ROHNERT PARK -- The deadline to register for the annual Sonoma State University Economic Outlook Conference featuring a keynote by CSU Chancellor Timothy White and presentations on the forecast for the economy and jobs of the future is Feb. 17.

The conference will be held from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 19 at the new SSU Student Center ballroom on campus.

"My vision for the CSU is for the university to revitalize its priorities with a focus on the 21st century and the unique needs of the students we serve today," said Dr. White. "We are looking past the current buildings, past the current curriculum and past the current teaching models to envision a future that is more digital, connective and interactive."

Dr. White, who sees collaboration between business and CSU as a key part of that vision. "I am optimistic that the value of our degrees will continue to remain high through the continued involvement of the business community on our campuses. Through this continued close collaboration, we will continue to adapt our curriculum and expand our program offerings to ensure our students are workforce ready and prepared to lead in the high-demand industries that drive California's economy."  

Meanwhile, SSU's Dr. Robert Eyler, who will deliver his annual North Bay economic forecast at the conference, said the drought could be the one factor that could derail a strengthening recovery. "If there is any anomaly in the forecasts for our region and the state of California, it would be the water conditions and how severe a drought may take place," Dr. Eyler said.

Finally at the conference, a panel of workforce experts will address the topic of "Workforce 2020." The panelists are Matt Cooper,  a top executive with the innovative Redwood City-based freelance staffing firm oDesk; Ingrid Estrada, vice president and general manager at Agilent Technologies;  Craig Nelson, board member and corporate secretary at Nelson Family of Companies, and Sarah Dove, director of the career center at the Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics.

The SSU Economic Outlook Conference is being presented by the North Bay Business Journal and co-hosted by Sonoma State University and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

To register for the conference, call 707-521-5264 or click here. Registration online closes Monday, Feb. 17. The cost is $65 per person, and the price includes a subscription to the North Bay Business Journal for new subscribers only. For sponsoring and advertising information, call 707-521-5270.