A major function of our work at the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (SCVEDC) is to monitor the diverse issues facing businesses in our region and provide support to companies as they work through these issues. This is accomplished in a variety of ways through our business assistance program, our business attraction efforts, and our partnerships with our Board, COC, the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles, to name a few. Our business assistance visits allow companies and the SCVEDC to get to know each other, capture the unique business dynamics and challenges faced by each company and offer a tailored mix of support and assistance. These in-person, confidential meetings offered by SCVEDC remain the most effective way of delivering customized solutions with greatest positive economic impact. SCVEDC also provides opportunities for knowledge sharing with workshops and seminars that feature subject experts on topics that are critical to business success. At these events, local companies not only stay ahead of the information curve, but also directly benefit from networking with their peers. In addition to managing two industry coalitions, the Aerospace & Defense Coalition and the Bioscience & Medical Devices Coalition, SCVEDC offers general interest seminars to SCV business leaders. One issue facing local companies today is the minimum wage increase at both the state and county level. Many business leaders have approached us with questions and concerns about the impact that these increases will have on their companies and how best to implement them. The Santa Clarita Valley is in an especially unique situation in that the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles have two different minimum wage increase schedules which is causing challenges for many of our local employers. We are pleased to announce SCVEDC and Poole & Shaffery, LLP, will be hosting a Minimum Wage Forum on Aug. 1 at College of the Canyons in the University Center. Brian Koegle of Poole & Shaffery will provide a minimum wage law update and local business leaders will share insight as to how they are implementing minimum wage increases in their companies. The forum will explore strategies companies are using to recruit and train workers upon hire and throughout their career. Other issues to be addressed include wage compression, changes in benefits and employee management. This forum is part of our ongoing effort to be the one-stop resource for local businesses. From obtaining workforce training at low or no cost to learning about local, state, and federal tax incentives, from expediting business issues resolution to managing local business coalitions, the SCVEDC is the focal point in delivering the support local companies need. For more information about the upcoming Minimum Wage Forum, please go online to: www.scvedc.org/minwageforum. Holly Schroeder is president and CEO of the SCVEDC.