SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A new study suggests the Bay Area’s position as the world’s premier center for technology and innovation could soon be in jeopardy if higher education and immigration policies don’t change.
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s President, Shawn Randolph, said whether you look at jobs created by global names like Google, Apple, Yahoo, or by the thousands of startups, that region’s main economic engine will be impacted.
He said the unique mix of assets that come together here are unlike any anywhere else in the world. But he said that mix could soon be upset by dwindling state support for higher education.
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
“What we’re doing to higher education is really threatening. The base percent for higher ed is down 50 percent over the last decade. That is shocking. These institutions are bedrock. They are core to our innovative system,” Randolph said.
He added that these factors are threatening to erode parts of the fundamental foundational assets in the region as is the relatively stagnant federal investment and the fact that highly educated, trained scientific immigrants are having a harder time getting here.
“More of them are staying home or thinking of going home, [after] they get their advanced degree here. They go home often because we’re telling them to get out,”
The report offers a number of recommendations including collaboration between the public and private sectors and finding more innovative ways of raising funds.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)