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San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership to take
‘We Have It All!’ message into the new millennium

Organization works to retain, expand and attract businesses to area


The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, based in Irwindale, is working to retain, expand and attract businesses to the Valley.

The geographic region of the Partnership covers about 400 square miles of eastern L.A. County. The region is bordered by the San Gabriel Mountains on the north, the cities of Pasadena, Monterey Park and South Pasadena board on the west, the crest of the foothills that run parallel to the Pomona (60) Freeway on the south and the Los Angeles/San Bernardino county line on the east. Major stakeholders in the Partnership include most of the 30 incorporated cities in the Valley, along with major businesses, telecommunications, utilities and chambers of commerce.

 

According to Frank Marquez, president and chief executive officer, the Economic Partnership is the single organization in the region with the mission to support economic growth and create employment opportunities in the San Gabriel Valley for the mutual benefit of businesses, cities, chambers of commerce, academic institutions and its residents.

“Our message of ‘We Have It All!’ will continue to be used in 2001 and upcoming years to market the San Gabriel Valley,” Marquez pointed out. “We will continue to promote our excellent resources — nationally renowned educational institutions, qualified workforce, unparalleled transportation infrastructures, diverse industry clusters and world-class entertainment venues. These attributes will allow us to outpace other regions in this increased competitive environment in the new millennium.”

“In addition, the Partnership will strive to be the unifying entity in collaborating with the Council of Governments to encourage all our cities to look at regional governance to address major issues,” Marquez said.
The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is also an information source on the region. The Partnership, markets the area to attract businesses and increases the profile of the region with county and state agencies. ThePartnership also promotes programs and services that work to attract interest outside the region and to help member cities work together to benefit their individual communities and the region’s economy.

In April of 1999, the Partnership embarked on a two-year, $2 million marketing campaign geared toward creating a positive image of the Valley and promoting its attributes in order to attract businesses and investments in the region. The Partnership’s member stockholders: Bank of America, Verizon Communications, Southern California Edison, the city of Pasadena, Fairplex and the city of Azusa funded the campaign.

Under the theme, “The San Gabriel Valley: We Have It All!,” the emphasis is on the qualities that make the Valley a unique place. This message is distributed through billboards, direct-mail postcards, street banners and other promotional items and newspaper advertising. The campaign’s message points out manufacturing opportunities, a solid workforce, a central location for meetings and conventions, individual and unique residential communities. The area is also the home to nationally renowned institutions of higher learning including, excellent community colleges and Caltech, Claremont Colleges, Cal State LA, Cal Poly Pomona and the University of La Verne.

“The San Gabriel Valley has always been a manufacturing stronghold especially in the area of food processing, electronic components and medical devices. Because of its excellent workforce and available space for business relocation and expansion, a great deal of opportunities exist for both large and small manufacturers as well as other types of businesses,” Marquez said.

“The Partnership has a very active Business Assistance Program, which provides individualized, one-on-one support to businesses located in or planning to relocate to the Valley. We assist in areas such as site location, permit assistance, hiring and training resources, and tax credit programs – basically any issue or concern a business may incur. We are the experts at knowing who the experts are – and that saves the business time and money in accomplishing their goals,” Marquez added.

The Economic Partnership traces its roots back to August of 1990 when it was incorporated and known as the San Gabriel Valley Commerce and Cities Consortium, a coalition of public and private sectors working to sustain and grow the economic base of the Valley.

Earlier, in the late 1980s, Alhambra, Monrovia and West Covina city managers had met to discuss the ability of the Valley to maintain its current employment and economic base as well as its capability to adequately meet the future needs of the Valley.

The city managers and local developers were concerned of a potential economic decline because the Valley did not have a real image and was referred to as “the other Valley” to distinguish it from the more recognizable San Fernando Valley. Subsequently, the city managers presented the issues at a meeting of the region’s City Manager’s Association and suggested that a study be undertaken to evaluate the Valley’s image and - if necessary - to strengthen it. Member stakeholders donated $5,000 each to undertake the study.

Today, the study’s conclusions provide the basis of the marketing campaign to make known the Valley’s strategic location, excellent infrastructure, diverse culture, cities progressive attitude to welcome businesses and facilitate improvements for higher quality of life.

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is at 4900 Rivergrade Road, Suite A310 in Irwindale.
For information, call (626) 856-3400 or visit its website, www.valleynet.org.

By Clarice Prittie
Staff Writer