Economic Summit seeks to build a better future


keynote speakers Sterling Smith Consulting Economist Emsi and Erin Baird Account Manager Higher Education Emsi on Friday March 6,2020. Photo credit: Robtrell Scott

Robtrell Scott, Staff Writer

Cerritos College held the Economic Development Summit on March 6, bringing together big industries leaders from technology, civics, transportation, and education sectors.

Held in the Conference Center, the keynote speakers were Erin Baird, an account manager for higher education, and Sterling Smith, a consulting economist.

Both Smith and Baird work for EMSI which is a program that helps students find jobs that suits the students’ skills.

Smith explained how students learn about these jobs and the opportunities that will arise.

“The college generally puts this information on their website through the student services. It will be able to provide them with information about what jobs are out there and how well those jobs are paying,” Smith said.

Students prepare for their future by getting those jobs. Baird said, “if you’re looking at what you are studying and how it relates to the occupations within the region you want to stay is really valuable.”

“To understand and access these opportunities, students can talk to their college career counselor as they’re going to know those occupations but also your research analysts [are] going to have that information,” Baird added.

EMSI has a six-to-seven year working relationship with Cerritos College that both claim to continue on building for many years to come, according to Erin Baird.

Jobs for the students was not the only topic of discussion on Friday’s summit, as there were also discussions on transportation.

Senior director of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Melani Smith explains that new transportation routes may be coming soon.

Melani said, “There is a new light rail project that Metro is planning right now that’s going to link Artesia, Cerritos, and other cities. ”

This big picture project hopes to link up to Downtown LA, the Green Line and the rest of the region.

Metro is studying how its service impacts the whole region’s population in its “next gen bus study.”

Southern California Council of Government senior regional planner Mike Jones spoke about better housing opportunities for students.

California is getting more expensive as the years go by, according to Jones.

Jones would like students to know “we know that housing is a challenge here in Southern California and one of the things that we are trying to look at is how do we insure that the next generation is able to afford housing?

SCAG has a number of programs. One of the big things that we do is we get a number from the state about how much housing should be planned for by each city in the region, then we allocate out that number.”

SCAG is a program that has a goal to help make housing more affordable for the next generation.

This summit brought many people together from different spaces, not just from colleges but also cities and agencies.