Held virtually on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021
Leaders in business, public policy, housing, and education from across the region joined SCAG for the 12th Annual Southern California Economic Summit. This year’s program took a serious look at the ongoing recovery from the global pandemic and featured forecasts from the region’s top economists.
The event featured a SCAG Region Economic Update and Regional Briefing Book from SCAG’s Chief Economic Advisor Wallace Walrod which showed that while Southern California has reclaimed 70 percent of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, the recovery ahead will be an uneven one as labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, equity gaps and inflation continue to impact the region’s economy.
The panel session – moderated by Micah Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer and President, California Forward, and featuring Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist, Redfin, David Hickey, Vice President West Business Markets, Verizon, Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor and Director, Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development, and Estelle Reyes, Senior Vice President, Enhancing Community, LA Cleantech Incubator – led to a lively discussion about the core issues threatening Southern California’s ability to stay competitive and highlighted innovative approaches to kickstarting inclusive economic growth.
Keynote speaker and Global Business Columnist at The Financial Times and Global Economic Analyst at CNN, Rana Foroohar spoke to the ways the pandemic has supercharged preexisting economic issues, including economic inequality. Her address laid out a vision for true sustainable recovery and an economic future that relies less on the global and more on the local. SCAG was also thrilled to name California State Senator Susan Rubio a Legislative Champion of Economic Empowerment thanks to her outstanding work on behalf of the region’s needs.