Join us for an exclusive economic update for Santa Barbara County!Melissa James, CEO of regional program "The Hourglass Project", will give a preview of their recently developed jobs action plan for the Central Coast region, and Dr. Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics will unveil a new report about California’s future need for both renewable and petroleum-based fuels.
3:40 Update on Hourglass Project – Melissa James
4:00 Economic Impact of Energy Industry in Santa Barbara County – Chris Thornberg
4:45 Q&A & Wrap-up
5:00 After-Event Reception
Melissa James, President & CEO, The Hourglass Project Melissa James is a community leader who believes that innovative approaches and results oriented coalitions are critical to moving the Central Coast forward. A Cal Poly graduate and native of Sacramento, she has a deep background in public relations, strategic communications, public policy and economic development, with a proven track record of building highly-effective coalitions and teams. Her work at the Hourglass Project will focus on building regional collaboration in order to increase quality jobs across the Central Coast.
Dr. Chris Thronberg, PhD, Founding Partner, Beacon Economic Christopher Thornberg founded Beacon Economics LLC in 2006. Under his leadership the firm has become one of the most respected research organizations in California serving public and private sector clients across the United States. In 2015, Dr. Thornberg also became Director of the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development and an Adjunct Professor at the School. An expert in economic and revenue forecasting, regional economics, economic policy, and labor and real estate markets, Dr. Thornberg has consulted for private industry, cities, counties, and public agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Diego, the Inland Empire, Seattle, Orange County, Sacramento, Nevada, and other geographies across the nation. Recent and ongoing projects include an analysis of minimum wage programs for the City of Los Angeles; housing and rent control studies for the California Apartment Association; quarterly regional economic outlooks for the East Bay Economic Development Alliance; a recession recovery plan for the City and County of San Francisco; an annual economic assessment of LA’s city council districts for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; an analysis of the local technology industry for the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board; and economic impact studies for the 2024 Los Angeles Olympic Games Committee and the University of Southern California. Dr. Thornberg became nationally known for forecasting the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007, and was one of the few economists on record to predict the global economic recession that followed. Well known for his ability to capture and hold audiences, Dr. Thornberg has presented to hundreds of leading business, government, and nonprofit organizations across the globe including Chevron, The New Yorker, Colliers International, the California Chamber of Commerce, City National Bank, the California State Association of Counties, State Farm Insurance, the City of Los Angeles, the California and Nevada Credit Union League, and the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, among many others.