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California awarded prize for economic developmentPosted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on May 30, 2013
Today, California won the "Silver Shovel" award from Area Development Magazine for remarkable success in growing high-wage jobs in recent years. The Governor's Senior Advisor for Jobs and Business Development, Mike Rossi, and the Director of Governor Brown's Office of Business and Economic Development (Go Biz), Kish Rajan, deserve a lot of credit for beating the pavement and bringing lucrative investments to California.
We know economic development doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of work to make a region competitive so a company will invest large amounts of money to site a facility and hire employees. California can be a good place to do business with the right combination of policies and recruitment savvy from local and state government experts.
The projects that earned the "Silver Shovel" award were a $300 million Samsung research and development center planned in San Jose and an Amazon decision to build fulfillment centers in Patterson and San Bernardino. Together they represent an investment of about $250 million and the creation of nearly 1,100 jobs.
These are substantial projects that will employ both middle class and professional workers which will expand government tax revenues. We hope manufacturing will be included in the next round of firms choosing California. The state received only one percent of the country's manufacturing investments in 2012 -- 25 new or expanded facilities out of 3060 nationwide. Manufacturers are sensitive to high operating costs and regulatory burdens, so Rossi and Rajan will need more tools to attract these valuable companies. A statewide sales tax exemption for the purchase of manufacturing equipment would be a good start.
We congratulate Go Biz and hope that the state provides them more resources to bring home the critical manufacturing investments we need. Next year, maybe the "Golden shovel"!
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