Ontario, California - Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy (JEDE) held the third in a series of JEDE hearings on the California Economy this Thursday, prior to the opening of the 2015 California Economic Summit in Ontario, California. The goal of the hearing was to examine how an expanding opportunity gap is impacting California and to better explore strategies for creating a more inclusive economy.

The hearing quickly dove into how the state could better support the entrepreneurial business environment, stabilize rural and other resource-limited communities, and develop career ladders for the state's increasingly diverse workforce that is capable of providing both wage growth and long-term household security.

“I feel we have a solid foundation for this next year’s legislation,” said Assemblymember Garcia. “In conjunction with efforts in the private sector like the 2015 California Economic Summit, we will be able to secure equitable economic growth for California.” The hearing itself was held with the 2015 Economic Summit, where Assemblymember Garcia also presented among other leaders in economic development from public and private organizations.

"By the JEDE Committee coming here today, embarks us on a new era of state governance by going out and listening to the people and joining forces to improve economic prosperity in California,” stated Ms. Sunne McPeak, President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund."

Questions such as how the state can best leverage the advantages offered by California’s diverse population, and how to catalyze investment and entrepreneurship within underserved communities were at the forefront of the dialogue.  Hearing recommendations ranged from supporting smaller sized businesses, to reframing workforce development, to strengthening the long-term economic security for vulnerable communities.

"I feel it was a very well executed hearing, and that the interests of the people were at the heart of it. Under Mr. Garcia's leadership--we are going to make a difference providing job opportunities for our citizens," said Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown.