Positive economic forecast announced for North State in 2015

Jan 22, 2015 7:52 PM by Brian Johnson

Good news emerged from a broad discussion on the region's economic issues in Oroville today, as the overall economic forecast for the North State is a positive one.

The 2015 Regional Economic Forecast drew hundreds of business and community leaders to Gold Country Casino for the all-day event.

Dan Ripke, Director of the Northeastern California SBDC and Chico State's Center for Economic Development told Action News Now we are still on the trend of recovering from the 2008 economic collapse.

He said we can expect a 2.6% growth rate this year, slightly smaller than last year.

While he said the housing market is looking great and manufacturing and agriculture jobs are coming back to the North State, he said there are some unknowns, like how the uncertain European economy will affect our local economy.

Breakout sessions formed today, including one that dealt with the linkages between industry and education, like the challenges that come with advances in software language.

"They can start and end in terms of the evolution of a computer language in about five years," Ripke said. "And it takes sometimes that much time just for a university or college to develop the curriculum. So what we heard from some of the speakers is, ‘look we need to speed up the evolutionary process of the education program, so that they can respond rapidly to the needs of industry.'"

Keynote speaker and CEO of Fresno-based Bitwise Industries Jake Soberall told event attendees that he's drawn hundreds of software engineers to Fresno, a city on the verge of becoming the next Silicon Valley.

He told today's group that the same thing can happen here in the North State.


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