Jake Hinton: Hey, guys. My name is Jake, and I’m here with Todd, who is the Director of Economic Development for the Shasta Economic Development Center.

Todd Jones: close, Jake.

Jake Hinton: Did I mess it up?

Todd Jones: My name is Todd. I am the Director of Entrepreneurial Development.

Jake Hinton: What did I say?

Todd Jones: With the Economic Development Corporation, Shasta EDC.

Jake Hinton: Okay.

Todd Jones: close.

Jake Hinton: It’s a long title.

Todd Jones: Yes.

Jake Hinton: So, last week, Todd, you went to the, was it the Economic Forecast Conference here in Redding?

Todd Jones: Yeah. Yesterday, well actually last Thursday was a big day. We had first in the morning the fifth annual, actually excuse me, the 19th Annual Economic Forecast Conference which was hosted by the Center for Economic Development which is housed in Chico State University, so there are dozens of economic development groups in our state that are housed through Chico, Humboldt, ourselves that are public-private partnership, lots of college ones and a few private ones as well, and we kind of all got together to hear from a great economist out of Sonoma State named Doctor Robert Eyler to give us a little bit more of a forecast, talk about some trends last year, and talk about some trends that we’re going to see maybe in the next five to 10 years.

Jake Hinton: I’ve heard Doctor Eyler speak before. He’s really good.

Todd Jones: Yes.

Jake Hinton: What, what were some of the highlights that he mentioned in this conference that you might want to talk about today?

Todd Jones: Yeah, so I’d say one of the things that he touched on is something that I think a lot of people are starting to think about is a potential recession that might be coming our way, and so what he did was look at a lot of trends over the last 20 years, and the last couple recessions that we’ve had in our country, and trying to forecast when that might happen, what some of those trends might be. He said if there was a new recession, which is likely coming, it would be towards the end of 2020, but it’s going to be … it’s forecasted to be smaller based on some of the debt load that the country holds, and some of the personal debt and housing prices and a lot of different factors.

Todd Jones: And in Shasta County, actually, has been growing the fastest. It’s the fastest growing in rising economic, for economic indexes in the North State over the last five years, and that’s going to continue to grow over the next couple of years, and I think we’re a little bit insulated from some of those national and global trends that happen, and some of the things that we’ve been working on, focusing on and some of the stability in our housing stock in prices, even with the fire.

Jake Hinton: That’s great.

Todd Jones: That’s helped us out.

Jake Hinton: Yeah, you kind of touched on something quickly that I just want to kind of ask the question about, did he mention or was it a subject at all, I mean we went through some terrible fires this year, or excuse me, last year. What, if any effect will that have on the economic forecast, or was that even a topic?

Todd Jones: It was, it was a topic, and you know, he didn’t really dive into what’s happening in Paradise quite as much because we’re just, it’s just still so fresh, but here in Redding, and Shasta County, specifically, you know, there is going to be, here has already been hundreds, nearly $100 million of investment that has come into the community through insurance, through FEMA. A lot of that money’s coming through. Local contractors are getting work. There is a work force shortage, and that’s happening everywhere in the country. Talent is the biggest hindrance and barrier to economic growth in any county, really.

Jake Hinton: Yeah.

Todd Jones: Especially up here, but with all that investment that’s coming in, you know, I think we just need to manage that and make sure that we can continue coming out of this, this disaster and we continue to grow because it really, you know, so far what I’ve seen is it really taken a huge, huge dip just because a lot of that’s insurance and FEMA kind of coming back in pretty quickly.

Jake Hinton: Okay, and Todd, you also had your own talk. You were on one of the panels.

Todd Jones: Yes.

Jake Hinton: Can you kind of tell us what, what were you talking about at the conference?

Todd Jones: Yeah, so I was on the last panel of the day. There were three panels total, and mine was about passing the torch and just talking about the next generation of young professionals, which we have here in Redding and in Shasta County, and we also covered some of the other counties that the CED focuses on, which is really, anywhere north of kind of Yuba City, Marysville area, all the way north to the Oregon border, so there’s some young professionals from Chico and from Orland, and then two from Redding, and we just talked about what it, why we’re here, what it’s going to take for us to stay here, and kind of what that passing the torch looks like in terms of you know, young people getting on boards, being involved.

Todd Jones: I can say, the circles I run in, there’s even … there’s hundreds of us younger professionals that are involved in a lot of stuff, and I think we’re already seeing that torch start to get passed with a lot of the cool stuff that’s going on downtown and with the Chamber of Commerce and with the EDC and with the start-up community, and I think one of the themes that really wrapped up most of the day, and including this day it’s just the age of collaboration we’re in, and that people need to work together or we are working together. My generation wants to continue doing that even more, and I think that’s what makes our community so special, and what’s going to continue to help our community grow and stay special.

Jake Hinton: Okay, and if you had to, to say one thing to some of those young entrepreneurs or the young professionals here in Redding, maybe some pragmatic advice, what would that be?

Todd Jones: To people here in Redding, I think most of us see it, just realize the amazing amenities that we do have, with the quality of life, low commute times. You know, one of the things that we all talked about in our panel was we’ve all lived in bigger cities. Most of us that were on the panel, including myself and you know, I don’t have the luxury of maybe making my kid’s soccer practice on a Monday night because I’d be stuck in a commute, or even coming home for lunch from time to time. You know, that’s something that my generation I think wants more and more. They want work-life balance, they want to be with their kids and family and in this age of collaboration and the internet and all these things, you can really make your career and make your life anywhere you want it with all of the technology that’s available to us.

Jake Hinton: Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Well, what else, was there anything else you want to cover today.

Todd Jones: I do want to highlight really quick because I think it ties in with what the conference was on Thursday. That evening, the Redding Chamber of Commerce hosted the Redding City Identity Project event, which rolled out the first 10 ideas that are going to get funded this year out of 20 ideas to help make Redding a more enjoyable place to live, so really about culture, arts and less about economic development incentives and things that I work on, but it was an amazing event.

Todd Jones: We had two speakers, one of, the first one was John O’Leary, who was burned when he was nine. He just has an amazing, inspirational story about his life and where he’s come and what he learned from that, and really challenged us as a community to appreciate where we live, and all of the beauty that we have around us, and sticking together so we can, you know, continue to come out of this disaster because it’s kind of a curve, and there’s lots of ups and downs that we’re going to go through over the next few years, but John was really inspirational, and then we had a speaker by the name of Jeremy Affeldt, who is a three-time World Series champion.

Jake Hinton: Nice.

Todd Jones: With the San Francisco Giants, left-handed pitcher. He retired a couple years ago, he had a very long career in Major League Baseball, he’s an amazing player, and he really talked about what it looked like when he came to the Giants. I believe it was in 2008 or 2009, before they got to the World Series and how they were the misfits, and they really assembled as a team, and they had all of these crazy personalities, and crazy talents. They didn’t have the highest salary. Salaries out of all of Major League Baseball is kind of a little bit of a money-ball situation like the Oakland As used to have, and they just maximized what they had, worked the best together as a team, and went on to win three World Series in a time span of four years.

Jake Hinton: Wow.

Todd Jones: 2010, 2012 and 2014, so he was really inspiring, gave Jake Mangus, who’s the president of the Chamber of Commerce a signed 2014 World Series ball, and if you know Jake, Giants, he is … He might love the Giants almost as much as he loves Redding.

Jake Hinton: Wow.

Todd Jones: So, and he was, it was really inspirational, really amazing, and then they announced 10 ideas on what we’re going to do to … What cool stuff could happen in Redding? So, the first idea was an umbrella alley, so have some cool alley, probably something downtown with a lot of the re-development that’s going on. That’s just colorful and interesting and provides some shade in the heat and some cover on rainy days like today. One of the big projects was to revitalize the amphitheater down by the river by the Sundial Bridge.

Jake Hinton: Oh, yeah.

Todd Jones: And add some more sound and lighting and possible seatings and amenities and clear much of the brush because it’s right on the Sacramento River.

Jake Hinton: Yeah.

Todd Jones: But, it’s covered in all kinds of brush, so clear it up and make it beautiful. A lot of public art ideas, and just things because public art and place-making, all of that stuff helps us with our economic development. You know, we have people coming in from all over the world to Redding every single day, and if they find it an enjoyable place to be, and there’s amenities and great breweries and great coffee roasters and beautiful places to be and see, it all helps us recruit and retain talented people and continue to have a great place to live.

Jake Hinton: Nice.

Todd Jones: Yeah.

Jake Hinton: Alright.

Todd Jones: So, it was really, really fun. Really inspiring event, go to reddingcityidentityproject.org, and you can see those 10 ideas, and there’s two weeks left to submit an idea because there’s going to be 10 more ideas funded.

Jake Hinton: Okay.

Todd Jones: And I think those will be announced most likely at the end of next month.

Jake Hinton: Awesome. Awesome, well good deal.

Todd Jones: Good … It was a good day, a good Thursday in January.

Jake Hinton: Yeah, a couple of cool events. So, that all being said, we’re going to be, trying to make these video about once every two weeks for the Shasta EDC, so stay tuned to see what’s going to be upcoming, some of the special events that are going to be going on in Shasta County, so thank you, Todd for tuning us into those things. 

Jake Hinton: Anything else you want to share before we sign off?

Todd Jones: I think that’s it. Yeah, so just stay involved and stay connected to us and the Chamber and everybody else and we’ll, we’re making cool things happen in Shasta County.

Jake Hinton: Cool, well thank you Todd.

Todd Jones: Thanks Jake.

Jake Hinton: We’ll talk to you in a couple of weeks.

Todd Jones: Alright.

Jake Hinton: Thank you.