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Economic Summit

March 6, 2020
2020 Cerritos College Economic Development Summit


The Cerritos College Economic Development Summit will bring together industry leaders from business, civic, technology, transportation, and education sectors in the Southeast Los Angeles County region to facilitate a broad dialogue related to future economic development opportunities.


  • 8:30 am – 9 am Check-in/Continental Breakfast
  • 9 am – 9:15 am Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15 am – 10:15 am Keynote Speakers
  • 10:15 am – 10:30 am Break
  • 10:30 am - 11:45 am Panel #1 – Economic Infrastructure
  • 11:45 am – 1:15 pm Lunch/Guest Speaker
  • 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm Panel #2 – Employer Development
  • 2:30 pm – 2:40 pm Closing Remarks

Download the event flyer


Erin Baird

Erin Baird, Account Manager, Higher Education

Erin Baird moved to Moscow, Idaho in 1995 for Graduate School at University of Idaho, where she studied Social Psychology.  She managed a fast, client facing Independent Pharmacy for 14 years and was passionate about the interactions between both patients and physicians. Erin joined Emsi in November 2015. 


Sterling Smith

Sterling Smith, Consulting Economist

Sterling Smith is a Consulting Economist, has worked with educational institutions for five years in both the US and UK. He has conducted over 100 economic studies to help colleges align their curriculum with the local workforce and show the value colleges provide to their local community. Currently, he also manages Emsi’s work related to workforce demand and alignment. Prior to Emsi, Sterling earned his B.S. in Agricultural Economics at Washington State University and was employed with the Washington Grain Commission.

Jessica Ku Kim

Jessica Ku Kim, Senior Director of Workforce Development
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) 

Jessica Ku Kim provides strategic direction and leads collaborative efforts to strengthen the alignment of LA County’s workforce and education systems to industry workforce needs, as LAEDC looks towards the future of work in the region and develops strategies to help LA’s workforce navigate a rapidly changing economy.

Panel One – Economic Infrastructure: How can we better connect gateway communities to development opportunities?

What can the Southeast Los Angeles Counties 27 cities and communities do to emphasize their thriving industrial and manufacturing sectors? What impact does transportation have on the economic development of our cities?


  • Stephanie Cadena, Regional Environmental Planner
    Gateway Cities Council of Governments

  • Melani Smith, Senior Director
    Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

  • Mike Jones, Senior Regional Planer
    Southern California Council of Governments


  • Robert Duarte, Operations and Projects Manager

Panel Two – Employer Development: How do you recruit better candidates to Meet Your Workforce Needs and train your existing workforce for Growth?

What strategies can be implemented to attract better candidates? How do you improve worker output, reduce turnover, and increase return on investment? How do you develop partnerships and take advantage of the local college's training?


  • Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO
    Futuro Health

  • Rebecca Ruan-O'Shaughnessy, Senior Project Manager, Economic Advancement Strategies
    Jobs for the Future

  • Fergus O’Farrell, Engineer, Composites and Tooling
    Northrop Grumman

  • Ben Sandoval, Certified Business Services Consultant and a Program Administrator of Business Services 
    Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board


  • Greg Gonzalez, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition
    Southern California Edison


Lunch will be prepared by the Cerritos College Culinary Arts department

Cerritos College Conference Center
11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650
Parking in Lots #1 and #2 (adjacent to Alondra Blvd.) - Parking Permit Required.


Sponsored by
Edison International

Luncheon Sponsor



Aligning Business Needs, Educational Offerings, and Individual Aspirations
Presented by: Erin Baird and Sterling Smith

Building a Competitive Workforce for the Future
Presented by: Jessica Ku Kim
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)

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