Lawmakers Must Focus on Alleviating California’s Housing Crisis

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, the regional homebuilding industry — like many other industries — faced an uncertain future. The Great Recession dealt a harsh financial blow to our industry that made the prospect of recovery feel like a far-off possibility. Fortunately, after several lean years our industry has started to climb out of the economic doldrums of a few years ago.

Apr 20, 2017 Michael Strech

Making the Grade

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on charter schools and the future of public education

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has spent his career advocating for education issues, from his days as a high school science teacher through his time in the Legislature and now as the state’s top education official. We sat down with him recently to discuss a few critical issues facing California’s schools.

Apr 10, 2017 Rich Ehisen

Forget About Perks and Focus on Culture

Culture needs to be a constant priority. You can’t expect a bunch of perks to define your company. Instead, spend some time defining your values — afterall, you already know them. Then make sure everyone on your team has buy-in.

Apr 3, 2017 Tyler Smith

Dilemma of the Month: Getting People to Give Notice

We service clients who are kids in the foster care system. We really value when our employees that resign give at least a three-weeks’ notice, so they can transition their clients — kids who have already had upheaval in their lives — to their team members before they leave. Is there any meat that we can put on the bones of a policy requiring a three-week notice, with some type of consequence for not providing this notice?

Mar 30, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

Farm-to-School Programs Make for Healthier Children

Federally-funded programs translate to sustainable farms and healthier children. Yet, despite improved efforts, funding remains lower than demand. In a state that produces half of the nation’s fruits and veggies, California stands to benefit by funding these programs.

Mar 29, 2017 Amber Stott

Infrastructure Issues Demand Attention

Infrastructure — roads, bridges and dams — is the backbone of any economy.  Business can’t function without it. The Association of Civil Engineers estimates that nationally, defective or failing infrastructure will cost the average family $3,400 a year over the next decade.

Mar 27, 2017 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Challenges on Every Front

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on the critical issues facing Californians

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is one of the most powerful political figures in our state. With term limits now allowing folks like him to serve longer in one chamber, he is likely to stay that way for years to come. We sat down with Rendon to talk about some of the critical issues facing lawmakers and Californians in what is expected to be one of the most turbulent years in modern history.

Mar 13, 2017 Rich Ehisen

Dilemma of the Month: How to Lay Off an Employee

We are reorganizing and will be eliminating one position. We will have to lay this person off, and I have a few questions about how to handle it: Who needs to be in the room when we tell her? How much severance should we offer? What else do I need to do?

Mar 9, 2017 Suzanne Lucas

We Need to Stop Our Obsession with Generational Differences

Ending generational categorization and judgment begins with awareness. Next time you hear generational stereotypes among your friends or in your workplace, speak up! By breaking down these stereotypes we can overcome the discrimination that generational labels facilitates.

Mar 6, 2017 Jessica Kriegel

Can We Talk?

I would encourage all of you to make a concerted effort to have difficult conversations in the weeks, months and years to come. Have unusual conversations. Ask lots of questions. Take stock of where your boundaries are, but pay attention to where there might be room for growth and compromise. What opportunities are currently masquerading at your fingertips as unaddressed problems?

Mar 1, 2017 Allison Joy

Cannabis Can Go From Conundrum to Catalyst

Elections matter. The people have spoken. And marijuana — more appropriately known by the less pejorative label, cannabis — is now legal for adults in eight states, including California, and for those with medical needs in 28 states. That means the majority of Americans now live in states where cannabis is legal in some form.

Feb 27, 2017 Daniel Conway

5 Reasons to Join Your Neighborhood Association

When you gather a group of people interested in bettering their neighborhood, I am pretty confident good things will come your way. While most neighbors are interested in preventing crime, some are interested in clean public bathrooms or more street lighting. All of these personal agendas make for a diverse to-do list. When it becomes personal, the vested interest grows stronger within the group.

Feb 24, 2017 Jamee Villa

The Heat is On

Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, on engaging the business community to go greener

As head of the California Air Resources Board for the last decade, Mary Nichols is considered the second most powerful person — after Gov. Jerry Brown — in the state’s wide-reaching efforts to combat climate change. It is an effort state officials have vowed to continue despite the election of President Donald Trump, a climate change denier.

Feb 13, 2017 Rich Ehisen