An Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda For California

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled his Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California, articulating a vision for success in building the Next Economy in the great state of California.

Read the Agenda
View the full report

For over a decade, California has lacked a comprehensive economic and workforce development strategy, leading to a severe lack of focus and inefficiency in California's ability to work with business. Shortly after being elected Lieutenant Governor, Newsom began work to develop a comprehensive economic and workforce strategy.

The agenda is guided by a set of principles that must be agreed upon by stakeholders at all levels and does not seek to recreate the past and restore the jobs lost to global competition or to revive the debt-fueled follies of the past. It embraces a shift from a consumption-based economy to a production economy focused on global trade.

The new agenda presented focuses on eight pillars that are essential in delivering the Next Economy, including:

  • Gearing up Exports: Next Economy success depends on global trade and production; every sector, cluster and region must embrace exports as a core focus of its economic strategies.
  • Reinvigorating Manufacturing: The manufacturing agenda is of enormous importance for California's competitive position and future prospects. The state needs to design its strategy to bring about a renaissance in manufacturing on a scale commensurate with its importance.
  • Driving Innovation: California, and Silicon Valley, wrote the book on innovation. Everywhere, other states and nations are resolved to write the sequel, and they are investing heavily in the capacity to do it.
  • Accelerate the Clean Economy: California is recognized as a world leader in environmental advances and the development of clean technology, as high-tech firms in the state move rapidly to expand in areas from solar energy equipment to wind turbines and new types of batteries.
  • Skill up for Opportunities: Innovating more, making more, and exporting more will produce another crucial Next Economy attribute: broader opportunities for good-paying jobs at all levels.
  • Build Infrastructure: The need for adequate infrastructure undergirds every aspect of the Next Economy agenda.
  • Align with Regional Strengths: The global economy is increasingly driven by the competition between and collaboration among an international web of high performing, interconnected metropolitan areas and regions, each serving as the resource base for powerful clusters of enterprises.
  • Organize for Success:To revitalize California's economic competitiveness, its leaders must streamline the clutter of agencies, commissions, offices, and entities engaged in economic development.

The agenda's overarching imperative for action is clear: to restore California's economic competitiveness and regain momentum, California must redefine the state role in economic development. The new Economic Growth and Competitiveness plan includes powerful strategies centered on the pillars of the Next Economy described above.

The agenda makes initial recommendations designed to both open the conversation and take the first step. The recommendations identified in the report are specific measures that are low-cost, high-impact, and achievable actions that can set the course to success.

To read the full report including its recommendations, visit:

Lt. Governor Newsom Unveils Economic Growth & Competitiveness Agenda for California

29 July 2011

Lt. Governor Newsom was joined by over 200 business, labor, education and government leaders at an event held at Wyse Technology in San Jose, California.

Current California Tools and Incentives for Business

After reading An Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California, we invite you to compare the vision outlined in the report with the current tools and incentive lists provided by California Agencies and Departments designed to help California businesses.

California Workforce Investment Board
The California Workforce Investment Board asks government agencies and departments to voluntarily submit information that can be included in their "Business Service Catalog" that is updated every six months. The catalog lists tax credits, grants, loans and other services available to California businesses. The catalog can be found here:

Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED)
GOED published a California Investment Guide in November 2010. Its purpose is to provide "An Overview of Advantages, Assistance, Taxes & Permits" for California. That report can be found here

CalGOLD: by California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) and GOED
Cal EPA and GOED also run CalGOLD, a business permit assistance guide. It was first published in 1997 and stands for "California Government Online to Desktops (CalGOLD)". The website allows you to input the type of business you have, your county, your city and then displays all the state and local agencies that you may need to contact to receive the correct permits.  CalGOLD does not streamline permitting, it only provides contact information and that information is not guaranteed to be up to date. CalGOLD can be found here:

What They're Saying – Business, Labor, Education & Government Officials Respond

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
"This is a strategy to help ensure that traditional and high tech manufacturing remain a pillar of the California economy. The manufacturing sector is growing, and it our job to make sure that it grows in California," said Senator Dianne Feinstein. "I applaud Lt. Governor Newsom for a thoughtful report that cogently outlines a way to return California to economic competitiveness and an engine of job creation."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
"This report demonstrates Lieutenant Governor Newsom's commitment to deploy California's competitive advantages to sustain and grow jobs through manufacturing and innovation in areas like clean energy and health care," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "By developing a more versatile, agile, and in-demand 21st century workforce that can take on the world, we can create and sustain jobs for California."

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer
"This report reflects the energy and imagination Lt. Gov. Newsom has brought to the crucial task of economic development and job creation. At this time in California's history, there is no more important endeavor. Policymakers and business leaders should give the report a thorough read and its recommendations thoughtful consideration. They may not agree with everything it says. But they should act on the message it sends: It's time to put on our work shoes, roll up our sleeves and get serious about restoring California's place on the economic frontier and securing our long-term prosperity."

Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
"I applaud the Lieutenant Governor for hammering out a thoughtful starting point to develop a blueprint for sustained economic success in this state. I look forward to working with him, the Governor, the Speaker and the Legislature on strategic changes that will help create jobs, foster clean technology, and link education to the economy."

Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno
"Lieutenant Governor Newsom's 'Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda' is right on the money. It is precisely the economic development strategy our state needs. This plan calls California to focus on increasing exports, innovation, improving educational attainment, and streamlining government processes to support business growth. It also provides the action steps to be taken immediately in the next 180 days. I applaud Lieutenant Governor Newsom's work and urge public and private sector leaders throughout the state to get to work now on implementing the 'Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda'."

Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento
"I applaud Lieutenant Governor Newsom for making jobs and the economy his number one priority. His plan for action is bold, but absolutely necessary. Our State needs to be doing more to help our cities attract and retain businesses – and the Lieutenant Governor's plan would do just that. I look forward to working with our State's leaders and bringing even more jobs to Sacramento."

Dr. Jack Scott, Chancellor, California Community Colleges
"After carefully reading the Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California, I am very impressed by the research and bold vision of this plan. I applaud Lieutenant Governor Newsom for this dynamic plan and his leadership in inaugurating such an agenda. I enthusiastically support this agenda since it clearly points California in the needed direction of dynamic economic growth."

Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO, California Chamber of Commerce
"The California Chamber of Commerce applauds the Lieutenant Governor for joining us in putting jobs, the economy and California's business climate front and center. We particularly appreciate Lieutenant Governor Newsom highlighting the importance of international trade and the global economy, regulatory reform, and the priority Sacramento policy makers must place on doing no more harm to our economy. We recognize that this agenda isn't the end of a process, it is only the beginning. CalChamber agrees that now is the time to act and we look forward to working with the Lieutenant Governor as California moves from agenda to action."

Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary, California Labor Federation
"With the release of his economic development plan today, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has offered an important contribution on the issue of job creation, a top priority for California families. The report offers a roadmap on critical issues the state needs to address to lift our economy out of recession and put Californians back to work… We agree with the Lieutenant Governor that a shared commitment to job creation between government, labor and business is necessary to success. The California labor movement looks forward to fully engaging with the Lieutenant Governor and Governor to put Californians back to work and restore our state's promise."

Bill Dombrowski, President & CEO, California Retailers Association
"We believe Lieutenant Governor Newsom, working with business stakeholders and other interested parties, has developed a comprehensive blue print to get California back on track," said Bill Dombrowski, president and chief executive officer of CRA. "We are particularly intrigued by the idea of simplifying and eliminating redundant permitting and regulatory processes at the state, county, and municipal levels of government; and identifying six counties to pilot and test the implementation of the recommendations. We are constantly challenged by regulatory rules and permits when trying to build new stores or to upgrade existing structures. Given California's high unemployment, this effort can't begin soon enough."

Bill Allen, CEO, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
"At a time when California's unemployment rate lingers near 12 percent, it is encouraging to see elected leaders like Lieutenant Governor Newsom take action to create jobs for the millions of Californians desperately looking for work. His plan is an important step to address California's high unemployment and boost California's global competitiveness."

Wayne Schell, President & CEO, California Association for Local Economic Development
"We've spent time and energy urging elected state and local officials to provide us with clear-cut strategies to improve the economic conditions of California residents. We do not want more piecemeal economic development but rather a comprehensive jobs strategy. This report takes a step in the right direction…Recognizing local and state economies do not run on automatic pilot, this report highlights the importance of economic development in stimulating growth to create jobs and increase revenue by retaining, expanding, creating and attracting businesses."

John Kabateck, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business/California
"We appreciate that Lt. Governor Newsom realizes the important role small business owners play in economic growth and job creation for California. We agree that California needs to encourage and incentivize innovation and adopt a "do no harm" approach to state policies concerning small businesses. He has obviously put a lot of time and thought into his proposal…We look forward to working with Lt. Governor Newsom and his office to help put this economic plan in place and support California's small business job creators."

Jim Watson, President & CEO, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting/Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center (Southern California)
"The economic growth and competitiveness agenda's focus on providing solutions to key manufacturing challenges will energize the sector and stimulate the creation of high paying jobs."

Sacramento Metro Chamber
"Our extensive efforts to reach out and partner with state officials this year focused on simplifying, aligning and eliminating redundant permitting and regulatory processes statewide. Newsom rightly calls for the state to streamline the regulatory system and make it easier to navigate: Speed and agility are needed to compete in the global economy."