In coming over the hill to the San Fernando Valley to promote economic vitality, Elan Shore has found a much different business world than exists on the Westside. In the Valley, owner-operated companies managed from within are the norm, Shore has learned, as compared to the multi-national corporations found in Westwood or Santa Monica. The heavily-industrial northeast Valley especially is in need of more investment and companies there are not shy about reaching out for Shore’s assistance as the regional manager at the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. “You don’t see much of that on the Westside,” Shore said. Shore, a resident of Sherman Oaks, took over the position in December after previous regional manger Ken Hitts left to take a job with the City of Glendale. While he is paid by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., Shore works out of the Alliance’s Sherman Oaks office. He started with the LAEDC in July and prior to that worked as a senior business consultant for the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Province of Ontario, Canada. Shore’s background is a welcome balance of experience in working in a government bureaucracy and knowing what the private sectors needs, said Alliance President and CEO Bruce Ackerman. “I have been out on several calls with him and he has the ability to see a situation and surmise what needs to be done and come up with recommendations that help the business or solve the problem,” Ackerman said. Shore is still getting up to speed on the Valley business environment meeting with different city departments; responding to companies with urgent needs; re-establishing networks started by Hitts; and learning about the Pacoima-area enterprise zone that provides tax breaks and financial incentives for business located within its boundaries. In his few months in the Valley, Shore has already worked with two companies moving into the enterprise zone and a third that is in the process of expanding. In coming weeks, meetings with city agencies and not-for-profit organizations will set priorities, identify how to maximize resources and develop protocols for outreach to businesses, Shore said. Despite a complicated history in the Los Angeles region, manufacturing remains a strong provider of good, stable jobs, Shore said. Rather than compete with low-cost basic assembly tasks done primarily overseas, the focus needs to shift to manufacturing using advanced technology and using an existing talent base and infrastructure. “When you talk about the new wave in manufacturing there is a good opportunity to take advantage of that,” Shore said.
Shoring Up Economic Development