The San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center, located in the college of business and economics, received national recognition for its eighth annual San Fernando Valley Economic Report, which came out in fall 2005.
The SFVERC received the Award of Excellence for data publications from the Association for University Business and Economic Research this past October at an awards luncheon held in Memphis, Tenn. The AUBER is a professional organization to which some 100 economic research centers belong.
This is the first accolade for the SFVERC and the first the center has received for its 100-page report, said Daniel Blake, economics professor and director of the SFVERC.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” Blake said. “We were unaware (awards such as the Award of Excellence existed).”
About 300 copies of the center’s winning report were issued at the 2005 Valley Industry and Commerce Association’s Business Forecast Conference, which is held annually every fall. The ninth annual report for 2006 was released this past October.
Blake, who has been the director of the center for almost six years, worked on the report himself with the help of Aaron Davis, a research associate of the center. The two were responsible for assembling and explaining the data, looking for anomalous changes and making corrections.
Before the SFVERC was established in 1997, no single source of data for the San Fernando Valley existed, Blake said. Information contained within the report is specific to the Valley, which ranges from Glendale to Calabasas.
All private economic activity in the Valley was covered in the report, with details such as the “average size of an establishment,” Blake said.
The economic report presents current economic trends and conditions in the Valley, highlighting areas such as employment, real estate and bankruptcy.
Due to a 1.8 percent increase in private sector employment, job growth has strengthened in the Valley, according to the 2005 San Fernando Valley Economic Report.
“We have a very skilled labor force,” Blake said. “There are a lot of college-educated people in the Valley.”
Several businesses and non-profit organizations find the statistics and data within the center’s report to be useful, Blake said.
The poverty and public assistance data can be used by social service organizations to write grants for government funding to benefit the Valley areas which they serve, he said.
Many businesses use the center’s report to market to other businesses. The San Fernando Valley Economic Research Alliance is a marketing organization that helps “attract new businesses and those moving away” from the San Fernando Valley, Blake said.
Publications are usually submitted to AUBER one month before its fall conference, which is expected to be held in October 2007.
The 2006 report, however, will not be submitted. SFVERC plans to submit its 2007 San Fernando Valley Economic Forecast for award consideration instead, said Blake.