Building A Door Of Opportunity
To Future Job Growth
Anaheim, CA, Sep. 24, 2009
By Anaheim City Council Member, Harry Sidhu
Our inaugural Anaheim/OC Job Fair and Expo was a remarkable partnership
event with community and business leaders, all of whom can take
pride in the fact that 7,500 job seekers and 102 employers made
positive job growth connections. Our efforts led to a substantial
accomplishment. By the end of the day, more than 1,000 potential
employees were interviewed, and of that group, more than 400,
or 34%, have now been hired for meaningful jobs in office and
administrative support, production, military, healthcare, management,
sales and sales related work, engineering and aerospace, retail
and food service, protection services, as well as in business
and financial operations.
We’re not saying by any stretch of the imagination that
we have found the magic bullet to remedy what ails our current
unemployment rate. However, the fact that 102 employers hired
400 new employees demonstrates how we can optimistically facilitate
an economic turnaround in job growth to combat unprecedented unemployment
rates in our region.
In these tough economic times, we must keep building doors of
opportunity for economic recovery in our region through creative
job growth incentives that will relax or eliminate burdensome
business regulations and lower taxes. In moving forward with such
incentives, we will be producing a positive overall economic stimulus
in the region.
By way of example, the Anaheim City Council created its own
economic stimulus plan as an incentive for continued development
of residential projects given current market conditions. Under
that plan, payment of development impact fees that the city would
normally charge at the time permits are pulled was deferred to
the time of certificate of occupancy issuance. As explained recently
by a residential developer, not having to pay $1 million in total
fees up-front led to the building of additional units this year
resulting in 70 additional full-time jobs from all the different
trades that it takes to build them. This also stimulates the lumber,
steel, concrete, roofing, landscaping, furniture industries…
on and on – leading to significant job growth overall.
To encourage an even wider range of construction activities, we
extended our economic stimulus incentive plan to commercial development
in Anaheim . Our overall goal is to help accelerate construction
activity through innovative decision making and to facilitate
the upgrading of older, outdated commercial and industrial sites.
Other positive signs are cropping-up in the region. Although monthly
new business-name filings in Orange County are down 20% from what
they were this time last year, an 80 % filing rate also means
that many of our local entrepreneurs are willing to set-up new
ventures in spite of the economy. Similarly, monthly small-business
loan volume in the SBA-guaranteed program has crept back up to
$38.6 million in August.
Some employment gains are already looming on the horizon. And,
in the wake of the economic downturn, while many major retailers
faltered, others have rebounded. Also, as stated in the Institute
for Economic and Environmental Studies (IEES), California State
University Fullerton, August 2009 Report: “The Southern
California Leading Economic Indicator increased by 0.92% in the
second quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008.
This increase suggests an increase in economic activity in the
Southern California region in the next three to six months.”
So, slowly, but surely, the job market is gaining some strength.
It still needs help. Through innovative, visionary action and
incentives – we can make a difference by continuing to build
doors of opportunity to future job growth.