California lawmakers put aside party labels this week to engage in an informed conversation with representatives from the tech and manufacturing industries on the need for a comprehensive plan for economic development in California during a panel discussion at the Independent Voter Project Conference.
The panel on economic development was one of a series of 5 panels at the IVP Conference focusing on major issues facing California. The purpose of the panels was to have a substantive conversation about real issues, beyond the larger public dialogue that often reduces serious issues to superficial talking points.
For Full Coverage on the IVP Conference Click Here
One major economic concern for California is the increasing cost of operations, including the cost of energy, said a representative from the manufacturing industry in California.
The cost of energy in California is 50% higher than the average for the United States. This problem is exasperated by the closure of San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California. Workplace costs have resulted in billions of dollars of debt owed by employers, not the state. California’s workers’ compensation system has drastically changed since the passage of Senate Bill 863.When companies look at locating in California, they look at all these factors: cost of operations, cost of energy, workplace costs, and regulations. Due to the unpredictability of the future costs in California, companies have been shying away from developing in the state.
For tech companies, the accessibility to talent is the biggest factor in deciding where to locate, with more tech jobs than there are qualified employees, a representative from a major tech industry stated.
This prompted a more in-depth discussion of how to expose students to computer science at a young age. Only 15 states in the United States recognize computer science as math and science in school curriculum. In those 15 states, the number of students in those computer science classrooms increased an average of 53 percent.
A huge issue for the tech industry is working to increase the prevalence of computer science in classrooms around the state of California. Living in a knowledge based economy, the knowledge and level of talent is not where it needs to be for economic development in California.
That’s why tech companies across the state are getting involved in the immigration reform debate, a representative from the tech industry said.
“It’s our preference to get the talent domestically, but when we have such a shortfall of talent we need to get that talent somewhere,” the representative explained.
Of the top 10 jobs with the most growth in California, 6 are based in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Education. We need to start exposing students to computer sciences at the K-12 level and expose them to this curriculum early, a tech industry representative argued.
Legislators intercepted the conversations, discussing the obstacles they face in trying to pass legislation on economic development.
What’s best for one district may not be what’s best for the state as a whole, challenging lawmakers to try to both accurately represent his or her constituents while advancing economic development for the whole state.
The media today, however, ignores the competing interests lawmakers must take into account in their decision-making process. It’s these types of balancing acts that guide the decision-making process, and these types of rational value judgements that don’t make headlines.
California needs to get serious about job creation, panelist and legislators all concluded. This means setting partisan differences aside and working together for the future of California. Candid discussions like this, informed by industry experts, are a step in the right direction.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
Clayton... I agree with you. Our children's education started a down swing the moment we cut our Creative Arts programs. Children who could normally afford these kinds of classes are suffering with rest in terms of music and art. Since then, history in America, and why we are who we are, has totally gone by the wayside. I believe that the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat themselves, when we don't know our history. WWII and WWII and our contribution to slavery should be included in the basics of history, and how they affect the US today. I think that the future of our children and grandchildren lies with the history before us and our current history today.
What we need in CA is a business and family friendly political environment not this failed welfare state we currently have.
It should be offered, and the decision be up to parents. That way, survival of the fittest, remains.
Well we need those STEM classes to make progress in those areas but if we allow thise classes to take priority over the creative arts then we are allowing one side of the brain to cut off circularion to the other side, consequently creating independent thought atrophy. If we dont make a stand for balanced education we will continue to spiral down to chaos and oblivion. What we need to do is force our public school s to teach the difference between an American Citizen and a UNITED STATES citizen in grades 8-12 and the concept and responsibilities of being and acting like the sovereign men and women we have the ability to be. Ignorance of these principles and concepts have led to the monitization of human lives that are being devoured by our corrupt legal system and the prison industrial complex that it feedss. These concepts (Americans are sovereign) and principles have taken a back seat to programming our brothers and sisters to accept being reduced to a cog in the wheel of the capitalist hierarchy our current system has created.
Illegals have destroyed Cali. Same with massive third world immigration, causing white flight and now whites are the minority. California has no future
unless you speak very good Spanish getting a job in California tough. Even nurses are having a tough time.@
Yes and No. STEM is needed and should be encouraged BUT not every kid is going into related fields. Couldn't hurt most of them to be exposed to it.
You idiots. Prayer isn't banned in school. Students form youth groups, and some morning announcements include a moment of silence so one who claims any religious denomination can pray (or not). God isn't "allowed" because not every kid believes in god.
Is prayer allowed in your school? It's banned in some and some schools do want to chip the kids. Glad you're not in one of those schools.
Uh...what? I am an American high school student, and I can assure you that no one is denying any student freedom of religion or putting tracking chips in our bodies. 1 does suck though...wait you also don't think people should be knowledgeable about world religions? Really?
Yes, but our educational system is having a hard time just teaching kids to read and write. They are too busy controlling how kids dress, killing their freedom of religion, teaching them about Muslims and putting tracking chips in their bodies.
Yes. Currently in our middle school, science is not considered a "core" subject. Only math and language arts are core, while science and social studies are swapped every couple weeks.
No, they should not prioritize a child/students education based off of job growth because what happens to the other classes? This question sickens me, as a 2nd year college student who sees the arts, history, music and humanities budgets continue to dwindle down.. It's a serious problem. Let the STUDENTS decide what to make a priority; offer them all subjects equally. We want well-rounded individuals for a balanced society where more skilled and innovative workers can bring synthesis to different perspectives, am I right??
I think upcoming college students need to be made aware of growing industries and the demand for the type of skills they can learn in college. Often times, friends of the past went to college for the sake of going to college. It's troubling because the educational pursuit should be driven by fulfillment rather than desires for money.
Every student should learn the basis of computer science, and this should happen in Elementary school.
@Darwin It is about how we prioritize the program and allocate funds. There are likely fiscally sound alternatives to explore.
@Darwin There are a lot of programs working towards finding cheap solutions. Code.org is already working on getting computer sciences in schools http://code.org/