Researching and improving Santa Clarita's readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Over the last few years, I realized that strip malls were disappearing in my community. I also realized that its workforce consisted heavily of middle-wage jobs with predictable tasks.
I conducted a study on Santa Clarita's workforce and retail community, comparing the jobs most susceptible to automation and the jobs most prevalent in Santa Clarita’s workforce, while also comparing the sustainable emerging business models with community retailers. My findings were stunning: 38.57% of jobs in the Santa Clarita Valley have an average automation potential of 62.6%, and the majority of businesses in community strip malls failed to operate one of the six sustainable emerging business models.
With all of this in mind, I founded re[DEFINE] SCV with a group of my peers in order to identify areas in which we could combat the outdated nature of our city. Our projects aim to provide solutions in sectors all over the community.
Infographic by Carter Cote
NOTICING THE PROBLEM
Research on Santa Clarita’s workforce from the Census Bureau and the Brookings Institution contain findings that 38% of Santa Clarita’s middle-wage jobs contain predictable physical and cognitive tasks, thus placing those jobs at risk of displacement by automation and artificial intelligence. Moreover, the foundations of the retail models supporting these jobs are challenged, as businesses are expected to shift to an on-demand, experiential model (World Economic Forum, 2018). The result will be significant job displacement, in addition to both heightened labour productivity and widening gaps between the skills that employers need, and those that potential employees have (World Economic Forum, 2018).
As we approach the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Santa Clarita is in need of a source of economic growth in order to account for displacement of the city’s middle-wage jobs and reformation of the city’s retail industry.
DEVISING A SOLUTION
This proposal plan aims to supplement the current efforts of the City of Santa Clarita’s Economic Development Corporation by launching and managing a business incubator. As of February 2020, there is an 11,000 square-feet junior anchor tenant space available within the Valencia Marketplace to house an incubator. The center’s location, abundant parking spaces, and proximity to Interstate 5 are attractive to commuters from around Los Angeles County. The objective of establishing a business incubator is to address Santa Clarita’s economic readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which represents a fundamental change to the workforce and the retail industry.
The proposed incubator space would provide a potential stimulus for the establishment and growth of technology-based start-up companies and other innovative businesses. Through accelerated enterprise development, the objective of the proposed incubator space would be to 1) account for the City of Santa Clarita’s eventually displaced middle-wage jobs through economic growth, 2) help advance the promotion of small business growth and workforce development, and 3) helping companies get established and ingrained in the Santa Clarita community; in turn, these companies become permanent contributors to the health of the city’s economy (Auburn Innovation Partnership Zone, 2017).
LAUNCHING AN INITIATIVE
re[DEFINE]'s mission is to create innovative solutions that address outdated infrastructure in our community. We develop projects that cover various sectors of the city, including education, business, technology, and recreation.
re[DEFINE]'s team is consisted of creative individuals that have extensive design experience and problem-solving skills. As a collective, we use our skills to collaborate towards solving observable problems in our community.
Interested in checking out our work?
Visit the website
PHASES OF RESEARCH:
PHASE ONE: Community Observation
Collecting empirical evidence with which I can confirm my perspective on Santa Clarita's readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Objective: To what extent does my perception match reality?
PHASE TWO: A View on Other Communities
Looking at communities outside of Santa Clarita to learn how they are engaging with solvency for navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Gain better insight through others' perspective and experiences.
Objective: What have other communities done to address or support their ability to navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
PHASE THREE: Points of Contact
Identify specific people, groups, and organizations in Santa Clarita to contact in regards to Santa Clarita's readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Objective: Within our own community who is already working on stimulating SCV's economy? Who has the power or resources to assist me in my work on this topic?
Infographic by Carter Cote
Infographic by Carter Cote
PHASE FOUR: Needs Assessment
Create mixed media arguments that validate Santa Clarita's lack of readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Include anecdotal background, context, my thesis statement
Convey empirical evidence through data provided by existing studies on the 4IR
Utilize graphic design skills to create engaging infographics and a thorough research poster that illustrate Santa Clarita as unfit for the 4IR
Objectives: Create engaging infographics that raise awareness about the issue and convey the issue in a simplified manner. Create a stand alone research poster that can be used to convey my argument to audiences such as the City Council and local school districts.
THE RESEARCH POSTER:
 Forum, W. E. (n.d.). Strategic Intelligence: World Economic Forum. Retrieved from intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1Gb0000001RIhBEAW?tab=publications.
 Ingilizian, Z., Donnelly, C., Executive Committee, & World Economic Forum. (n.d.). Retail for consumer industries: thinking outside the (brick-and-mortar) box. Retrieved from www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/retail-for-consumer-industries-thinking-outside-the-brick-and-mortar-box/.
 Economy in Santa Clarita, California. (n.d.). Retrieved from
 Santa Clarita, CA. (2017). Retrieved from datausa.io/profile/geo/santa-clarita-ca/#economy.
 Muro, M., Maxim, R., Whiton, J. (2019 January). Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places. Retrieved from www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019.01_BrookingsMetro_Automation-AI_Report_Muro-Maxim-Whiton-FINAL-version.pdf
 Dreamstime, I. C. (2018, October 31). AI Replace Executive Assistant. Retrieved from www.radio.com/small-business-pulse/articles/ai-replace-executive-assistant.
 Acemoglu, D., Restrepo, P., Brynjolfsson, E., Mitchell, T., Rock, D., Seamans, R., … Agrawal, A. (2018, January 6). Economic Consequences of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Retrieved from www.aeaweb.org/conference/2018/preliminary/1476.
 Santa Clarita Business Incubator. (n.d.). Retrieved from econdev.santa-clarita.com/santa-clarita-business-incubator/.
 Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. (SCVEDC). (n.d.). Retrieved from www.clustermapping.us/content/santa-clarita-valley-economic-development-corp-scvedc.
 New Brookings Institution Report: PA falling behind other states on innovation - BFTP. (2019, September 9). Retrieved from nep.benfranklin.org/new-brookings-institution-report-pa-falling-behind-other-states-on-innovation/.