It’s a significant number ... let’s hope it’s close to what the reality will be.

It was reported last week that the Yuba-Sutter area should see nearly 2,000 new jobs added to the marketplace over the next five years. The prediction is made by looking at recent projections accumulated by the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation.

Statistics gathered at the end of the third quarter of 2018 showed a total of 53,205 jobs for Yuba-Sutter, across all industries. And we’re looking at an increase of 1,910 jobs by the third quarter of 2023.

No problem with that, right?

Well, a little bit.

“We’ve been on a bit of a growth pattern, but we have way more jobs than we can fill right now,” said Brynda Stranix, EDC president and chief executive. Not especially what you want to hear at the beginning of a spurt of growth in the job inventory.

We’ve been hearing that complaint for a while now (as far as complaints go, it’s a good one ... but still, it’s a problem.). As unemployment numbers dwindle, the quality and the drive of the remaining available workforce subside. It’s a problem that will have to be overcome with some combination of community college programs, recruitment, reverse-commutes ... time to figure it out.

The worrisome thing with the numbers is that they don’t really take into consideration the upcoming opening of Enterprise Rancheria’s Hard Rock casino in Yuba County. They’re looking to open by this fall and will need more than 1,000 employees. Hiring is about to get under way. A lot of it will be done by pulling workers out of surrounding counties, we guess. We’d rather the workers were living here.

According to the statistics and projections gathered from various sources, the biggest increase over the next five years will come in the health care and social assistance industry with a growth of some 841 positions by 2023. We assume that a good portion of those jobs will have to do with an aging population that will need more looking after, whether it’s in-home or facility care. There also will be growth in construction, management, remediation, professional services, food services. 

Again, no mention of any great growth due to the casino. And we’re feeling fairly confident there will be additional growth in the “sports and entertainment zone” out there on 40 Mile Road where the Hard Rock casino is being built and where the amphitheater is already operating. There’s talk of undertaking some special recruitment to bring more business to the zone.

And in Sutter County, we’re still expecting growth via Sutter Point, a fairly large development project in the south county.

It’s not just a labor force that’s going to cause some worry. Cities and counties have to really buckle down and consider infrastructure investments. And then, the two counties will have to deal with housing a growing workforce. 

We’re confident EDC and other groups will be rousting out officials and planners and industry representatives for some major strategy sessions in the coming months .... the drive for the growth we hope is achievable in five years accelerates right now.

Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal-Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.

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