Focused industry cluster development can unleash incredible growth potential…
…particularly when used as an approach that cuts across the traditional tools of economic and workforce development.
Businesses (large and small) in traded or export-oriented industry clusters, by definition, sell goods and services beyond the region in which they are located. They produce a reinforcing cycle of job creation, wage growth, investment and economic prosperity.
A focused effort on strengthening export-oriented industry clusters as well as supplying the right workforce, answers the questions:
- Where will we find the well-paying jobs of tomorrow?
- How can we create more of these jobs while also ensuring that more of our residents are able to access them?
“Many of the funding opportunities that the region is exposed to are in emerging sectors of the advanced transportation industry and are also growth opportunities if Los Angeles positions itself correctly. Los Angeles, and especially the governments in LA County, are leaders at implementing advanced transportation and alternative fuels. There is no other place that would have the market size for it, nor the reasons to do it like Los Angeles does.”
Align regional economic, networking and physical assets to build capacity in key clusters.
A. Develop new physical spaces and renovate existing ones to support research, incubation, share use, development and production in key traded clusters.
B. Form sector-based partnerships between community and four-year colleges, as well as regional workforce system partners, such as Workforce Development Board and labor union apprenticeship and labor management training programs, to train and place talent in key clusters.
C. Identify industry trends, and perform asset and gap analyses to guide capacity building, and fill gaps along the value chain, from research to design to build to export, in leading and emerging industry clusters and sectors.
D. Attract top scientists, who can generate a strong base of scientific knowledge in key disciplines and accelerate technology transfer out of research and academic settings to companies within key sectors.
Provide technical assistance support to businesses, from startups to established firms, in key clusters.
A. Provide on-the-ground technical assistance and transactional “matchmaking” with: financiers; talent developers; procurement specialists; law, investor relations and accounting firms; partnering and acquisition advisors; and other specialty advising services, and introduce industry-specific online “connectories” of public, private and nonprofit resources.
B. Launch regional industry-specific purchasing groups to provide negotiated discounts based on the group’s collective buying power, as well as offer other contracting and quality assurance services.
Promote a legislative, regulatory and policy environment that supports key clusters.
A. Advocate for tax, legal, permit and regulatory regimes beneficial to key traded clusters, and oppose local, state and federal legislation that would harm key traded clusters.
B. Modernize land use regulations, along with entitlement and permitting processes, that disproportionately disadvantage key regional traded clusters.
C. Provide targeted incentives, including government procurement preferences, that support key traded industry clusters.
Market and globally promote regional strength in key clusters, and proactively attract new “anchor” entrants from other states and nations.
A. Release regular industry-specific updates and publications highlighting the region’s comparative advantages in key clusters.
B. Lead industry-specific trade missions to target countries with comparative strengths in key industries.
C. Attract major industry and industry-focused investment banking conferences to L.A.; have an L.A. presence at major global industry conferences; and conduct by invitation on-site tours of promising local companies with the venture capital and investment banking communities.
Promote convergence opportunities within, between and across key clusters.
A. Convene “cluster conferences” across industry verticals to provide firm-to-firm networking, business development opportunities and events around common issues, such as: capital access; supply chain management and procurement; intellectual property protection; trade and accessing new markets; and marketing and investor relations.
B. Develop communal R&D hubs, training facilities, shared production (manufacturing) areas and digital co-working spaces to boost convergence between fast-emerging growth sectors, such a; biomedical and information technology; multimodal transportation and autonomy; digital and security.