Twenty-four year-old Michael Pacelli of La Quinta is getting a first hand look at the business climate in the desert.
He’s working this summer for the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. He’s one of 30 paid college interns conducting a business visitation survey; a tool for CVEP and Riverside County to use as a gauge for the health of valley businesses.
He said what he’s seen so far isn’t so good.
“I’ve walked to about over 200 businesses and to local shopping plazas and to just see a lot of empty spaces is really an eye opener,” said Pacelli.
Nonetheless, with a goal of getting 2,800 businesses to participate in the survey that consists of 30 questions and takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete, CVEP believes the data gathered will help bring the local economy around.
“It’s about creating jobs,” said Traci Rees, Director of Special Projects for CVEP. “At CVEP our number one goal is retaining businesses and expanding businesses here in valley. So we’re looking at businesses that are currently here in the valley and looking at ways they can improve their everyday activities and looking at ways to bring more businesses here.”
Kristie Porter, Vice President of Pacific Western Bank in Old Town La Quinta said the big reason her bank was open to the survey is because local college students like Michael Picellii are involved in the process.
“I think the greatest resource we have is our students here and growing our own and here we have I am being interviewed by a student who grew up in La Quinta, graduated from La Quinta High and went onto COD and we celebrate that everyday.”
And more to celebrate.
Picelli wants to become a fixture in the local work force; that is after he finishes up his undergraduate work at Cal Berkley and goes to law school.
“I am not too sure what I am gonna specialize in but definitely come back here, it makes you really feel like your home here in the valley for me,” said Picelli.