Weekly Report – January 4, 2016 – A Jobs Blueprint

In 1776 Adam Smith proved the pessimists of the day wrong, and correctly stated that Britain was on the verge of an economic takeoff.

The rationale Smith offered in 1776 is especially interesting. He suggested that in a dynamic economy, the biggest (and thus most visible) industries are frequently in decline, and the newest, most vibrant ones aren’t yet visible.

This is why a country could have a very promising economic future yet still appear to be in decline.

Every day I hear about a new company in L.A. that I never knew existed, and every day I hear people lament about a larger company moving or laying off workers.

Does Adam Smith’s premise hold true for L.A. in 2016? I would like to think so, but first we must think differently to make it so.

According to the Brookings Institute, in today’s global economy, the more traditional tools of economic development are ill equipped to help create high quality jobs, get more young adults and other workers into those jobs, expand incomes, reduce inequality, and keep a region’s core industries competitive in the face of rising global competition and opportunity.

The demands of the modern economy requires concerted efforts to help firms, workers, and communities adapt effectively to new technologies and global competition.

This model focuses on enhancing existing market assets and capabilities to boost trade, increase the value of advanced industries, and create incomes and opportunities for workers, no matter where they live in the region.

The success of this new model within other cities has been less dependent upon the more traditional associations and more dependent upon the development of coalitions – from elected officials to employers, business groups, universities, community colleges, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit executives.

I look forward to working with all of you in 2016 and would like to present a draft economy development strategy for the L.A. Coalition to build upon our successes and continue to advance initiatives that will bring long-term prosperity for all Angelenos.

Broadening & Diversifying the Los Angeles Economy – A Jobs Blueprint 

The source of Los Angeles’ economic power is its people and their access to quality jobs that pay good wages. With four million residents now living in the City of Los Angeles and almost 19 million total in the greater metropolitan region, it is imperative that Los Angeles has ​a broad and diverse ​economic development ​strategy that encourages ​the growth of the region’s traditional industries, emerging sectors, small business and entrepreneurial​​ activities, ​while ​helping build strong career pathways through the K-12 educational and workforce development systems.


​I. World Class Transportation System: Facilitate​​ the Movement of People, Goods, Services and Information

  • Modernize ​port of L.A. & L​os Angeles International Airport​.
  • ​Invest in broadband ​infrastructure.
  • Invest in ​roads, ​highways, ​public & ​private ​r​ail.
  • Invest in water & ​electricity​ infrastructure.​

​II. ​World Class ​Economy: ​Position L.A. as a Competitive Location that Produces Prosperity for Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Citizens

  • Leverage ​government’s ​purchasing power and ​vacant and ​underutilized ​real ​e​state ​assets to​ encourage business growth.​
  • Highlight L.A. as a Leading Hub for Technology, Entertainment & Research Talent.
  • Promote​ L.A. as a ​t​op ​trade, ​tourism, ​conventions, ​cultural ​destination.
  • Develop​ ​a ​s​killed ​workforce for L.A.’s ​g​rowing ​industries: ​healthcare, ​technology & ​c​lean ​energy.

III. World Class City: Foster a High and Rising Quality of Life Standard

  • Encourage a clean, safe & secure city environment.
  • Invest in schools, healthcare & housing.
  • Promote culture, recreational and entertainment activities.
  • Develop more open space and parks.