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Under New Leadership, Chico State Officially Joins The City of Chico In Economic Development

September 16, 2016 (CHICO, CA) For the second time in 2016, Chico State officially signs on to partner with the City of Chico on major community priorities. In January of 2016, Chico State and the City of Chico, and both police departments, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase public safety in the mile radius around campus. Now, Chico State has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with the City of Chico on economic development efforts, specifically joining the Team Chico partnership.

Dr. Gayle Hutchinson, Chico State’s 15th President and first female at the helm in the 129-year history of the campus, expressed her commitment at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to partner with the City in areas of mutual interest and benefit, including efforts to retain and attract businesses to Chico. Seeing it as a key opportunity to increase student involvement in major civic initiatives, President Hutchinson reaffirmed her commitment to further town and gown collaboration.

President Hutchinson says, “The Team Chico partnership, forged by shared aspiration, intention, and action, formally acknowledges the inextricable link between campus and community. We are joined in building upon a legacy of fruitful collaboration, the benefits of which make Chico the unique and special place it is. We embrace wholeheartedly the University’s role in this alliance and the initiatives that lie ahead.”

Of this second major milestone in one year, Mark Sorensen, Mayor of the City of Chico, says, “The award winning Team Chico paradigm has proven to be very effective and highly cost efficient as it presents a single unified alliance of skills and information for the benefit of new and current businesses, and the overall community. Adding CSU Chico greatly strengthens that Team!”

Mark Orme, City Manager for the City of Chico, expresses his encouragement for this kind of partnership, saying, “Today’s local governance models work more effectively with partnerships, which allow for the leveraging of resources and expertise.  This collaborative effort is another fine example of why Chico will continue to be the economic hub of the North State, creating a healthy, vibrant and successful community for many years to come.”

Katie Simmons, President & CEO of the Chico Chamber of Commerce, says, “Local businesses benefit significantly from hands-on support from the City and University, in addition to the partners long committed to the Team Chico collaborative. The Team’s goal is to routinely reach every business in Chico with services and opportunities to provide input on the local business climate. With the addition of Chico State’s significant presence and resources, and the potential involvement of students, we can certainly reach our goals a lot faster, and expand our abilities to support and attract businesses and jobs, and retain the talented graduates of our higher education institutions.”

Melanie Bassett, Executive Director of the Downtown Chico Business Association, is pleased that the University is joining Team Chico, particularly because of the ways in which the campus and downtown co-exist. She says “By continuing to partner together, everyone benefits by the commitment of leadership to the community's health, safety and welfare and to promoting positive relationships as we build a stronger town and gown community.”

Team Chico is an economic development partnership between the City of Chico, Chico Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Chico Business Association, 3CORE, Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc., and California State University, Chico.

Contact Katie Simmons, President & CEO of the Chico Chamber of Commerce with questions: 530.891.5556 x303,


Click here to download a PDF version of the above press release.