NORWALK EDUCATION ALLIANCE
As part of the 2020 Vision Strategic Action Plan, the City Council directed staff to prepare an innovative economic development plan. At the same time, local economic development efforts were severely impacted by the State’s decision to dissolve redevelopment – the primary economic development tool for California municipalities. Thus, new methods for fostering Norwalk’s local economic growth were sought.
While economic development of the past typically focused on streamlining the process for constructing or opening a new business, thereby enhancing the availability or supply of goods and services, cities did not commonly prioritize methods that increased the demand for those goods and services. Clearly, business is a competitive endeavor. People have limited discretionary incomes. Within any geographical area, the grand sum of these incomes limits the demand for goods and services.
Rather than simply finding ways to attract new businesses, or recruit businesses away from other communities in the same geographical area, finding ways to increase demand for goods and services within the geographical area could infuse new money and investment into the City that would provide the foundation for local economic growth. In short, for greater economic activity to occur, higher incomes are needed, and a long-term effort to connect residents to stable, higher income careers can be a key catalyst toward a brighter economic future.
There are three basic pathways to stable, higher income careers – higher education (e.g. college), job training (e.g. certification), or entrepreneurship (e.g. learning how to operate your own business).
Fortunately, there are important partners within the community that can provide the introduction and guidance:
To further the relationship with our partners, formation of the Norwalk Education Alliance is proposed. The purpose is to provide a formal, unified, sustained commitment to work together and guide residents into greater futures via higher education, job training, and entrepreneurship.