Action Items: It’s a Wrap!

Looking back on the first season of Comstock’s new podcast

This episode concludes the first season of Comstock’s new podcast, Action Items — and what a year it’s been. Since launching in March, we’ve tackled transportation, education, the arts, cannabis, homelessness and more. You can find a full list of episodes here or by subscribing to Action Items on iTunes or Stitcher.

For our grand finale, we decided to do things a little different and give you an inside look at the season from the creators themselves. In this episode, Action Items executive producer and Comstock’s editor in chief Allison Joy, managing editor Sena Christian and Action Items technical producer Johnny Flores join host Tre Borden to discuss what we learned over the season, check in with past guests to see where they are at now and discuss areas for improvement for season two.

All Roads Lead To…

Every single episode, at some point, made its way back to an issue on many of our region’s business leaders and stakeholders’ minds: workforce development. Whether it was how third spaces can help individuals experiencing homelessness build job skills; the need for multi-modal transportation that connects companies to their potential workforce; or leadership transitions, apprenticeship programs or digital recruiting strategies — workforce development is on everyone’s mind.  

The legalization of cannabis in California could have a significant impact on the local workforce. A recent cannabis-industry job fair in Davis attracted an estimated 400 people looking for work from about 30 participating employees. “Some of them were growers, some of them were manufacturers, dispensary operators — and they need to hire people,” Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor later said. “That was pretty interesting to see the reality of [cannabis] when you take it out of the shadows and put it in the job fair.”

Making Connections

Our intent was to bring together guests with fresh perspectives on the same issue who hadn’t connected prior. Sometimes we nailed it, though a couple of times we ended up with two familiar colleagues. Our guests for “Expanding Our Creative Capital,” Clay Nutting and Celestine Syphax, remarked on how the grassroots art movement and institutional arts organizations have much to learn from one another.

“One thing that really resonated with me is how Clay considers entrepreneurs as part of the artist community,” Syphax later said. “I didn’t really think of it that way … artists are entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs are part of that creative community. That’s something that really stuck with me.”

Owning Our Mistakes

After recording our ninth and final interview, a significant misstep was brought to our attention. Our guests for the “Innovating Education” episode included Dr. Ting Sun of the Natomas Charter School and Dr. Robert Nelsen of Sacramento State. Although we had occasionally referred to Nelsen as “Dr. Nelsen,” Sun was referred to by her first name. While Sun was willing to give us a pass, we decided to discuss the incident here, as well as the roles gender and other forms of bias play out in the professional world.

Share your thoughts with us on this and more with the hashtag #ActionItemsWrap. We’re on Twitter @ActionItemsPod

Click for the full conversation. Subscribe to Action Items on iTunes and Stitcher.