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LAEDC Economic Forecast: a Tale of Two Recoveries

February 17, 2021 @ 8:30 am - 11:30 am

The events of the past year have laid bare the inequities of both the national and local economies. The lived experiences of the millions of Americans who have found themselves unemployed during the pandemic are a stark contrast to the “record setting” levels of Wall Street. The 2021 Economic Forecast will focus on “A Tale of Two Recoveries,” with assessments of how we can collectively support an equitable recovery that lifts those most impacted in our communities by the pandemic, which will lead to a better Los Angeles for all of us.
This year’s event on February 17th from 8:30am-11:30am will give attendees deep access to analysis of our current economic crisis to help you make choices in your organization, as we connect the dots on issues affecting equity, sustainability, resilience and more widely shared growth in Los Angeles County.
Thought leaders and industry experts who will drill down on specific ways that businesses, academic institutions, and local government entities can work together to spurn growth in specific industries that thrive in LA County; how access to capital, a strong talent pipeline and favorable government regulation and policies contribute to the successful creation and sustainability of new and existing industries in the region.
Shannon Sedgwick, Director of LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics will provide a state of California and LA County perspective on the issues that are impacting our local economy, focused on the pandemic and industries and jobs that were impacted and recovery prospects.

Shannon Sedgwick

Bruce Katz

Renowned expert Bruce Katz will be the closing speaker, with a look forward for Southern California, and how we as a collective can apply the lessons learned as we move ahead to a more equitable recovery.  He will offer insights on how cities across the country are strategizing for an equitable recovery.  Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He served as vice president and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years and previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs. Katz co-led the Obama administration’s housing and urban transition team.

LAEDC is honored to have speaker Amy Liu, who will discuss national equitable recovery and economic outlook.  Amy Liu is Vice President and Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy.
Liu is a national expert on cities and metropolitan areas, is adept at translating research and insights into action on the ground, and excels at linking local experiences to federal policymaking. Liu writes frequently about inclusive economic growth, the fortunes of midsized cities and small towns, and the intersection of economic, workforce, and community development policies. She penned an essay that frames ways in which state and local leaders can “Rebuild Better” and achieve a more equitable economic recovery post COVID-19. Liu’s paper “Remaking Economic Development” has catalyzed shifts in economic development toward higher-quality growth, prosperity, and inclusion for all residents.

Reasons to attend:

  • In these uncharted waters, gain better detail about where the economy is headed to inform your decisions.
  • Gain insights from LAEDC’s deep data analysis of the crisis: How long until LA’s economy recovers, and what’s the impact of industries and communities that may lag behind?
  • Discuss recovery strategies to address equity and put people back to work, and understand how those strategies can affect you and the region.

The event will also include breakout sessions to drive progress and collaboration on key issues, below:

Amy Liu

Breakout #1: Upskilling and Reskilling of LA County, Moderated by Jessica Ku Kim, VP of Economic and Workforce Development, LAEDC:

  • The needs from the workforce are quickly changing for a variety of reasons, whether due to automation, sustainable policies, or permanent pivots due to the pandemic. This session will focus on how employers can create spaces to ensure the opportunity for employees to upskill, and what reskilling could look like in the face of industry transition

Breakout #2: Equity in Exports: Increasing Market Access for Minority Owned Businesses, Moderated by Michael Smith, Director of International Trade, WTCLA:

  • As the region begins its path of economic recovery and a new administration begins governing, an opportunity to reflect on and perhaps change regional economic development strategies surfaces. Historically, less than 1% of small businesses in America export and that number is even smaller for businesses run by entrepreneurs of color. However, those entrepreneurs of color create more exporting value than their counterparts and are in fact twice as likely to export; three times as likely to already have international operations; and six times as likely to transact business in a language other than English.
  • This panel will explore the current state of exports for this group in the Los Angeles region, bring awareness to the challenges that exist, and ways local leaders can encourage and include exporting activities for this group within economic recovery plans.

Breakout #3: Policies for an Equitable Recovery
Moderated by Judy Kruger, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, LAEDC:

  • As a new administration takes office and the SoCal economy rebounds, what policies are needed to ensure a more equitable business market recovery? How does reinvention and re-imagination fit into building good policy that drives business forward?



New panelist added: Dr. Manuel Pastor, USC 
Distinguished Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity

KNX 1070AM News Radio is the media sponsor for LAEDC Economic Forecast, and the voice of business, Frank Mottek, host of the Mottek on Money show will emcee this year’s event.  Listen to LAEDC CEO Bill Allen’s recent appearance on the show Here.

The LAEDC Annual Economic Forecast has been a catalyst for progress for the past decade and offers attendees valuable insights on the outlook for the regional economy, with analysis of the challenges and opportunities that affect your organization in a year of unprecedented economic challenges.  This year, LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics has consistently been the most trusted source on in-depth analysis of the impacts on LA County’s jobs, industries, at-risk businesses, and has offered the analysis and public policy solutions to inform our collaborative recovery plans.  Tap into that knowledge at this event.


Presenting Sponsor

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Silver Sponsor

Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation


February 17, 2021
8:30 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:
For information about upcoming events, please get in touch with  Riccardo Ruffolo.