San Joaquin Valley Projects

San Joaquin Valley Regional Economic Cluster Action Plan

For the California Partnership of the San Joaquin Valley (Partnership) and Fresno State’s Office of Com-munity and Economic Development (OCED), Ms. Studwell worked with ADE to complete a strategic ac-tion plan for guiding the Valley towards greater economic prosperity and for realizing its 21st Century Opportunity. The action plan documented the dynamics of major industry sectors, including employ-ment, economic impact, trade flows and opportunities for growth.

San Joaquin Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

Ms. Studwell was principal author of the first-ever consolidated CEDS for the eight-county San Joaquin Valley. Preparing the consolidated CEDS was a pre-requisite to forming a new Economic Development District for the Valley. Ms. Studwell also prepared the By-Laws for the governance of the new District and provided support services for the formation of the District and adoption of resolutions in support of the District in all eight counties. The EDD will provide a structure to facilitate EDA investment into Cali-fornia’s San Joaquin Valley resulting in new economic opportunities and higher value employment. See

Economic Future of San Joaquin Valley

For the Great Valley Center New Valley Connexions program, completed regional economic strategy for California’s San Joaquin Valley, a region comprising eight of the most productive agricultural counties in the United States. Identified six economic opportunity areas that have the greatest potential for diversi-fying the economy and increasing the number of quality jobs. Based on analysis of employment data and interviews with company executives and regional experts, developed seven critical actions to be imple-mented at the regional level, including leadership development, networking of clusters, workforce de-velopment, build a community of research and technology professionals, cultivate entrepreneurship and promote a positive regional identity. The report included 40 cluster-specific strategies, most of which have been implemented. Adopted by Governor Gray Davis as his administration’s economic strategy for the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno Business Council website:

Fresno Collaborative Regional Initiative Cluster Projects

The Fresno Collaborative Regional Initiative, a joint venture of the Fresno Business Council and the Cen-tral California Futures Institute based at Fresno State University commissioned Ms. Studwell to complete two cluster studies. Life Sciences in the San Joaquin Valley: Leveraging Local Strengths to Stimulate Eco-nomic Growth and Diversification documented the region’s growing concentration in bioscience indus-tries and made recommendations about how to leverage this strength to diversify the regional economy and increase economic opportunities, including the establishment of a medical school and a bioscience research institute. The Food Technology Cluster Study analyzed structural changes in the industry, focus-ing on the role that research and development plays in productivity and wage increases looking closely at sectors that have responded successfully to rapid changes in the global market. Currently facilitating the formation of a new food technology cluster organization.