5 Valley industries to add 137K jobs by 2024


Health care, social assistance jobs projected to grow at double the rate of construction, ag in the next five years

By Reggie Ellis

SACRAMENTO – California is now in the midst of the second-longest employment expansion on record – gaining more than twice as many jobs over the past eight years than it lost during the Great Recession. According to the Employment Development Department’s (EDD), job gains are spread across industry sectors with the largest number of new jobs expected in the educational services (private), health care, social assistance sector, and the construction sector.

The EDD also projected California’s economy will generate a total of 4.7 million job openings between the second quarters of 2017 and 2019. These openings are a combination of new jobs created and jobs that become available when workers leave the labor force or transfer to a different occupation. In the San Joaquin Valley, the industries with the highest projected job growth were the health care and social assistance sectors. It is estimated more than 47,000 jobs in the Valley will be added in these industries by 2024. It’s no surprise that health care continues to outpace the job openings in other sectors as most of the Valley is struggling to recruit and retain highly qualified doctors, nurses and technicians who can earn more money to the north and south. The entire valley continues to be a medically underserved area, meaning there is a shortage of doctors, and limited access to health care for vulnerable populations, according to the national Health Resources Services Administration.

Those vulnerable populations, such as children, elderly, low income households and the homeless, are also served by workers in the social assistance sector. Jobs in the social assistance industry include child care, housing assistance, food banks, in-home care, social workers and community outreach employees. Nearly 700 jobs were advertised in these sectors in July alone.

The Valley is also ripe for growth, and not just for crops. Construction jobs are quickly catching up to agriculture as there is a significant shortage of housing in the region and the demand for warehousing in the central part of the state. The EDD projects construction will add 20,000 jobs by 2024 while the agriculture sector—which also includes timber, fishing and hunting jobs—will add 28,000 jobs. Construction outpaced agriculture job openings for the month of July with 80 jobs advertised compared to 66. Rounding out the list of the top five sectors for job growth was educational services with a projected growth of more than 17,000 and topped the list of job openings in July with more than 1,000.

The Valley job forecast was part of the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Labor Day Briefing showcasing the current demand for skilled workers in California’s economy and the local employment services that connect job seekers with employers who are looking for workers with in-demand skills. EDD’s Labor Day 2018 web site feature highlights growing industries in the14 economic regions of the state. It includes infographics and stories of how employers and the state’s workforce development system are teaming up to secure a supply of qualified job candidates for expanding employment opportunities.

“EDD supports California workers in their quest to improve their job prospects and advance their careers,” said EDD director Patrick W. Henning. “EDD and its workforce development partners proudly provide the employment services that connect job seekers looking for promising careers with employers looking for trained and qualified employees.”

One of those success stories was a Madera County nonprofit dedicated to providing health care for farmworkers. Camarena Health, originally called “El Concilio de Madera,” went from serving about 1,500 patients when it first opened its doors in 1980 in the city of Madera, to around 40,000 county residents who currently use their services at satellite clinics throughout the county.

“Nearly 60 percent of the patients who we serve work in the agricultural industry including farmworkers and migrant farmworkers, and that was really the genesis of this company back in 1980 when it started,” said Camarena Health’s chief executive officer (CEO) Paulo Soares.

With growth came the need to hire more qualified personnel, and that’s when Camarena Health turned to the Madera Workforce Development Board. “They do some initial screenings for us when we’re looking to recruit, and we share with them what we’re looking for and what our needs are,” said Soares.

The initial screening process helps the organization identify potential employees who will adhere to its core values, then select candidates for more in-depth interviews. Being able to recruit local talent for its operations is key to offering the best services possible to patients, according to Soares.

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