From episode: Walnut Creek Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director Teri Killgore - EPISODE 13 - Hosted by Jared Asch
Recently, at Diablo Valley College, there was a Diablo Valley Tech Conference that was held and in it, there was a large conversation in the Diablo region, how do more cities work together? Instead of all about Walnut Creek, Concord, the Concord neighborhood weapons station, Martinez going to compete, and even Brentwood, how could the cities work a little better together to attract and build a regional economy?
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That's a great question. Well, I think the first step is to identify common interests, and there are some things that we work with the county economic development office on. Work with the East Bay EDA to meet monthly to share common interests. I think the challenge right now is that each of our markets is in a very different place in its maturity cycle. The advantage of each community is they have their personality, they have their vibe, and they have their unique assets.
Could we market more as a region? We certainly could. I think part of the challenge is that our communities are intentionally very different. We don't want to lose the quirk of what's so cool about Martinez and we don't want to lose the potential of the naval weapons station. But it makes it hard because they're in such different places in their life cycle. The tenants that Walnut Creek would be going after are different than if I were in Martinez that is. Could we better share information? Yes, but I think more importantly, we need to identify what are those common interests. One of them is just making sure that everybody knows the North 680 corridor is open for business. We are here and ready to help in any way we can to bring opportunity to our community. I think it's a joint marketing effort, perhaps amongst all the communities, to Silicon Valley to say, guess what? Your workers live here, save them a bridge toll or two, save us all the miles that they're commuting, and help us bring the value of the technologies that have been unleashed in the last few years to bear by having some field offices, by thinking about the North 680 corridor as a secondary place for business, if not your primary place. That's a shared message we could all partner on well.