CSUB assistant professor of economics Richard Gearhart speaks at the 2018 Kern County Economic Summit at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bakersfield.

The Kern County Economic Summit is a clear depiction of what markets our county is capable of tapping into, bringing economic and scholastic movers and shakers near and far to brainstorm what economic trends will shine through this year.

The 20th annual summit, a partnership between the Kern Economic Development Corporation, CSUB and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, provides valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on local, national and international economies and takes place March 11 from 7 to 11:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court.

According to KEDC President and CEO Richard Chapman, Kern County often gets the reputation for being an oil and agricultural city but the county has the potential to tap into other industries and markets, also.

Amazon, Walmart and L’Oreal have established a presence in Kern County, taking advantage of its central location to many major destinations in California.

Last year, Bitwise Industries became the latest to call Kern County home, establishing a presence in downtown Bakersfield. That’s in addition to Kern being one of the top-grossing farming counties andits consistent reputation as a popular landing spot for millennials.

Diversity in age makes Kern County capable of tapping into different markets, just as much as its environment and its varied industries.

Addressing a variety of topics are Economic Summit regulars Richard Gearhart and Nyakundi Michieka, assistant professors of economics at CSUB, followed by a powerhouse lineup that consists of Sean Caffery, senior vice president of business and casino development for Hard Rock International; Dede Flemming, co-founder of The Do Lab, which organizes the Lightning in a Bottle Festival; Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries; and keynote speaker Peggy Grande.

Grande was the executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1989–1999. As Reagan’s post-presidency executive assistant, Grande served as the liaison between Reagan and his staff, the public, local dignitaries and world leaders.

The collection of experts — both local and from outside the area — will provide more in-depth analysis regarding what markets Kern County is well-positioned for in the upcoming year.

Individual tickets are $100. For ticket purchases and more information, go to www.kernedc.com/economic-summit.

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