As the state continues to navigate a reopening in the midst of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the grim economic implications of the pandemic are expected to have lasting effects.

To aid an equitable recovery, there must be a focus on how the state can institute a decision-making process to rapidly deploy resources and investments that not only improve the current conditions of those who have been hit the hardest, but also seizes the opportunity to correct the long-standing lack of investment that helped create the deep inequities we see today. 

“Now is not the time to lean in on default policies that will continue to exacerbate the inequities magnified by the pandemic. Instead we must reimagine an economic renewal that will stimulate a resilient, equitable and sustainable economy,” said Micah Weinberg, CEO of California Forward.

In May, California Forward provided recommendations for creating an investment strategy for economic recovery. Today, in collaboration with leading scholars in the field, CA Fwd has released “The Need for Equitable Economic Revitalization,” a policy brief proposing an action plan for how the state can rapidly invest more resources into infrastructure, while integrating these investments in workforce training to ensure a steady pipeline of skilled workers and creating good, well-paid jobs as well.

“California continues to face a shortage of skilled workers and by aligning workforce development with infrastructure investments, we can create new employment opportunities that would allow for higher incomes and the revitalization of our communities,” said Mark Pisano, Professor of the Practice of Public Administration, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.   

The policy brief provides an approach to rethink the investment process, balancing economic growth with tangible investments in environment, equity, resilience and inclusion.

“Investments in infrastructure can serve as a powerful potential catalyst in addressing gaps in equity while supporting the state’s long-term prosperity,” said Matt Horton, Director of Center for Regional Economics and California Center at the Milken Institute.

Highlights from the brief include:

Creating better outcomes and investing in our communities, especially those who have historically been underinvested, is needed now more than ever.

With these types of strategies, California and its regions have an immediate opportunity to direct infrastructure investments where they could have a significant impact while enhancing a pipeline for skilled workforce.

To read “The Need for Equitable Economic Revitalization” policy brief, click here.