Solano leaders discuss how to move Solano forward economically

Solano leaders discuss how to move Solano forward economically

Kimberly K. Fu — The Reporter Audrey Taylor with Chabin Concepts was one of three economic specialists who spoke to Solano EDC members about key economic factors that can help the county move forward.

A new year, another opportunity to help Solano move forward economically.

Such was the discussion Thursday at the 33rd annual meeting of the Solano Economic Development
Corporation, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield.

Myriad community leaders and three economic specialists threw out ideas and potential best practices, all in the aim of promoting #TeamSolano.

“We can move Solano forward if we work collectively,” advised Sandy Person, Solano EDC

Supervisor Erin Hannigan agreed, saying the need is definitely there.

“We are creating the work force of the future,” she explained, adding that Solano must create jobs for them and help employers find ways to not only remain in the county but also to grow.

Robert Eyler, president of Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc. and an economics professor at Sonoma State University, said 2015 was a robust year for Solano, boasting 4,300 new jobs, the most since 2005.

That said, Solano must be aware of what’s going on in the world around us in order to be better prepared for what’s coming, he said, as the state of other economies will impact ours.

He suggested a one-stop monitoring system that will provide dynamic, relevant, up-to-the-minute information that will keep Solano relevant in the marketplace.

Don Schjeldahl with DSG Advisors, emphasized that the world is more complex than ever and that to compete, business leaders must be able to compete with rapidly changing markets and technology.

They must be more flexible and adaptable, he continued, think global and act local.
Millennials will soon make up the work force and they have a different work ethic and view of quality of life issues than traditional workers, he said, which employers must keep in mind.

Audrey Taylor, president of Chabin Concepts, shared six keys to a better economy:
• Being ready for businesses to show up — work at the speed of business, not the other way around.
• Understand industry clusters, the economic drivers of the future.
• Develop talent.
• Know the disruptive changes, like regulations, that will impact businesses.
• Know place development. Location is key.
• Have a shared value vision with local communities and get involved. Maximize shared assets and benefits.

Collaboration and strategy, the economists said, can move Solano in the right direction.