Adobe Lines up Big Names for CEO Summit

Digital publishing software powerhouse Adobe has
lined up a slew of big name executives and California governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger to headline its CEO Summit scheduled for Thursday, February

In partnership with the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group (SVMG), the CEO Summit will be held at Adobe’s San Jose, Calif. headquarters and will kick off with a closed-door session between Schwarzenegger and a select group of executives and academic leaders.

In a statement, Adobe said the discussion would focus on California’s economic recovery bond, workers compensation, education, energy, housing and frivolous lawsuits.

Executives on tap to attend include Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, Applied Materials CEO Michael Splinter, Hewlett-Packard president Carly Fiorina, Solectron chief executive Michael Cannon, Synopsys Chairman and CEO Aart de Geus, and Stanford University president John Hennessy.

It’s no secret that employment levels in the Bay Area and beyond have suffered in recent years, especially in technology related jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more that 200,000 jobs have been lost at Silicon Valley since 2001 and salaries have fallen by an average of 24 percent from 2000. State labor leaders are now forecasting California employment will grow about 1 percent in 2004, adding about 142,000 jobs.

“This is much less than both the average growth of 1.8 percent over the last ten years and the 3.5 percent growth that occurred in 2000” the California Employment Development Department issued in its latest short-term outlook. “In addition, we expect about 364,000 replacement jobs to be available, when individuals leave their jobs due to retirement or career change.”

The bureau said the fastest growing occupations in 2004 will be computer related such as Computer Support Specialists, Computer Software Engineers, Network and Computer Systems
Administrators and Multi-Media Artists and Animators. Other areas of growth in 2004 will be in Health, Education and Personal Services occupations.

Even so, employers’ demand for non-resident H-1B visa workers with advanced-level IT skills remains relatively high. Some, 25,658 openings were certified for H-1B visas in the nine-county Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Bay Area in fiscal year 2001-2002, according to statistics from the Bay Area Council, a San Francisco-based public policy group.

Earlier this week the Bay Area Council received a nearly $3 million grant from the Department of Labor for a three-year effort to reduce the demand employers have for H-1B visa foreign workers. The program will use the grant money to train and improve the skill levels of employers’ current U.S. permanent resident workforce.

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