San Jose, Calif. —More than 60 business and civic leaders head to Seattle next month for The Silicon Valley Organization’s annual Study Mission.

The three-day program, Oct. 3-5, will focus on the effects of having a large employer expanding within the city’s downtown core in order to better understand the subsequent impacts, the challenges, the opportunities and to bring back the best practices to be implemented in San Jose. 

This year’s Study Mission program is being co-chaired for the first time by San Jose State University President Dr. Mary A. Papazian.  

"San Jose State University is proud to be located in the heart of San Jose’s downtown core and embraces its role as a vital anchor institution for our city," said Dr. Mary A. Papazian, President of SJSU.

"SJSU welcomes its leadership role in the evolution of this dynamic city center as we engage with city, community, and industry leaders to infuse the downtown core with the energy and presence of our 41,000 students, faculty and staff. And, because SJSU powers Silicon Valley businesses with the talent they need to grow and thrive, collaborating with The Silicon Valley Organization is key to SJSU’s engagement with its partners as together we shape the future of San Jose and its downtown.” 

In the 1980’s, Seattle began its development into a major technology center with headquartered companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. A steady stream of new software and internet companies led to an economic revival and boom in and around downtown Seattle, which shares many similar characteristics to the growth and story of Silicon Valley.   

“Seattle’s downtown core, much like our own, has experienced tremendous growth. Adobe’s planned expansion along with Google’s potential arrival and investment in the City of San Jose is an incredible opportunity to add thousands of new good paying jobs that will grow new incremental tax revenue, which supports essential city services for all local residents,” said Matthew Mahood, The Silicon Valley Organization President & CEO. 

“We want to better understand what happens when major employers, like Amazon, move in and grow in your downtown core. What are the impacts, the opportunities, the challenges and what can we learn from Seattle and bring back to San Jose to make sure we can continue making our city the best place to live, work, play, raise a family and run a business for everyone.” 

The City of San Jose and Silicon Valley business executives can learn much from Seattle’s rapid growth and resulting growing pains, especially in their downtown core, to identify and implement public policies here at home that continue to drive economic prosperity, improve our region’s critical infrastructure investments and maintain a high quality of life for residents and businesses.

Among topics to be studied while the delegation visits Seattle are: 

  • Integration of Corporate Partners in the Urban Fabric
  • Transportation and Transit Infrastructure
  • Development Review ‚Äì Growing Seattle‚Äôs Downtown
  • Housing and Homelessness

Previous Study Missions have visited Pittsburg, Monterey, Austin, Boston, Vancouver, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, Chicago, Portland and San Diego.


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