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The Great Recession has had a devastating impact on the Northern San Joaquin Valley and those who live here.

The statistics show a region struggling with soaring unemployment, record numbers of foreclosures, trouble in the real estate market and failures of all kinds of businesses, from large-chain retailers to mom-and-pop shops.

But as with all downturns, the recession will bottom out. And at some point, conditions will begin to improve and a recovery will take hold.

A team of Modesto Bee reporters is working on a special project that examines aspects of the valley economy, including housing, employment, business, education, agriculture, health, government and consumers.

These reporters will be talking with people -- from financial advisers to shoppers to employers to those looking for work -- as part of a deeper effort to analyze and identify just what it will take for a recovery to start.

If you've got some thoughts about what's happened to the region's economy, what's needed to spur a turnaround or what the long-term prospects are, The Bee would like to hear from you.

Please e-mail your comments

and your contact information

to dhill@modbee.com.

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