Once again hosting many of Santa Clarita’s top employers and community leaders, the 2022 Economic Outlook forum on Friday provided attendees with hyper-localized insight on recent financial developments and how their business can plan ahead for the future.
In addition to having the opportunity to hear from top economic forecasters, as well as CEOs who sit at the helm of some of Santa Clarita’s most prominent local companies, attendees used the annual event to reconnect with their networks and share ideas on how they can adeptly navigate turbulent financial waters.
“This event gives people a picture of what’s happening in the Santa Clarita Valley economy and how it fits into the greater county, state, national and international economy,” said Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of the Santa Clarita Economic Development Corp., or EDC. “This forecast is unique because it does focus on the Santa Clarita Valley, whereas many other forecasts that you’ll see regionally sort of lump us in with the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area and really don’t talk about the unique dynamics that are happening here locally.”
This year’s event, which was once again organized by the EDC and hosted at the Performing Arts Center on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus, saw more than 400 people in attendance. It also marked a relative return to normalcy after last year’s event was split between in-person and virtual viewing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-hour program included a business panel, economic forecast and workforce development update, the latter of which being a central topic of conversation among the speakers and attendees.
“The big one is workforce and the availability of a workforce,” said Shroeder. “We’ve had a large number of people who have left the workforce and our economists spoke to that.”
The event’s keynote economist, Mark Schnieep, the director of California Economic Forecasts, said that his private firm has seen its clients, both public and private agencies, react to a mass reduction in their workforce, either due to the pandemic or an increased number of retirements.
He, along with other panelists, shared how their companies were approaching bringing new people into the sector and making sure they have the skills and experience to fulfill the need for the jobs of tomorrow, Shroeder said.
“I think from a learning perspective, it’s nice to know how these guys are calculating current events and not just talking about the current shift in economics,” said Jon Amerson, a senior associate at Trammwell Crow Co. and an event attendee for the last four years. “Just how all this will unfold over the next couple of years and how they’re positioned to tackle those challenges.”
“If being informed is the way to properly steer your business into the future, you have to understand the trends and dynamics and network with other people,” said Shroeder. “All of that sets your business up for better success.”