Supervisor Perez Introduces Measures to Spur Job Creation, Economic Growth in Fourth District and Riverside County
PALM DESERT – This week, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez brought forth several job creation initiatives: proposing greater investment in the county’s economic development efforts, forming a committee to streamline permitting and seeking a customs facility at the Thermal airport.
“These are areas where we can make investments and improvements to generate economic growth and create jobs in communities with high unemployment and need,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “ Although the county budget involved tough decisions, and we had to consider cuts and efficiencies, it’s important to also look ahead to ways we can enhance the economic position of our county, stimulate business development and thereby grow our budgets.”
During county budget hearings, the Riverside County Economic Development Agency highlighted its successful partnerships and initiatives to attract business to the county. The agency has worked to increase film production in Riverside County and was instrumental to the California Air Resources Board’s decision to locate its new facility in Riverside, bringing 400 high-tech jobs. Supervisor Perez proposed additional funding for the agency to build on these efforts, and develop short-, mid- and long term strategies for continued success.
The county budget, approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, included $3.3 million in general fund support to the agency. Supervisor Perez proposed boosting this allocation to $4 million, an additional $711,106 contribution. Supervisor Perez’s budget recommendation will be considered by the Board July 25.
Supervisor Perez convened the first meeting of a blue ribbon committee Thursday to review and improve the county’s entitlement and permitting process. Committee members expressed input and priorities that county Transportation & Land Management Agency staff will consider in their ongoing efforts to pursue improved service to residents and the business community.
“I thank Fourth District Planning Commissioner Bill Sanchez for chairing this committee and individuals from the business community for contributing their perspectives,” said Perez. “I also commend the efforts under way by the Transportation & Land Management Agency, under the leadership of Juan Perez, as well as the Desert Valleys Builders Association, to make Riverside County a better place to do business.”
Supervisor Perez also renewed Riverside County’s efforts to designate the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport as a User Fee Airport. If approved by the U.S Customs and Border Protection, this designation would bring customs service to the county-owned airport, allowing international arrivals of visitors and commerce, and lead to many types of future economic opportunities in the communities of Thermal and the eastern Coachella Valley.
“Obtaining this designation would promote economic development, with increased airport usage by visitors to the Thermal Club motorsports facility, the nearby concerts, or to any of the world class recreation and outdoor amenities in our valley,” said Perez. “It would also bring new economic opportunities, such as helping our growers export agricultural products from our region, among many logistics and industrial uses.”