Center for Economic Development

"CED Director Dan Ripke welcomed more than 400 participants to the 13th Annual North State Economic Forecast Conference."

When more than 400 people showed up at the 13th annual North State Economic Forecast Conference in January 2013, this was Chico State’s Center for Economic Development at work.

Conference attendees heard from a slate of high-powered presenters including John Chiang, state controller. He warned that “it is incumbent on us not to waste the opportunity” the state was given by Prop. 30—expected to provide more than $6 billion from increased tax revenue. The number of jobs created in California for the 10-year period between 2000 and 2010 “just didn’t cut it,” he said.

Fortunately, a top priority for current governor Jerry Brown is improving California’s business climate. Kish Rajan, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, applauded North State economic development efforts for their go-forward philosophy during tough times.

The Center for Economic Development (CED), celebrating 25 years of service to the North State, knows that successful economic development occurs with regional collaboration, not competition. CED fosters partnerships between North State industry stakeholders—community and business leaders, people seeking grants, nonprofits, and business owners.  

When North State small business owners showed up in Yreka, Redding, and Marysville to hear “Growing Your Business – Technology Made Simple,” this was CED at work. Feedback, which included “Just what I needed,” and “This is a great program, I am glad to see organizations reaching out to small businesses,” indicate that CED’s regional outreach is working.

One of CED’s many activities is the annual Regional Economic Scorecard. It provides information on unique factors such as innovation, entrepreneurship, and human capital. It also compares economic barometers in the tri-county area of Butte, Tehama, and Glenn with those in Redding, Yuba City, and Sacramento.

Another example of CED at work is the County Economic and Demographic Profile Series. Used as a key resource for grant writing, marketing, and business and community planning purposes, these reports provide valuable demographic and economic information on Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, and Yuba counties.

Margaret Schmidt, a former self-employed business consultant who now serves as an advancement director at Chico State, calls CED “a hidden jewel for economic development information.” She is especially keen on CED’s ability to perform “ring studies.” These studies analyze demographic information in a specific-mile radius to determine if there is sufficient customer base to support a potential new business.

While working with the City of Oroville to promote small business development, Schmidt continually referred prospective business owners to CED for their “tremendous tools.” According to Schmidt, “CED is an incredibly valuable portal to national, state, and local economic development statistics and resources.”

Dan Ripke, Director of Chico State’s Center for Economic Development, speaks to over 400  participants at the 13th annual North State Economic Forecast Conference.
Dan Ripke, Director of Chico State’s Center for Economic Development, speaks to over 400 participants at the 13th annual North State Economic Forecast Conference.