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March 2014
CEO Carl Guardino's Blog
DAILY CEO INSPIRATION - March 2014

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CEO Survey: Seeking Solutions

By Carl Guardino, President and CEO

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group annually conducts a "CEO Business Climate Survey," seeking direct input from the innovators and entrepreneurs who drive our region's economy.

This year, 222 executives responded. The results are enlightening:

  • Last year, 2013, 62 percent added jobs in Silicon Valley, with only 9 percent subtracting jobs.
  • This year, 2014, 59 percent expect to add jobs here in Silicon Valley, with only 4 percent anticipating job losses.
Indeed, Silicon Valley continues to lead California and our country when it comes to job growth and economic recovery. So what do employers, and our employees, need from policy makers to stay successful in innovation and job creation?

Read More >


Celebrating 30 Years of Meaningful Change in Our Schools

By Dennis Cima, Senior Vice President

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the great work being done in teacher professional development by our non-profit friends at Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME). Throughout its 30-year history as a premier entity for providing teachers with professional development, IISME has reached thousands of Bay Area teachers who have, in turn, inspired hundreds of thousands of students.

IISME is focused on improving instruction in K-14 through partnerships with leading companies and research institutions. The IISME Summer Fellowship Program, its flagship effort, is a simple model: Bay Area teachers are placed in enriching, paid summer fellowships for eight weeks where they learn the latest skills and trends in our industries through hands-on experience. The IISME experience allows teachers to bring the knowledge from their fellowship back to their students and school districts while the host company gains the benefit of teaching and working with a dedicated team member for the summer. IISME's Summer Fellowship Program can also offer amazing development opportunities for host company employees as they serve as mentors to IISME fellows.

Read More >


Continuing the Push for Immigration Reforma

By Emily Lam, VP of Health Care and Federal Issues

The fight to pass immigration reform continues this year from SXSW to Washington, D.C., with efforts ramping up to move a House bill as soon as this summer and no later than the end of this year.

While an election year is generally considered a difficult time to pass a major policy overhaul, the momentum created last year through our efforts with various stakeholders - including businesses, agriculture, civil rights and religious groups - keeps this issue at the forefront. To get immigration reform over the finish line, companies and supporters of reform need to continue their efforts in underscoring the vital importance to our economy and job creation, and to recruiting and retaining talent from around the world.

The Leadership Group has two upcoming opportunities for companies to help keep immigration reform on the front burner:

  • We will be co-hosting several events promoting immigration reform with high profile tech leaders such as Steve Case at this year's SXSW Festival in Austin, TX from March 7 - March 11, 2014.
  • Our annual Washington, D.C. advocacy trip on March 25 - 27 will have many visits with key members on immigration reform.

Read More >

Wins of the Month
  • Nearly 900 runners and walkers participated in our inaugural Lam Research "Heart & Soles 5K" at Hellyer Park in San Jose on February 8, 2014. Our family fun run/walk provided 43 schools with salad bars this year alone! The Heart & Soles 5K raises money for Silicon Valley K-8 schools that request a salad bar, an initiative by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and his Team California for Healthy Kids promoting healthy eating.

  • The Santa Clara County Cities Association took another step forward on affordable housing by voting to ask cities to set aside former redevelopment agency funds for affordable housing, an action requested by Leadership Group's Shiloh Ballard, SVP of Housing and Community Development. Last year, the Leadership Group, in collaboration with several housing stakeholders, convinced Santa Clara County to set aside former redevelopment agency funds for affordable housing. This effort was a response to the state's action in 2012 to eliminate redevelopment agencies and the $1 billion annually that used to go to affordable housing.

  • The Leadership Group convened a kick-off meeting to review homelessness in Silicon Valley and determine how the business community is best suited to help the 10,000 families and individuals who are homeless on any given night. This meeting marked a good first step in the Leadership Group's new initiative to help decrease the number of people who are homeless.

  • The Leadership Group arranged three round tables with Michelle K. Lee for the first official visit to Silicon Valley in her new capacity as the head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). More than 100 executives, member companies and startups were in attendance, including U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, USPTO Silicon Valley Director John Cabeca and Deputy Director Lee's Chief of Staff Andrew Byrnes.

  • Andreessen Horowitz and the Leadership Group hosted University of California President Janet Napolitano for the kick-off meeting of our higher education partnership. Napolitano shared her vision and priority initiatives for the UC system and discussed with senior officials the development of UC's brand integrating the Silicon Valley industry - particularly with respect to developing a strong, skilled and local talent pool, and the impact that UC research and teaching has on our businesses, employees and communities.