NBLC seeks every opportunity to leverage California’s competitive advantages to ensure employers can prosper and create high paying jobs. NBLC is concerned about the ability to fill new jobs with a 21st Century workforce whose skills match the requirements of the positions. Many North Bay employers are unable to fill open positions. NBLC seeks to close that skills gap and to upskill the workforce to minimize displacement due to growing automation and technological advances.
To be economically competitive, we need to create jobs and have the skilled workforce to fill those jobs. The North Bay economy is growing but not at the same clip as San Francisco and the South Bay. We want to create high paying jobs commensurate with the high cost of living in this region. Industry clusters of tourism and hospitality, biotech/life sciences and creative professionals are leading the way towards North Bay’s economic vitality. But the skilled workforce has not kept up with the targeted industries and we are at risk at seeing this growth reverse. In today’s world, companies go where the talent is.
At the same time, NBLC recognizes you can’t stop the future. To increase productivity and keep a competitive edge, we need to facilitate the adoption of new technologies and encourage the innovation that follows that.
Business retention is a concern due to the high housing costs and gridlocked roads. Many jobs are going unfilled causing concerns about companies leaving the area. In addition, other regions and states are wooing our businesses with incentives, skilled talent pools and lower costs. California, as the 6th largest economy, must act to maintain that position through renewed commitment to economic growth and innovation. Policy makers need to bridge the academic and business communities to focus on matching skills taught with employers’ needs and develop ongoing upskilling training programs for the existing workforce.
What We Seek
NBLC urges the state to:
- Facilitate more effective efforts to train and retool workers for employment and promotion, as well as enable the aggregation and dissemination of live workforce data that allows businesses and community colleges to plan for the future with real time intelligence
- Assign greater state priority to the development of 21st century communications networks across California
- Increase accessibility to public-private partnerships
- Promote unified and flexible regulations that allow for greater testing and deployment of autonomous technology.
- Increase government support and resources for cybersecurity.
- Advocate for increased government funding of early stage research to prevent “Innovation Deficit.”
- Encourage government to support and procure AI technology.
- Support AB 435 (Thurmond) which authorizes the Counties of Contra Costa, Marin, and Sonoma to develop individualized county child care subsidy plans and submit them to specified entities for review and approval.
- Support AB 445 (Cunningham/O’Donnell) to extend the CTE Incentive Grant program and cap funding at $300M for three additional years.