HOLTVILLE – On May 17 and 18, the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC), in partnership with the Imperial County Transportation Commission, hosted an economic summit and general assembly at the Imperial Palms Hotel and Resort in Holtville to liaison between local business owners and inform them about available assets and direction of projects.
“We want to have an economic summit to talk about different things that are occurring around Imperial County and bring people up to speed on new opportunities and new programs,” said Tim Kelly, president and CEO of IVEDC.
“The second portion is the general assembly (which is a requirement of the Imperial County Transportation Commission). Every year, they make decisions to adopt their business plan for the year, so we coordinate these two so that they will come to an economic summit, learn what’s going on in the Imperial Valley, so when they do vote, the votes will be based upon information,” he said.
Economists opened with a discussion regarding local employment and job opportunities that will become available and the importance of preparing for those upcoming endeavors.
A Foreign Trade zone consultant spoke on International trade and US Commercial services talked about how Imperial County fits in to the International trade agenda. A session on business services was conducted to highlight what services in Imperial County are available for businesses to succeed.
“Getting access to capital is very important,” added Kelly.
Projects from the public’s side were related to road construction on the Interstate 8 overpass, Highway 111, and a plethora of local economic improvements happening in the Valley with close to a billion dollars’ worth of investments, according to experts.
On the private sector side, many large companies with vested interest in Imperial County continue to support and encourage renewable energy and geothermal solar development efforts.
“This is the third year in this format,” Kelly said of the two-day summit. “We’d like to see more private sector people here, so we will try to reformat the program again to encourage more private sector. There are a lot of programs out there to assist businesses, but a lot of those are outside Imperial County, such as Sacramento, San Diego, or in LA.”
“We bring all those people here together, so this is an opportunity for people find out about getting referred to proper prospects. When you look at the three-legged stool of economic development, work force development, and infrastructure – we’re all working together,” closed Kelly.