The Regional Business Summit and San Bernardino County State of the County event held Feb. 12 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena attracted a record-breaking attendance of 1,200 business, government and community leaders who came together to learn more about the County’s exciting future.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman kicked the event off by citing the County’s increasing use of technology and innovation designed to enhance efficiency and spur growth. He noted how the County is leading the state and nation in population and job growth.
“With over 20,000 square miles, we are always looking for ways to reduce the need to travel long distances and increase productivity, for ourselves and our customers,” Hagman said. He noted how the County’s Land Use Services Department is offering many services online and utilizing video conferencing to connect staff and customers. “San Bernardino County is prioritizing the development of its technology infrastructure so that we can better serve our residents, businesses and visitors.”
Hagman also introduced the County’s Vision2Succeed campaign that encourages residents and businesses to get involved in learning experiences and programs that help to propel career growth and lifelong learning. During State of the County business people were asked to take and post a selfie promoting their first job to inspire the County’s up and coming workforce.
Following Hagman’s remarks, the audience watched an elaborate and informative video presentation featuring business leaders such as Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief Jason Feiffer, Drucker School of Management Clinical Associate Professor Jay Prag on the County’s economic strength as well as top leadership from various industries including UPS and FedEx discussing their ongoing investment in the region.
The entire State of the County event is available for viewing here.
“As the County has grown, we’ve decided to invest into a much larger operation at Ontario International Airport. The $300 million investment we’re putting into the airport is our largest ramp facility project in the last 10 years. That’s where the growth is. That’s where the customers are,” said Michael K. Pigors, regional president and executive vice president of the U.S. domestic and U.S. international region for FedEx Express.
Prior to the main event, the NAIOP Inland Empire chapter presented a panel of the County’s well-known commercial real estate experts including Val Achtemeier, executive vice president, CBRE Capital Markets; Greg Devereaux, partner, Worthington Partners, LLC; and Doug Jorritsma, senior vice president, Land Advisors Organization, California Division. The panelists discussed real estate opportunities that have the potential to transform the region along touting the County’s economic strength and business growth.
The panelists concurred that San Bernardino County is poised for an influx of residential, retail and business growth in the coming years as the surrounding counties of Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles, experience escalations in housing and commercial real estate costs. Businesses with a particular emphasis in logistics and manufacturing needing industrial space and access to transportation corridors as well as more economical real estate alternatives have been and will be drivers for the county’s transformation. Additional demand for residential, retail and office sectors will continue as the industrial sector thrives and expands.