A recently released report on everything from the economic to cultural health of Silicon Valley paints an encouraging picture. In this region, the economy is improving, employment is up and students are doing better than their peers in the rest of California.
But the report also tackles the Valley's distinct challenges. A major one is that African-American and Hispanic students are performing worse in school than their white and Asian peers, and minority entrepreneurs face widening wage gaps among other obstacles.
"A large and growing education deficit keeps too many residents from sharing in the new prosperity," wrote Joint Venture Silicon Valley President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Russell Hancock in the report's introduction. "Incomes continue to slip for our Hispanic and African American populations, while rising for other groups."
Silicon Valley represents a broad geographic section of the Bay Area that shifts along with the tech industry. While it typically excludes San Francisco, the build-up of tech companies such as Google and Twitter in the city have led more people to include the region's hub in the definition. The 2013 report acknowledges the growing role San Francisco plays in the tech industry, but defines Silicon Valley as ranging from just south of the city in Brisbane, down the peninsula to San Jose, and up the lower part of the East Bay to Union City.