The Kern County Economic Summit has delivered an encouraging message for business. Wednesday’s event featured Urban Economist Joel Kotkin as keynote speaker at the Double Tree in Bakersfield, and he believes our county is an attractive choice for business but it’s still in California. He says businesses would just as soon move to Phoenix or Nevada and avoid regulations. However, Kotkin says Kern County should sell the fact they have a cost structure and business-friendly environment like Texas, but is less than two hours away from Los Angeles. Other speakers noted the high tech innovation going on in eastern Kern County and how Millenials are being attracted by jobs but are deciding to stay because of home affordability, amenities and quality of life. However, the big challenge is training the local work force to fill science industry jobs rather than having to import people.

Sean Michael Lisle