The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) hosted their 15th annual Greater Palm Springs Summit taking a look at the factors impacting our local economy and what needs to change.
Hundreds gathered at the Palm Springs Convention Center to hear new strategies and listen to experts in the field.
All event speakers were in agreement: embracing the future of tech is key.
“It is very, very positive. Because it spurs innovation. Which spurs things like job growth. Which spurs things like economic development of startups," said Robert Rippee, Director, Hospitality Innovation Lab, UNLV.
They say that means implementing tech , even if it eliminates certain jobs now: "Sure some people are going to lose jobs but for every job that goes away due to robotics, usually 1.1 comes back and they’re better jobs," said Joe Wallace, CEO, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.
Joe Wallace, CVEP'S CEO, says for sustainable economic growth here at home, three things need to happen. First, an improved education system: “We have 500,000 people living permanently in this valley and we’re the largest region in the state of California that doesn’t have a full comprehensive state university. That’s got to change," he said.
Second: state-of-the art communications: “5g is coming. And I hope it comes here the same time it comes to the highly populated areas," he said.
And lastly: fixing the Salton Sea crisis to continue attracting future residents: “People aren’t going to want to live in a place that smells like it does."
Manfred Keil, one of the main speakers, says the valley’s current largest growing sectors are leisure and hospitality. Both are very seasonal.
He’d like to see that shift to something more sustainable year round: “The more young people we can get to come here and stay, the more likely it is that companies will come and settle here. Startups. That’s the dream."