Experts say construction will spur local job creation

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - The Coachella Valley's economic recovery is still a work in progress according to experts.  The experts presented to members of the community at the Third Annual Coachella Valley Economic Forecast Conference.  In addition to the national, state, Inland Empire and Coachella Valley forecasts, two panels were held to discuss renewable resources. 

The economic forecast for the Coachella Valley doesn't appear bleak, but it's not exactly good news either. "The outlook is better but the signal are not quite there," said Manfred Keil, a professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College.  

Keil and other economic experts gave presentations on the state of the valley's economy at the Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells. "For a year there's basically has been no employment growth, there are positive signs in terms of construction," said Keil. 

More houses being built means lots more jobs, which means the unemployment rates continues to go down like the rest of Riverside County and the state. "Our industry can recover and if our industry recovers, the Coachella Valley recovers, Riverside county recovers, it's a good thing," said Nathan Miller from the county's Building Industry Association. 

While understanding the steady flow of tourism dollars into our economy, the conference also put the spotlight on renewable resources and how our area can capitalize on what's available.  "This is a global resource hub: wind, solar, geo-thermal, bio-fuels and we need to take advantage of that," said Tom Flavin, the president and CEO of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. 

While our valley's economy is still on the rebound, there's still plenty of confidence about the direction its heading, because of the people. "It's got this sense of community and common purpose, which in the end means big things can get done," said Flavin. 

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