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February 18, 2014 > Silicon Valley Prognosis? Strong. But Health Risks Lurk

Silicon Valley Prognosis? Strong. But Health Risks Lurk

Submitted By Christina Briggs, Economic Development Manager

Last week, Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV) convened its annual State of the Valley conference and Fremont was there in force, on the stage and in the audience, with City representatives, and Fremont companies in attendance. The overall message was incredibly positive. JVSVÕs 2014 Index cited record job growth, patent generation, and investment. But warnings also sounded about continued middle class erosion and education/income inequality in our region.

For Fremont, this yearÕs event also meant staking a claim on our part of the Silicon Valley story with Fremont highlighted in many parts of the program. If youÕve been following us on Twitter or reading our blog, you know Fremont is bold about the role it plays in our region and State of the Valley was yet another validation that weÕre onto something.

We thought weÕd share some of the highlights:
* JVSV CEO, Russell Hancock, kicked the morning off with a summary of the 2014 Index. In his words, ÒSilicon Valley is sizzling... and it might get hotter.Ó The record growth we are seeing shows signs of being sustained growth and is not indicative of bubble economics weÕve seen in the past.
* As a JVSV Board Member, FremontÕs City Manager, Fred Diaz was part of the program lineup, introducing the morning keynote speaker. Fred is playing an important role within JVSV, offering the public perspective to the organizationÕs regional initiatives.
* Demographer and USC Professor, Manual Pastor, was the morning keynote and painted a statistical picture of Silicon Valley Òlinking high tech with high need.Ó His research shows this region is the most Ôimmigrant-intensiveÕ region in California and he pointed out that public transportation infrastructure that gets people to work is critical to address equity issues.
* Salman Kahn, of the famed Kahn Academy, received this yearÕs David Packard Award for his tremendous achievement in providing a Òfree, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.Ó It was striking that when asked how many people had used the Kahn Academy program, more than half the audience raised their hand.
* Closing the program, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, offered the afternoon keynote. He challenged leaders in the room to rethink political norms and to demand the reengineering of government systems to keep pace with Silicon Valley innovation.

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