April 3, 2013Assemblymember Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Jobs, Economic Development & the Economy Committee State Capitol Room 5135 Sacramento, CA 95814 Assemblymember Allan R. Mansoor, Vice Chair California Assembly Jobs, Economic Development & the Economy Committee State Capitol Room 4177 Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: AB 250 (Support)
Dear Assemblymembers Medina and Mansoor:
On behalf of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), an organization dedicated to promoting job growth, economic expansion, and preserving the overall global competitiveness of California and Los Angeles County, I am writing to urge your support on Assembly Bill (AB) 250 (Holden), which would strengthen California’s Innovation Hub (iHub) program, enabling stronger industry partnerships and collaboration in key sectors throughout our state’s diverse economy.
As you may know, the iHub program was developed in a more informal capacity without express legislation and without a funding stream attached to it. Despite the program’s limitations, several iHubs were designated across the state with specific growth-inducing industries as focus points, ranging from clean technology to agriculture to biomedical. Here in Los Angeles County, we are home to an iHub focused on clean technology, which is run by Cleantech Los Angeles: an organization dedicated to facilitating a cleantech industry cluster here in Los Angeles County. Both Cleantech Los Angeles and the iHub program are relatively new, but we have witnessed tremendous efforts to bring in industry, education, workforce programs, business groups, economic development organizations like the LAEDC, and more to grow this robust, high-growth potential industry here in Los Angeles County. Much of this progress and collaboration is due to recognition from programs like the iHub that Los Angeles is a leader in this area.
While Los Angeles County has been able to see the benefits first-hand of receiving an iHub designation, we are fairly certain those “iHub designation” benefits are not unique to us and that there are countless examples throughout the state of other designees who have seen their iHub label serve as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, economic growth, and enhanced competitiveness on federal and state grant applications. It is for this reason that the LAEDC supports AB 250, which would formalize the iHub program and create an accelerator fund to ensure that the program has the resources it needs to grow, succeed and help position more of our state’s economic regions into innovation-catalyzing ecosystems.
For all of the above reasons, the LAEDC urges your support of AB 250—a low-cost program we see as essential to spurring innovation, prompting collaboration, and improving our overall economic competitiveness.
David Flaks, Chief Operating Officer
LAEDCcc: Governor Jerry Brown Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg Senator Bob Huff, Republican Leader Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez Assembly Member Connie Conway, Republican Leader Honorable Members of the California Assembly Jobs, Economic Development & the Economy Committee Kish Rajan, Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Go here to download the full letter.