SMC Joins Efforts to Reshape Oakland’s Economic Growth

To reestablish the SMC goal of becoming nationally recognized as a premier, multi-specialty health sciences institution, College liaisons are attending community programs sponsored by local community organizations to promote SMC as a leader in Oakland.

On May 17 SMC’s Executive Director, Office of the President (EDOP) Stephanie Bangert and Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations, Elizabeth Valente, attended Oakland’s first East Bay Economic Development Alliance Morning Conference.

Joe Haraburda, CEO, Oakland Metro Chamber of Commerce and Gregory Hunter, Interim Director of Redevelopment, City of Oakland. Photo courtesy of Oakland Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Among a crowd of 240, four panelists expressed optimism about the East Bay infrastructure challenges, retaining business and jobs, increasing public awareness, understanding of regional growth issues and the benefit of promoting the East Bay locally, nationally, and internationally as a prime locations to grow business.

As quoted in the East Bay Business Times, panelist Joe Haraburda, CEO, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, believes cooperation between business, government and school administrators is key to building Oakland’s work force.

“The community colleges and universities have to engage with business and labor and government to look for solutions. To make sure that if health care is going to be one of our number one growth sectors in the city of Oakland that we’re making sure our youth are aware of that, are getting the training necessary to get those entry levels jobs and are on the path to success.”

Jakada Imani, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, applauds Mayor Ron Dellums’ leadership to change and become a ‘bridge builder’ for the city. As quoted in the East Bay Business Times, “Past mayors were somewhat contentious figures. I think having somebody willing to stand in the center and reach out to all sides to pull us together and be a bridge to dialogue and building trust is what Oakland needs right now.”

The College will continue to participate in discussions exploring East Bay economic and business environment. These efforts will enable SMC to network and foster partnerships with key officials and policy makers, creating opportunities for stronger recognition in the community.

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Photo by Oakland Metro Chamber of Commerce


Office of the President enews is published by Samuel Merritt College, Office of the President. Stephanie Bangert, Editor. Elizabeth Valente, Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations. Elizabeth Clayton, Publications Assistant. Photography: Checkerbox Photography (graduation), Oakland Metro Chamber of Commerce (East Bay Economic Development).

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