Placer County and its individual cities and towns portray themselves as one community that welcomes business. “That’s always been the case,” says Dave Snyder, director of economic development for Placer County. “We don’t look to wrap a new prospective business in a lot of red tape; we go out of the way to roll out the red carpet.”
Snyder describes this “red carpet” as ensuring businesses get their permits in a timely fashion, offering programs focused on recruiting the right talent for business success, subsidizing wages for a period of time, acquainting business owners with available tax credits, and helping veterans get back into the workforce, among other measures. Snyder cites this approach as one of the main reasons why Placer County’s unemployment rate remains relatively low.
The California Employment Development Department recently released its monthly unemployment report for March and it came as no surprise to Snyder that Placer County has the lowest unemployment rate in the Capital Region at 4.6 percent. The county ranks as only No. 11 in the state for the lowest rate. Placer County has maintained the lowest rate in the region since October 2010.
Nearby counties of Sacramento, El Dorado and Yolo hold steady unemployment rates of 5.5 percent, 5.4 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively — all within close proximity to California’s average of 5.6 percent. San Mateo has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3 percent, and Colusa County has the highest at 20.6 percent. The nation currently sits at 5 percent unemployment.
Snyder attributes Placer County’s ability to maintain such a low unemployment rate to a myriad of reasons: the region’s high quality of life (attractive to employees), a workforce with a high level of education (attractive to employers) and, most importantly, a business-friendly climate.
Wendy Gerig, Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, and Marc Mondell, director of economic and community development for the City of Rocklin, agree that being business-friendly greatly benefits the county’s ability to sustain such a consistently low unemployment rate.
Roseville’s business-friendly climate, Gerig says, sets the city apart — and that starts with elected officials who are often business people themselves. “They understand the struggle,” she says. “They understand the importance of open communication, and a checks-and-balance between regulations and being open to feedback from businesses.”
With successful public-private partnerships such as Advantage Roseville (a project of the Roseville Community Development Corporation) and Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council, Placer County and its cities are able to better attract and maintain businesses within the region. According to Snyder, educational and health services along with trade, transportation and utilities are the leading industries in Placer County; other successful industries include retail and tourism.
Looking ahead, Snyder says the county has plans to prepare an industrial area between Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln for future development, private-sector investment and job creation. This is one of several development plans that will help Placer maintain its low unemployment rate. Upholding Placer’s high quality of life that is sought out after by employers, employees and their families is also critical.
Mondell agrees that Placer County is an attractive place to live; from a quality-of-life perspective, the regions offers communities with great public schools, higher-education opportunities, housing choices, outdoor recreation and retail establishments. “All of these factors are important to job growth,” Mondell says.