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Economic Forum To Provide Insights

Published: April 3, 2017

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The city of Long Beach.

CSULB’s Regional Economic Forum returns to Long Beach on Friday, April 14, featuring area experts analyzing the Long Beach business environment and state of the economy. The event will be held in the Seaside Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and will run from 7:30-10:30 a.m.

The annual spring forum serves as a venue for experts to provide insight and analysis on regional, state and national economic trends and challenges. The audience, comprised of local business and government leaders as well as concerned citizens, will also hear about business opportunities and investment in the city of Long Beach.

“There’s a lot of information out there and generally people don’t take the time to put it all together and see the connections,” said CSULB Department of Economics’ professor Wade Martin, who also serves as the campus’ Director of the Office of Economic Research. “This forum allows individuals to hear directly from developers of projects as to exactly what is going on. Plus, individuals attending will hear about what sectors are doing well, which ones aren’t and what are some of the near-term projections as to where the economy is headed or scenarios that could affect a shift in the presumed direction. We’ll discuss some of the data and some of the challenges.”

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and CSULB President Jane Close Conoley will provide welcoming remarks.

With a focus on private sector investment, scheduled speakers for the event include Jennifer Didlo, a graduate of the California State University system and President/Plant Manager at AES Energy, Inc. She will discuss the planned update of the power plant facility located along Studebaker Road in Long Beach and the new battery storage unit to be built on the site. Cliff Ratkovich of Ratkovich Properties will discuss his company’s major investment in a redevelopment project in downtown Long Beach that will create additional facilities, including much-needed student and faculty housing opportunities, space for CSULB programing and commercial space.

“These two projects represent a multi-million dollar investment in the city,” said Martin, “and that’s good for our economic future.”

In addition, Dr. Christopher Thornberg, a founding partner of Beacon Economics and one of California’s most widely renowned economists, will present an analysis of the state and national economy. Martin will provide regional analysis.

“I think events like this really help people realize just how engaged our university is throughout the community,” said Martin. “It’s in our best interest that there is a healthy community out there which understands the economic opportunities, how the economy is evolving and what type of activities are taking place in the city. It’s our hope that our analysis is helping make the overall community better.”

The forum is presented by the CSULB Department of Economics, Office of Economic Research and Beacon Economics, with current sponsors being the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Women’s Hospital.

Individual tickets for the event are $45, with various levels of sponsorship also available. For additional information, visit the Regional Economic Forum website.