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Assemblyman Perez Honored at CAEZ Conference

Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez was awarded the Legislator of the Year Award by the California Association of Enterprise Zones at their annual conference in San Bernardino.

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As reported in the Imperial Valley News:

San Bernardino, California – The California Association of Enterprise Zones (CAEZ) is honoring Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez as “Legislator of the Year” for advocating for economic growth, jobs, and the California Enterprise Zone program. Assemblymember Pérez will accept his award at 4 p.m. today during CAEZ’s annual training conference in San Bernardino. Pérez offered the following statement about the award:

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the California Association of Enterprise Zones, whose members are on the front lines of economic development and job creation in struggling communities. I believe in local economic development because that’s where job creation really happens, and as chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, I see my role as helping to empower the job creators with the tools they need to expand and grow. I have spent a lot of time in low-income communities, both growing up in a working poor family and then later working on behalf of these communities. Time and again, I have seen the transformative effect that comes from having a decent job and being able to provide for one’s family. I understand how valuable the Enterprise Zone program is for the revitalization of neighborhoods and communities. I am committed to working in partnership with zone administrators, local governments, and the business community to get Main Street thriving and communities back to work.”

Of the 42 Enterprise Zones located throughout the state of California, three are located in the 80th Assembly District — one in the Coachella Valley and two serving Imperial County. The three managers that oversee those zones are attending the CAEZ conference and today’s awards ceremony. They offered their congratulations to Pérez, expressing appreciation for his work and advocacy.

“As Chair of the Jobs Committee, our Assemblyman Manuel Pérez has been a true champion for business and job creation in the Coachella Valley,” said Mark Weber, Manager of the Coachella Valley Enterprise Zone. “I look forward to working with him and his talented staff to preserve his efforts this past year safeguarding one of the last job creation programs California has, our Enterprise Zones.”

“Assemblymember Pérez is certainly deserving of this honor,” said Diane Cason, Manager of the Imperial Valley Enterprise Zone. “He has been a strong advocate in Sacramento for the Enterprise Zone program. He and his staff have taken the time to understand the program and to listen to both the zone managers and the businesses benefiting from the zone incentives. He has taken this understanding and educated others in Sacramento. With his help, we hope to make the Enterprise Zone program even more effective in the future.”

“The CAEZ is fortunate to have Assemblymember Pérez representing the 80th district. With three Enterprise Zones in his district he has an understanding of the benefits the program can provide for local businesses, as well as to attract new business to the area,” said Danny Fitzgerald, Manager of the Calexico County Enterprise Zone.

The CAEZ is a non-profit organization formed in 1990 to advance economic development through the effective implementation of the Enterprise Zone program.

About this award, CAEZ President Craig Johnson noted, “During the last two years, Assemblymember Manuel Pérez has been instrumental in preserving the Enterprise Zone program for the thousands of California businesses and jobs that depend on it. We honor him as our Legislator of the Year for his continued support and dedication to building a healthy business climate and ensuring that businesses have the means to remain stable and grow.”

State Senator Denise Ducheny will also be honored at the event as “CAEZ Legislative Champion” for her many years of hard work as a member of the California State Legislature.

The Enterprise Zone Program was established to encourage investment, growth, development and job creation in economically distressed areas of the state. The program offers employers business and tax incentives to site in designated communities (“zones”) and to employ local residents. There are 42 zones in California and thousands of businesses located within them that may be eligible for the program. Approximately 1.5 million people work in California’s Enterprise Zones, accounting for 10 percent of the state’s workforce.

Held at the San Bernardino Hilton Hotel, this year’s CAEZ annual training conference is a three-day event dedicated to discussing opportunities to enhance the program and its effort to spur economic development and support businesses that provide good-paying jobs. Local elected officials and economic development professionals, business leaders, state lobbyists, tax credit consultants, accountants and Enterprise Zone administrators from around the state will be in attendance.

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