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By Steve Levy

Keeping Silicon Valley Competitive

Uploaded: Aug 26, 2011

I talked to a Rotary group this morning and was asked what I would do to keep/make Silicon Valley competitve for new jobs.

I have recently been part of a team working on three Bay Area economy/workforce studies. Nearly all of our executive interviews found that employers locate here primarily to be close to the world's largest collection of talent. And becasue the entrepreneurs like living here.

So to compete for entrepreenurs we need to compete for talented workers and their families.

Fortunatley most things we should be doing to remain a great place to live and work benefit both entrepreneurs and families--great schools, world-class infrastructure and communities that say "come here to work and live".

We are competing for the best so we have to offer the best. Siliocn Valley is always going to be an expensive area. We have to accpet that--people want to live here and keep housing and land prices high. So we have to offer value for the money.

Companies here know it is an invest or die world. The state and our communities must understand that is true for them as well.

The world offers mamy other places to locate creative and innovative ventures. Right now the Bay Area still gets 40% of the nation's VC funding--a higher share than during the boom.

But our prosperity depends on being a welcoming region--welcoming by our ivnestments to offer people the best area to live and work in and welcoming for talent--without regard to where you were born or religious or lifestyle preferences.

We are a tech center. That makes it hard to stand still. We either move forward and embrace change or we can't remain the innovative center that has made this region prosperous.