Congressional reps announce plan to promote Emeryville tech jobs

EMERYVILLE (BCN) Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, today announced a plan to promote science and technology education and tech job growth in the East Bay.

Joining East Bay business leaders at an event in Emeryville, Lee and DeSaulnier said the Innovation 2.0 Action Plan, a strategy drafted by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, is the result of efforts to ensure that the East Bay community is prepared to succeed in the 21st century

Lee said, "This plan will help create a pipeline of diverse tech employees - something that has been an afterthought far too long."

Lee said, "Now, we must double down on our efforts to ensure access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education opportunities to make certain our children are equipped with the skills to fill the high-paying jobs of the future."

Lee and DeSaulnier said the plan was inspired by Innovation 2.0, a national initiative led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, to build on the success of the original House
Democrats "innovation agenda" from 2007.

They said the original innovation agenda led to 21 provisions that were signed into law to enhance competitiveness and promote innovation in the economy.

DeSaulnier and Lee said the Innovation 2.0 Action Plan is a set of actions that local businesses will take to ensure that the East Bay is prepared to take advantage of the growth in tech jobs in the coming years.

Lee, DeSaulnier and Congressman Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, hosted a listening session last year with key businesses, educators and community stakeholders to identify priorities for Innovation 2.0.

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance's employer advisory committee then crafted a regional plan to be used as a blueprint for potential legislative resolutions and business engagement with education.

DeSaulnier said, "This plan smartly focuses on STEM education to ensure that our students are prepared for a changing economy and that our businesses have access to the local, qualified talent necessary to continue
to spur innovation in the Bay Area."

Swalwell said, "This report - the only one of its kind in the nation so far - results from hard work done before, at, and since our Innovation 2.0 roundtable with key East Bay stakeholders in business and education about a year ago."

Swalwell said, "The East Bay will benefit from having this guide for marshaling our resources and uniting the community to keep the region and our nation on the economic cutting edge."