San Bernardino County welcomed hundreds of business, government, and community leaders to its State of the County | Regional Business Summit held at the Toyota Arena on Wednesday. The event, hosted by Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, featured a breadth of information encompassing County data, interviews with business leaders, and updates on County programs and initiatives that made a difference in keeping residents safe and healthy and helping businesses to thrive.
The Board of Supervisors each delivered a message on critical areas of success in County programs that included education and workforce, economic development and foreign trade, public safety, healthy communities, and increasing equity. Included in these programs was the recognition that San Bernardino County became the first county in California to declare racism a public health crisis. “Our hope is that the equity element group and the conversations that it is conducting will help us to grow a more fair, just, and more prosperous community for everyone in San Bernardino County,” said Supervisor Janice Rutherford.
“While this past year has tested each and every one of us, it has not slowed down the pace of progress. Billions of dollars are being invested in San Bernardino County in technology, transportation, healthcare, and new entertainment venues,” said Chairman Hagman.
Chairman Hagman and the County’s new Chief Communications Officer Martha Guzman-Hurtado teamed up to share more news on these developments, including an update on the TopGolf entertainment experience being built in Ontario — the first in Southern California, as well as The Boring Company’s plans for an underground transit loop that will shuttle thousands of passengers between Ontario International Airport and the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station.
A subsequent video reported on investments in the County by Brightline West, Starlink, and General Atomics Aeronautical. These innovations were followed by an interview with Ken Ramirez, chairman, San Manuel Mission Band of Indians, who shared more on the tribe’s economic and philanthropic investments, including the creation of more than 7,000 local jobs. “San Manuel’s goal is to keep philanthropy dollars in local communities so that everyone has a chance at success,” said Ramirez.
Chairman Hagman also shared a video featuring the work of County-based MP Materials, the only integrated rare earth mining, and processing site in North America, and KIGT, the only and first African-American manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations. These firms exemplify the County’s burgeoning electric transportation infrastructure that benefits the nation and world.
The final business video focused on small business success and young business leaders. “Many of these businesses are founded by young people who are born here, grow up here and are now ready to invest here because they believe in what San Bernardino County has to offer. In many ways, they are community champions,” said Hagman.
The video highlighted the work of local investor and entrepreneur David Friedman of Realicore Real Estate Group, Destiny Muse of Grounded, along with the non-profit Youth Action Project (YAP) and its empowering work through its Black and Brown Economic Empowerment Partnership (BEEP) that supports young people who are working to redevelop their communities. “Reinvesting matters to this region. If we can find a way to develop our local region that makes it attractive for residents to stay, to retain our local talent, the County will thrive,” noted Tremaine Mitchell, co-founder and executive director, YAP.
The State of the County | Regional Business Summit closed with a live acoustic performance by hometown star Chayce Beckham, this year’s American Idol winner and Apple Valley native who played his number one hit “23.”