Director, City of Bakersfield Economic & Community Development
Feb 23, 2022 6:45 AM
Paul Saldana
Director, City of Bakersfield Economic & Community Development

Paul leads the City’s Economic and Community Development Department whose responsibility includes job
creation, business assistance, homeless services, affordable housing, tourism promotion and neighborhood
vitality programs.

For over 35 years, Paul Saldana has worked as an economic development profession in diverse communities,
geographic environs and at various levels of local economic development.  He’s assisted hundreds of
businesses with their expansion and location needs resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs and millions
in recurring revenue to local governments, schools, and special districts.  Paul’s focus on strategic doing and
performance outcomes led two organizations to achieve designation as an Accredited Economic
Development Organization by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the only individual
in California to earn this distinction. His prior work at a regional economic development corporation earned
the was named a 2020 Economic Development Organization of the Year by IEDC, which also recognized
the organization for their innovative COVID-19 response. 

Paul’s experience working in city and county government offers him the experience to communicate the
intricacies of the planning and permitting process to perspective businesses.  He has led community vision
projects, general and specific plans, annexations, and supervised planning, building inspection, code
enforcement and capital improvement programs.  From Main Street programs to redevelopment, Paul’s
experience at community level economic development is extensive.  He has managed business recruitment,
global trade and business assistance for the two-county regional economic development corporation and has
established and managed Small Business Development Centers, including providing direct business
counseling and training to countless number of businesses.

Paul earned his status as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and is the longest tenured CEcD in
California. He holds an MBA from Crown College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business (with
distinction).  Paul is completing his EdD in Organizational Change and Administration from California
Baptist University.  He has served as Chairman of the California Association for Local Economic
Development and currently serves as a member of the Accreditation Committee for IEDC. Paul serves as an
faculty member for Fresno Pacific University, instructing graduate and undergraduate students in corporate
finance and economics.

Paul believes that “all communities need a person or an organization that wakes up every day charged with
improving the health of the local economy” 1 [1] and as a consummate economic development professional, he
focuses his work daily on promoting the community as a location for new businesses and helps those
businesses locate, grow, and expand.