and here area few of the ones I got while I was at the event. These were all said by people on different panels, throughout the day:
From the Transportation and Sustainability panel…
*You know you’re making a difference in a community, when, not just the poor people can afford a car, but the rich people get on the bus, and we’re not there yet.
*Our future is electric.
*Maintain what’s special about the Bay Area.
*Thank goodness employers have stepped up with employees shuttles.
*We love new projects and cutting ribbons, but we need to maintain our current investments.
From the Housing panel…
*If one in ten home owners added an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit), we would have over 100k new homes in the Bay Area.
*We’re going to have to be persistent and get-it-done if we want people to afford to live, productive, happy lives in the Bay Area.
*We need a regional approach to housing. We plan for water, power, and transportation on a regional level. Why not housing?
*It’s time for California to look in the mirror and admit we have a housing crisis and it needs to be solved.
*Beverly Hills should not get a gold star for building 3 affordable houses in the last 8 years.
From the Education and Workforce panel…
*There are two parts to affordability (of housing for teachers), access to down payments, as well as access to housing supply.
*Keep in mind that the people in this room had someone help them be successful in college, and we need to be that person for a younger person today.
*Ask your employer if they offer internships and encourage them do so. Colleges are focused on teaching, but the business world is progressing very quickly and we need to be sure that students are being taught what is currently happening in local business community.
*Not everyone has the Bank of Mom and Dad to help with a down payment.
From the Income Inequality and Diversity panel...
*DACA is a moral issue, as well as a matter of resources. This issue is shaking our community to the core.
*We have to raise our children to stand up for themselves.
*We need more women to run for office and get elected.
*Encourage more women to step up and then support them when they do.
*I want to make a company (Insikt) that my daughters would want to work for when they grow up.
*An impacted group of people being discriminated against is a civil rights issue. The current housing shortage is a civil right movement.
That’s the end of my tweets.
Despite the fact that there’s housing crisis in the Bay Area, traffic is ridiculous, and the cost of doing business is among the highest in the nation, I’m grateful to live here for so many reasons and I wouldn’t want to leave, even if someone tried to pay me to do so. This is home. Thank you Silicon Valley Leadership Group for organizing the event and reminding us that so much is at stake, as this area remains a major contributor to US innovation and prosperity. The effects of innovation ripple across the global economy, providing communities worldwide with technologies and products that enable success. When Silicon Valley wins, the whole is prosperous.