A delegation from Sacramento is headed for Europe to meet with auto industry leaders in Germany this week. The goal? Convincing cutting-edge German auto-tech companies to expand their operations in the Sacramento area.
It's part of the ongoing effort to establish Sacramento as an automotive innovation hub. One of the delegates is Barry Broome. He heads the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, which tries to attract more companies to the region. Broome says their itinerary includes going to an automotive research institute called PEM Aachen GmbH.
"They develop battery technology, they develop operating systems for autonomous vehicles,” says Broome. “They've got dozens of partnerships within Silicon Valley. So what we're looking at doing is to bring PEM into our community so we can bring German technology into the state capital of California."
The six-person delegation also includes Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna and City Councilman Eric Guerra. They'll be in Germany through Friday.
"One of our dreams,” says Broome, “is to build an innovation district in Councilman Guerra's and Supervisor Serna's districts and connect young people in our neighborhoods that are being left behind into an industry that has an average wage of around $74,000, some cases $100,000."
Sacramento recently got more than $40 million to invest in electric and zero-emission vehicles from Volkswagen - part of the company's settlement for its emissions cheating scandal.