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Long Beach, CA – February 7, 2014 – With an unemployment rate still hovering in the double-digit range, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske says it is time Long Beach became more aggressive in tracking down opportunities for economic development.
“I sit on the LA Jobs Defense Council which is a part of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation because I wanted to find out what Long Beach can do to attract business and jobs,” says Schipske. “LAEDC is aggressively seeking opportunities and just announced that it will apply to become one of 12 communities federally designated as a manufacturing community. Long Beach needs to a part of the application.”
The designation is funded through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), a new government-wide initiative that will help communities cultivate an environment for businesses to create well-paying manufacturing jobs in regions across the country and thereby accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing. The IMCP is designed to reward communities that demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding manufacturing by bringing together key local stakeholders and using long-term planning that integrates targeted investments across a community's industrial ecosystem to create broad-based prosperity. The IMCP is a critical component of the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes trade and investment.
Up to 12 communities will be designated and the designation gives them elevated consideration for $1.3 billion in federal dollars and assistance from 10 cabinet departments/agencies. These communities would also potentially receive additional catalytic federal investments to support their economic development strategies. Proposals for designation as a Manufacturing Community must be submitted on behalf of the region by a consortium – which in this case is the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
“I am agendizing an item for Council requesting the City Manager to work with LAEDC in submitting the information necessary for Long Beach to be considered in this federal stimulus program,” explains Schipske. “The application must be submitted by March 14.”
Schipske also notes that the CALPERS system which manages $3.05 billion of assets contributed by Long Beach for its employees’ pensions, invests these funds in businesses and developments. “Long Beach is the largest city contributor in CALPERS and some of these funds need to come back to the City through investments,” says Schipske.
CALPERS accepts proposals for investments in the following categories: Private Equity, Real Estate, Forestland, Infrastructure, Commodities, Global Fixed Income, Global Equities or Hedge Funds. (see https://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/pubs/financial-performance.pdf)
In 2001, CALPERS approved a $1 billion dollar investment in 445 communities that were classified as traditionally underserved. Schipske notes that with the City’s “high rates of unemployment and poverty” should qualify Long Beach for CALPERS investment.
“I am also agendizing an item requesting the City Manager to schedule a presentation at Council from CALPERS on how Long Beach businesses and developers can apply to be considered for CALPERS investment. Both of these proposals can assist greatly in the economic development of Long Beach.”
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