10 AM – 11 AM

Benefits packages are a critical part of locking in awesome talent, especially a challenging post-COVID hiring climate. Employees know what a competitive benefits package looks like and it can make or break your offer.

Benefits should NOT be a stressful topic to understand or share with current or potential employees. We’ll share all our tactics and tips to maximize benefits adoption, entice potential candidates, and more.

In this free one-hour 2022 Benefits Webinar, we’ll cover:

  • New ACA & HR regulations you need to know based on company size
  • Increase retention using tiered benefits package by tenure
  • Common mental health tools offered with your provider
  • Tools to communicate your package and perks with employees
  • Everything 401K

Bonus: You’ll walk away with a compliance checklist!

When employees are informed and understand their benefits package, they will be more satisfied, productive, and happy. In this competitive market, everything counts – stand out by helping your employees understand all you have to offer.

Star Staffing: 2022 Open Enrollment Compliance and Best Practices

Benefits packages are a critical part of locking in awesome talent, especially a challenging post-COVID hiring climate. Employees know what a competitive benefits package looks like and it can make or break your offer.

Benefits should NOT be a stressful topic to understand or share with current or potential employees. We’ll share all our tactics and tips to maximize benefits adoption, entice potential candidates, and more.

In this free one-hour 2022 Benefits Webinar, we’ll cover:

-New ACA & HR regulations you need to know based on company size
-How to increase retention using tiered benefits package by tenure
-Common mental health tools offered with your provider
-Tools to communicate your package and perks with employees
-Everything 401K

Bonus: You’ll walk away with a compliance checklist!
When employees are informed and understand their benefits package, they will be more satisfied, productive, and happy. In this competitive market, everything counts – stand out by helping your employees understand all you have to offer.

Dominican University is Ranked Top 15% in the Nation for Academic Excellence and Student Outcomes

According to the 2022 College Factual Best Colleges Ranking, Dominican University of California is ranked in the top 15% in the nation for academic excellence and student outcomes.

Placed at 309 of 2,576 universities and colleges nationwide, DU has moved up by 72 places since the previous year.

That’s not all, this is Dominican’s second top ranking of the week! The US News and World Report 2022 Best Colleges Guidebook once again ranked Dominican as one of the top regional universities in the west, placing DU at 23rd.

Bank of America Awards Santa Rosa Junior College’s Construction Center with a $250 Grant

The region’s new Construction Center project, led by Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) on its Petaluma campus, is one step closer to being fully funded thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

The new center is expected to break ground in January 2022 and to be completed by January 2023. One of the objectives is to train hundreds of construction and trades workers annually at the facility in order to assist with ongoing county-wide wildfire recovery and rebuild efforts. The job skills gap in the construction trades, as well as an existing lack of affordable housing prior to the wildfires, has had a direct impact on economic growth and is a contributing factor to the North Bay’s severe lack of housing inventory.

In 2020, SRJC secured a $7.12 million federal disaster grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) and a $1 million match from Tipping Point with Sonoma County Economic Development Board to construct the Construction Center. Due to the rising costs associated with construction, SRJC will file an amendment with the EDA to request approximately $2.5 million in additional funding. The amendment requires a proportional local match of 10 percent for these additional dollars. This grant from Bank of America has come at a pivotal time and will have an enormous impact as it allows the project to move forward and meet the amendment requirements.

“With Bank of America’s support, we aren’t just building a new center to teach students the construction trades. We are building desperately needed affordable housing, creating pathways to living-wage careers, and investing in a community continually devastated by wildfires,” Frank Chong, SRJC Superintendent/President, said.

The SRJC Construction Center will support multiple certificate and associate degree programs, including HVAC and refrigeration as well as an introduction to residential and commercial construction, which will include traditional stick build and newer prefabrication technologies.  The Construction Center will be outfitted with trainers, tools, and equipment that will prepare students not only for the hands-on skills they need to secure employment, but also the soft skills needed to rise up in their future jobs. Students will be connected to pathways for further training and local employers.

Catherine Williams, faculty project lead, added, “By investing in the long-term infrastructure and capital project of the Construction Center, Bank of America’s grant will help us provide high-quality training for students entering the construction industry and meet local employer demand for workers.”

“Bank of America invests into workforce development, job reskilling, and career placement programs as a way to create pathways for economic success that are sustainable over time, especially for underserved communities,” said Jason Foster, Bank of America North Bay president. “Santa Rosa Junior College’s new Construction Center will be pivotal to the North Bay’s residential housing supply and economic recovery given the tremendous need for new construction, created by the region’s wildfires and prolonged pandemic, as well as a shortage of local construction trade workers. We’re proud that this funding helps SRJC access the remaining capital necessary to complete the project.”

“We are beyond grateful for this investment by Bank of America. It enables the project to move forward and recognizes the pivotal role of SRJC in our community for students and employers,” J Mullineaux, Executive Director of the SRJC Foundation, said.

The SRJC Foundation is offering naming opportunities and actively pursuing matching funds from other major donors for an endowment to provide perpetual support for the Construction Center.

For more information about the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation and ways to support the Construction Center, visit or contact Executive Director J Mullineaux at 707-527-4797 or

Providence Health System Launches $220 Million Nationwide Workforce Investment Program

Providence Health System — parent company to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Petaluma Valley Hospital and Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa — plans to spend $220 million on recognition and referral bonuses for caregivers across its national 52-hospital network in seven states.

Beverly Murray, regional chief human resources officer for Providence in Northern California, said the health system’s incentive program, announced Sept. 2, comes at a time where there is a substantial shortage of health care professionals regionally and across the country.

“Because of this shortage, it is critical that organizations like ours do everything reasonable to recruit and retain talent,” Murray said. “The last 18 months of the pandemic and its associated demands on health care have further exacerbated this situation and the criticality of adequate staffing.”

The $220 million investment includes $1,000 recognition bonuses for all caregivers who have been with the organization for at least 90 days; a referral bonus as high as $7,500, depending on the role; and “highly competitive” sign-on bonuses in an effort to fill 17,000 jobs across the Providence network.

“A good amount of this total is available to our caregivers in Northern California, but we cannot say precisely how much will be invested in this region,” Murray said. “Since we don’t know how many referrals we will receive and how many of the open roles eligible for sign-on bonuses will be filled in the coming months, it’s impossible to say how much total investment from this fund will reach Northern California.”

Murray said systemwide, Providence has about 17,000 openings, of which 720 are in Northern California, including Humboldt County.

She said the greatest need for workers in the three Providence North Bay hospitals and entire Northern California region is in specialized acute-care nursing, infection prevention, imaging technicians, respiratory therapists and health care support roles.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West expressed support for Providence’s initiative and any others.

“Health care workers are exhausted, demoralized, feeling pushed to the limit and underappreciated by employers and government leaders,” SEIU-UHW Press Secretary Renée Saldaña told the Business Journal in an email statement. “Any effort to recognize the sacrifices they’ve made and continue to make is important. There should be much more investment in the people who’ve carried us through the pandemic.”

Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president, external affairs at the 400-member California Hospital Association, said staffing challenges are the biggest issue facing hospitals throughout the state and nation.

“Health care professionals are exhausted and burned out. And, the stress and uncertainty of the past 18 months is leading some caregivers to reconsider their career paths, which is very concerning,” Emerson-Shea said. “Without doctors, nurses and other clinicians, the ability of hospitals to care for anyone in need, 24/7, cannot be accomplished.”

Emerson-Shea also said that hospitals have been doing everything within their power to recruit and retain their workers.

“Many have provided enhanced compensation, temporary housing, child care services and subsidies, extended leave, counseling and wellness programs, etc.,” she said. “This latest announcement by Providence is another example of the investments hospitals are making to ensure they have an adequate supply of health care professionals now and into the future.”

Kaiser Permanente, even before the pandemic, said the state’s projected demand for new health care workers was approximated to be 500,000 by 2024.

In January 2020, as part of a labor agreement reached the previous October, Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-UHW partnered to establish Futuro Health, a $130 million nonprofit organization formed to develop more certified health care workers.

Futuro Health aims to graduate 10,000 new licensed, credentialed health care workers in California by 2024, according to Kaiser. That work will extend outside of the state to provide an affordable education-to-work solution.

In what is now a prescient statement, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Greg Adams said the following in the January 2020 announcement:

“Kaiser Permanente recognizes California’s health care industry is facing a projected workforce shortage of half a million people over the next few years. By investing in health education, skills training, and retraining programs with Futuro Health, Kaiser Permanente, in collaboration with SEIU-UHW, is leading efforts to reverse the shortage trend.”

The Business Journal reached out to other North Bay hospital systems, including Sutter Health, MarinHealth and NorthBay Healthcare, to learn if they also are developing recruitment and retention incentives. The health systems did not confirm one way or the other.

College of Marin to Hold Redistricting Meetings

The Marin Community College District (MCCD) Board of Trustees is changing the way Trustees will be elected.

In the past, Trustees were elected “at-large,” where each Trustee was elected by all voters throughout Marin County. Under the new system, Trustees will be elected by voters from within the area a Trustee would represent. Trustees will also be required to live in the area they are representing. This type of election, called a By-Trustee-Area election, is to ensure there is better representation for all communities who live within MCCD’s boundaries.

In following the California Voting Rights Act and the Elections and Education Codes, MCCD is holding two public hearings to explain how the redistricting process will work and hear from the community before the maps are drawn.

MCCD encourages the public to attend and give feedback at one of the two meetings or through MCCD’s redistricting webpage.

MCCD Public Redistricting Meetings will be held:

Tuesday, September 14, at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, September 28, at 5 p.m.

Please visit for more detailed information.


About College of Marin

Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success for all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 116 public community colleges in California and nearly 14,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Becoming Independent’s Community Update

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We have been hard at work since we last introduced our pilot for hybrid services – offering a mix of in-person, on-site, community engagement, and virtual services.

We are proud to share that we have 65 participants who have been thriving during our pilot of on-site services at our Copperhill Parkway location. Individuals returned excited to reconnect and engage with their peers while also exploring and experiencing a new model of services. After some much needed time to mingle and catch up, clients have been working with staff to populate a personalized menu of services that they can choose from and engage in during on-site program hours. Whether those interests are in a more formal classroom setting learning about money management, in the community at volunteer or job sites, or to work on building a resume, our hybrid services cater to each client’s interests and personal/professional development. We look forward to seeing and sharing more outcomes as we collect feedback from our participants about the future of their services.

The continual impacts of COVID have been worsened by the Delta variant. Based on this concerning trend, as well as the significant health concerns for the population we serve, Becoming Independent has mandated vaccinations for all of our BI staff members. The health and safety of our participants and staff continue to be our greatest priority as we implement these changes to help reduce and mitigate the health impacts of COVID.

Becoming Independent has a long standing commitment to the people we serve, our staff, and community. It is through this commitment that we continue to recognize the hardships that accompany the pandemic and make the necessary modifications to make the greatest impact and offer the best possible services we can to our participants. We appreciate your support and dedication as we continue to forge ahead with the future of our services.


Paula Finley

Chief of Services

Becoming Independent’s BI Buzz Cafe is Open for Business!

The BI Buzz Cafe has reopened at the Kaiser location on Mercury Way in Santa Rosa!

In addition to serving locally sourced food and beverages, the cafe will operate as a dedicated workforce training and development facility for BI participants who have an interest working in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry.

Dominican University of California Explores Understanding Pandemic Rebellion: Psychology of Mask-Wearing

Research by psychology professor Dr. Benjamin Rosenberg examining the “pandemic rebellion” will be among the topics Dominican University of California students will be addressing in his classes this fall, including a Health and Motivation Lab devoted primarily to studying reactance theory.

Freedom, Covid-19, and Resistance To Public Health Orders was published last spring on the website of the International Society for the Science of Existential Psychology.

“Perhaps the broadest point I was trying to make is that simply delivering people accurate information about a behavior – like wearing a mask or getting vaccinated – is often not sufficient; people aren’t always rational actors. Other stuff, aside from having accurate information, influences people’s behavior – like who is around them, their current state of mind, or how much they value freedom,” Rosenberg says.

“Although doctors’, nurses’, and public health folks’ insight throughout this pandemic has been essential, there has been gross oversight of the expertise that many others have in explaining human behavior. Consulting more social scientists would not have ended the pandemic, but I truly believe it could have changed the trajectory by, say, crafting more effective or targeted messages and turning down the volume on some of the political rhetoric.”

Rosenberg was recruited to write the ISSEP article by Dr. Kenneth A. Vail of Cleveland State University, who edited a chapter for a book that Rosenberg and his colleague, Dr. Jason Siegel of Claremont Graduate University, authored that examined religion and religious adherence through the lens of psychological reactance theory.

“The issues that I discuss in that chapter – freedom, reactance, and the pandemic – have been on my mind since March 2020,” Rosenberg says. “It was a major missed opportunity, in my opinion, to increase the efficacy of the local, state, and federal pandemic response has been the exclusion of people who have expertise in things like persuasion, behavior change, and social influence. In other words, people like me, but much smarter. So, while ISSEP’s invitation motivated this article specifically, these are issues I have been considering for well over a year.”

In the ISSEP article, Rosenberg said he drew heavily on the original reactance theory work from 1966, but also on more recent papers by well-known scholars such as Claude Miller of the University of Oklahoma and Brian Quick of the University of Illinois. The Dominican professor also referenced a paper he and Dr. Siegel published in 2018 before he joined the University’s psychology department in the School of  Liberal Arts and Education.

“In that paper, we reviewed over 50 years of research on reactance theory and outlined a research agenda for scholars going forward,” Rosenberg says. “I also referred to another review that was published in 2020, wherein we discussed counterintuitive ways to combat reactance arousal. That paper is super relevant because the strategies we outlined could have been used to help some of the COVID-related messaging be more effective.”

Rosenberg, who received his BA in psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and his MA and PhD in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University, said he plans to discuss his ISSEP article plus blogs he wrote over the summer for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and Psychology Today this fall semester as he works on designing some new reactance studies. He will incorporate this as well into his courses in health psychology and the psychology of motivation and emotion.

In addition to contributing to a regular blog for Psychology Today and a podcast called “Head Games,” Rosenberg has lent his expertise on scientific strategies to a Forge article entitled “How to Give Yourself a Pep Talk” about research showing that self-talk has a positive effect on self-confidence and self-efficacy. Rosenberg’s research extends from research methods and statistics to survey design to health behavior and messaging focused on the restriction of behavioral freedom. In November of 2019, he was featured in a Parade magazine article on vaping about the psychological risks of flavored vapes. As a graduate PhD student Rosenberg worked on a federally-funded research grant focused on evaluating the effectiveness of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which featured a series of ads targeting kids’ drug use.