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Another View: Economic development is a team sport

New Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council CEO Barry Broome speaks at the annual Sacramento State economic forecast.
New Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council CEO Barry Broome speaks at the annual Sacramento State economic forecast. Sacramento Bee

Associate Editor Foon Rhee had it right when he said expectations are high for the new chief executive of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, Barry Broome, (“Gunslinger aims for big job gains,” June 9.) They must be.

Recruiting companies, retaining and growing businesses, and marketing our region are the most critical responsibilities this region can place on any individual, or group.

But as the adage goes, economic development is a team sport. Influencing our region’s $100 billion economy requires cooperation between cities and counties, among our educational institutions and workforce development agencies, chambers of commerce and business associations, and community groups dedicated to making this a great place to live and work. Growing jobs is inherently a joint venture.

As representatives for the region’s premier business advocacy organization and top social enterprise focused on making our communities the most livable in the country, we need Greater Sacramento and all the CEOs who make up its leadership team to be a fabulous success. Nothing else will do.

We cannot achieve a high quality of life or support a rising business sector without good paying jobs, dependable growth, and a globally attuned business recruitment strategy. Our long-term prosperity rests on everyone doing their part effectively.

Broome is clear-headed, driven, and perhaps most importantly at this moment, capable of giving the leaders of this region a fresh and honest assessment of what we must do to transform our middle-weight regional economy into a top performer.

The Next Economy jobs strategy, built four years ago from the ground up by the region’s leadership and geared to grow our tradable sectors, is an excellent foundation. It must be freshened up and fully implemented.

Broome and the CEOs who recruited him face a significant challenge. How do we diversify our economic base instead of relying on just a few sectors that put us on a weak footing before the crash in 2008? How do we advance the conditions that lead to good-paying jobs and career advancement for many, instead of a few? How do we tell this region’s true story to the world?

These are just a few of the essential questions that we must answer, and soon. Greater Sacramento was formed to help our region answer them. We look forward to working with Barry and his team for the long-term success of the capital region.

Peter Tateishi is president of the Sacramento Metro Chamber. Bill Mueller is chief executive of Valley Vision.

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