The city of Sacramento has taken a variety of initiatives recently in order to bolster employment opportunities. Here we look at three examples.
The first, is a collaboration between UC Davis and Kindred Healthcare. An additional hospital will be built at the downtown campus area. Its main goal is to offer additional impatient rehab services in the area. But the result will be the creation of an additional 200 jobs. As well care will become more convenient for patients and their families and treatment availability for the neurological needs of the community will be doubled.
The second is the construction of an aerial target drone. This will bring 20 to 50 jobs annually for many decades. So far, 50 jobs have been added for work needed on the first part of new drone contract production. The contract was received from the US Navy and has been valued at $37 million.
Following the tragic murder of Stephon Clark earlier this year, one step that is being taken is gang prevention. To accomplish this, job creation is key as one part of investment in the neighborhood. One of the key focuses of the Black Child Legacy Campaign is youth employment. This initiative – a combined effort between the Sierra Health Foundation, 7 target neighborhoods where black kids die more than twice the rate of their white peers, the county and city. The Sacramento Kings are also lending their support. According to director of Research and Policy for Equity at UC Davis Vajra Watson:
“The only way to expand what it is that young people conceive of for their future is to get them more opportunities to see new places, meet new people, and dream bigger than their parents have dreamed.”
As such, Sacramento is distributing $900,000+ in funding to groups offering entrepreneurial opportunities in low income neighborhoods. The hope is to create 500 new jobs this year.
Minimum wage in California is already impressive – $11. But Chick-Fil-A in Sacramento wants to go a step further, not just in cash but also in recognition and job pride. Increasing its hourly wage for some workers to $17-18, as well as the provision of a more livable wage, this is also encouraging more commitment to advancement at work with the new title – hospitality professional. According to operator and proprietor Eric Mason the company fosters positive relationships with its community, guests and team, and the starting point for that is the provision of a “livable wage” regardless of what the state decides. Even if it is challenging, Mason says, the community impact is worth it.
Meanwhile, May figures for the nationwide economy showed an additional223,000 jobs with a drop in unemployment to 3.8 percent, the lowest since 2000.
In a recent ranking of top firms by Business Journal, Sunworks Inc. was ranked as Top Solar Contractor. The solar power solutions for residential and commercial markets, stepped up from position #4 in 2015 to the top place of #1 in 2016.
Of the ranking, CEO of the company Chuck Cargile said: “We are honored to have been recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal on this achievement. Sunworks’ local offices installed more than 56,000 AC kilowatts of generation in 2016. This achievement is particularly impressive considering that this high level of output was nearly three times the total amount installed by the #2 ranked company.”
The Valley Industry and Commerce Association is reaping the benefits of SB 936. This Sacramento state Senate bill seeks to help small businesses engage in the development of new jobs, by expanding the access they have to the extremely beneficial California loan guarantee program. Authored by State Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, it is hoped that the SB 936 will “stimulate economic growth and prosperity.”
In other loan-based news, Magilla Inc. (a company established in 2015 that sets up bank borrowers WITHOUT requiring any personal data) announced its second generation website that enhances user experience for borrower and lender. With this updated version, users can now benefit from real-time Q&A, more notification options and a faster turnaround time. The company has been expanding substantially since its launch, most notably from the FDIC-insured lenders who want premium borrowers. In addition, those who need loans really appreciate the ease of loan request submission and speed by which they can receive multiple loan proposals.
In terms of housing, the Seniors Housing Portfolio in Sacramento has been offered $41.5 million in financing for three-properties. This has been orchestrated by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler. The 7-year floating rate acquisition loan has been secured by an affiliate of Harbert Management Corp affiliate, Harbert Seniors Housing Fund.
The Sacramento Business Journal offers a variety of special events in recognition of industry leaders and as a way of helping those who are looking for professional networking in a variety of fields. One of these – to be held at the end of this month on August 31st – is the ‘Connectionopolis: Strictly Networking’ event.
As well as being beneficial to those who want to get ahead in their careers, Connectionopolis is also for a good cause. For example, proceeds from admission tickets go to the Junior Achievement of Sacramento program, whose mission is to “inspire young people to dream big and reach their potential… teach[ing] financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness to students in grades K – 12.” The idea behind it is that by working as a team, there is a greater chance of being able to “empower our next generation to own their economic success.”
In terms of networking in the region, there is also Metro-Edge which seeks to: “ensur[e] the future of Sacramento [via its] mission [which is]: To Engage a diverse network, Develop critical business skills, Give back to the community and Empower leadership.”
Sacramento is encountering its lowest unemployment figures in nine years. With gains in the construction industry leading the statistics in both month-over-month (an additional 2,500 jobs) and year-over-year gains (an additional 5,500 jobs). According to State Employment Development Department employee Cara Welch, “the unemployment rate in the greater Sacramento area was 4.7 percent in May, down from a revised 5.1 percent in April 2016 and below the year ago estimate of 5.7 percent.” The 4.7 percent figure is the nine-year low.
Government-related jobs are easier to find in Sacramento too. Being the State Capitol, the region is at the pivotal part of state government with the largest focus of government jobs per capita throughout California. The main industries are health care and professional services.
In addition, Sacramento was ranked the “Number 2 Happiest Place to Work” in a study discussed in Forbes in January 2015 of ‘The 10 Happiest and Unhappiest Places to Work in Right Now,’ from CareerBliss’ investigation of eight principal factors which influence a worker’s contentment. These are:
General work environment
Day-to-day control of actual job.
Interestingly, Sacramento did NOT make CareerBliss’ 2016 list, despite the high employment figures this year has shown.
Business Plan E 3.0 in Sacramento is hoping to bring 500 firms to the region which will substantially increase the number of jobs available. Mayor Kevin Johnson is actually projecting an increase of 5,000 new jobs over the next 5 years. Johnson’s Press Secretary, Ben Sosenko said: “We want companies to start here and not have to move to the Silicon Valley to move and expand. We want them to have the resources here in place.”
Meanwhile, Elk Grove is likely to get more jobs. RC Manufacturing is expanding to the south of Sacramento, boasting 230,000 square feet of new construction housing manufacturing, offices and parking. Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis was thrilled by this news, saying:
“This is a game changer for Elk Grove. The Southeast Policy Area will be a catalyst for significant job growth in Elk Grove and the region. We are thrilled to welcome (this) company to our community.”
Data shows that the Sacramento region is showing great strides towards recovery, with a gain of almost 23,000 jobs in December compared to the previous year. That number represents a 2.5 percent increase in jobs. California as a whole gained 265,000 jobs during the same period, an increase of only 1.5 percent.
The unemployment rate in the Sacramento region has also been in decline. It fell from 6.3 percent in December 2014 to 5.5 percent this past December. The unemployment rate for California shrank from 6.8 percent to 5.8 percent during the past year.
California and the Sacramento area are far from immune to job declines, especially with global markets recent volatility. The worry about another increase in the unemployment rate was alluded to by California Governor Jerry Brown while speaking to legislators, warning them to be cautious when considering spending surplus state revenue during his State of the State speech last Thursday.
The government sector shrunk by 3300 jobs during December in the Sacramento region, and the construction sector lost 400 jobs. Retail trade increased by 800 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality industry added 1600 jobs.
America’s most rigorous laws addressing the inequality of gender salaries are embedded into the California Fair Play Act. What the law demands is that irrespective of job title, for men and women engaged in “substantially similar work,” pay should be the same. In addition, should an employee ask about their coworkers’ wage, employers are forbidden from engaging in any kind of retribution.
So what kind of impact will this have in the Sacramento region? The law will force small businesses in the region to make various adjustments so as to meet the requirements of the new law. Of course, as with any new law, there are critics. Some argue that it will result in an influx of additional lawsuits that will lead to the establishment of a “bad business climate.” Others though are all for it. For example, Eric Veldman-Miller already pays his six employees between $11 and $19 an hour. The highest paid employee happens to be a woman. He said “if it was a male, he would be making the exact same wage, that’s the job. It just so happens that we’re lucky enough to have her.”
At the end of the day this law is being fully endorsed by the California Chamber of Commerce. And, at least those bosses in Sacramento will have to conduct a review of all employee salaries.
But the California Chamber of Commerce supports the law. Those behind it say it will, at the very least, force companies to review the way they pay their employees.