The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership is focusing on some big issues like affordability and health care in preparing for the future.
CVEP presented its 19th annual economic report today in Indian Wells.
"A 50-Year Plan is how you transform a valley from something that it is into something that would be clearly better and more prosperous for the entire population," said Joe Wallace, executive director of CVEP.
CVEP's latest economic report highlights areas of interest throughout the region from water to agriculture housing and more.
"Today, there are zero houses on Zillow, that are affordable to the family that has the median income, zero houses," Wallace said.
Wallace says contracted tech workers bought a lot of homes during the pandemic — driving up economic growth – the number of college-educated valley residents — and housing prices in the region.
"So our affordability index used to be 60 which meant the median income could buy 60% of the median house now it's 30 the median income combined 30%," Wallace said.
"We need to have quality housing across the region. Because if we don't have people that can live here, how are we going to attract the top professionals to be here in the valley to have a soft drive to a stronger economy," said Karina Quintanilla, Mayor Pro Tem of Palm Desert.
Another issue discussed the valley’s job market.
"We need to have tech, more health care," Wallace said.
Health care coming out on top – as the industry with the most jobs to fill.
"How do we garner more than just 44 nurses every year graduating and other positions? There's many other physicians in healthcare that we need social workers, mental health workers, radiology, pharmacy techs, so we recognize that while we sometimes compete with each other, knowing that if we can collectively build a path for careers in healthcare, we're all going to benefit from that," said La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans.
And when it comes to planning as far as fifty years from now — leaders say it’s worth discussing combining all nine valley cities — into one.
"The caveat that he presented that really got me thinking is the cost of administration in every single city. How much do you pay your city managers? How much do you pay your city engineers? How much are you spending on legal representation? And we're multiplying that by how many?" Quintanilla said.
Deciding the valley’s future — by looking at some of our challenges today.