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The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has prepared the Draft 2015 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (Draft 2015 FTIP) in compliance with the adopted 2012-2035 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (2012-2035 RTP/SCS) and all federal and state requirements, including those set forth in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and metropolitan planning regulations. SCAG has also prepared the Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS to reflect additions or changes to a number of critical transportation projects that are ready to move forward toward the implementation phase.

On June 5, 2014, the SCAG Transportation Committee approved release of the Draft 2015 FTIP and Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS for a 30-day public review and comment period, which concludes on July 31, 2014. The Draft 2015 FTIP is comprised of transportation projects for the six-county SCAG region: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. The Draft 2015 FTIP consists of three (3) volumes: (I) Executive Summary, (II) Technical Appendix, and (III) Project Listing (consistent with the 2012 RTP/SCS). The Technical Appendix includes the federally required conformity analysis for the Draft 2015 FTIP. The Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS is comprised of transportation project changes for the same six-county region, and consists of a single document containing the changes.

Included in the public review and public hearings of the Draft 2015 FTIP and Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS are the Federal Program of Projects for Fiscal Years 2015-2020 that are funded with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5307 funds for all urbanized areas in the SCAG six-county region. This public involvement opportunity meets the public involvement requirements for the Program of Projects. Subsequent to public involvement and adoption, the final 2015 FTIP will function as the final program for the region, unless amended, and a final notice is not published. The projects are listed by each respective county in Volume III of the Draft 2015 FTIP. The applicable urbanized areas are: Camarillo, El Centro–Calexico, Hemet, Indio–Cathedral City, Lancaster–Palmdale, Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, Mission Viejo–Lake Forest–San Clemente, Murrieta–Temecula–Menifee, Oxnard, Riverside–San Bernardino, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Victorville–Hesperia, and Yuma AZ – CA* (*Imperial County Portion).

The Draft 2015 FTIP and Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS are available for public review on the SCAG website at www.scag.ca.gov/FTIP and www.scagrtp.net. Copies are also available for public review at SCAG’s Los Angeles office and regional offices (Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura). Copies of the Draft 2015 FTIP can also be found at public libraries throughout the region (library listing is available on the SCAG website). SCAG’s Regional Council as the agency’s governing board is tentatively scheduled to consider approval of the final 2015 FTIP and Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS on September 11, 2014.

SCAG will be holding two (2) public hearings regarding the Draft 2015 FTIP and Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS on the following dates, times and locations:

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10 a.m.
SCAG Main Office
818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 3 p.m.
SCAG Main Office
818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017

One may also participate in the public hearings via video conference from SCAG’s regional offices. Please visit our website for the public hearing procedures and video conference locations at http://ftip.scag.ca.gov/Pages/2015/draft.aspx or http://scagrtp.net/

The purpose of the hearings is to receive public input and comments regarding the Draft 2015 FTIP and Draft Amendment No. 2 to the 2012–2035 RTP/SCS, which may be used to facilitate changes where appropriate. SCAG encourages the public and all interested parties to submit written comments and/or written information at the public hearings and no later than the close of the public comment period. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 PM on July 31, 2014 and may be submitted electronically to gutierre@scag.ca.gov, or by U.S. mail as follows:

Southern California Association of Governments
Attention: Pablo Gutierrez
818 West Seventh Street, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Ventura County suffered a significant recession in 2016, capping off a three-year period of weak economic activity worse than the financial crisis of 2008, a new report shows.

The report, by economist Matthew Fienup, director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, said that while the county has finally recovered the number of jobs lost from 2008-2011, the new positions don’t pay as well nor have they kept pace with the county’s population growth.

Ventura County’s economy, as measured in gross domestic product, shrunk by nearly 3 percent in 2016, led by a loss of nearly $1 billion in non-durable manufacturing (such as the biotech sector). The figure might be revised "but it is reasonable to conclude that Ventura County suffered a significant recession in 2016 and the county saw nearly no growth in either 2014 or 2015."

Download the full press release here.

Keywords : economy

The Inland Empire is fast approaching 300,000 jobs created since 2011, led by continued strong gains in logistics, health care and construction, a new report shows.

The analysis, by Inland Empire economist John Husing, shows that by year’s end, San Bernardino and Riverside counties will have more than doubled the 140,650 jobs lost during the economic meltdown of 2008-2011. By the time 2018 arrives, the I.E. likely will have added 292,496 jobs since 2011.

"Looking at the rest of 2017, there is every reason to anticipate growth levels will be sustained given the forces impacting the key sectors that make up the inland region’s economic base," said Husing, who prepared the report for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Download the full press release here.

Keywords : economy

Orange County is leading Southern California’s transformation to an innovation economy, drawing high-tech startups like a magnet and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and an increasingly diverse workforce, a new study shows.

The analysis, by economist Wallace Walrod of the Orange County Business Council, paints a largely positive picture of the OC’s business climate, workforce opportunities and economic outlook, particularly with regard to emerging industries.

"Orange County’s highly educated population is one of its primary competitive advantages. This deep talent pool supports innovation, industry cluster formation and expansion, and overall economic growth," said Walrod, who prepared the report for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Download the full press release here.

Keywords : economy

Innovation and disruption will drive Los Angeles County’s economy in the foreseeable future, led by advanced transportation, biosciences and digital media, a new report shows.

The study, by the Institute for Applied Economics at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC), projects county employment to grow by 133,000 jobs in the next five years – creating a tighter labor market that should force wages up.

Unfortunately, the report noted, the highest number of overall openings will be found in those occupations that require a high school diploma or less, and which pay less than the county’s median annual wage of $40,260.

"Although jobs are being added, the distribution of jobs will continue to be a cause for concern to our continued economic growth and prosperity," according to the report, prepared for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Download the full press release here.

Keywords : economy
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