Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 86

FOLSOM & EL DORADO HILLS corridor have potential to thrive. Accord- ing to Folsom Chamber of Commerce CEO Joe Gagliardi, the city’s biggest em- ployers are in the professional/scientific/ technical services sector. “This is a positive environment for growing and locating a business,” says Andy Morin, mayor of the City of Folsom. “And of course we’re interested in that because of all the other vitality that brings to the city.” In that vein, the Greater Folsom Part- nership launched its “Choose Folsom” campaign to ensure the city’s economic well-being into the future. The plan re- volves around five goals: Attract 10 new companies to the area; see three current companies expand; garner $400 million in capital investment; create 3,000 new jobs. According to Gagliardi, in this first year since the program’s launched, initial results are promising: 1,000 new jobs, two new companies, nine expansions and $80 million in capital investment. “As we’ve grown and there’s more variety of business in Folsom, we try to make the city recession-proof.” - Andy Morin, Mayor, City of Folsom “We have to help companies be able to grow here, and we have to be able to assist them,” Gagliardi says, which means being open to a given businesses needs and challenges. Intel, PowerSchool, VoxPro and VSP are some of the bigger-name businesses in the city. Gagliardi points out that Vox- 86 | November 201 7 Pro alone has added several hundred jobs just in the past year. PowerSchool, a soft- ware company in the public school space, moved back to Folsom after a brief relo- cation to Rancho Cordova. And VSP, the largest vision insurance company in the nation, developed a manufacturing facil- ity in Folsom in 2014. Morin says it’s critical to have a va- riety of industries that lay roots in the area, as recessions and changing busi- ness climates can dramatically impact a community. “We want to make sure one com- pany and industry isn’t monopolizing the job picture,” he says, adding that there are high-end tech support com- panies, manufacturing and technology giants that diversify the landscape. “We look to complete a picture of all sorts of job opportunities.” Intel considers the area “the gateway between the city and the mountains,” with rental rates and housing prices much lower than the Bay Area and Southern California. Nearby Sacramento is “an up- and-coming city for tech companies,” says Elizabeth Shipley, regional public af- fairs director at Intel, and the Folsom Intel campus hosts a healthy demographic of millennial employees. According to a Business Journal/Gal- lup poll, research shows that millennials want to have “high levels of well being.” And some of the most important qual- ities that workers of any age range seek in a career are available at Intel, Shipley says. That includes “flexible work hours, relaxed and casual work environment, on-campus amenities including a gym and cafes, a relatively flat hierarchical structure (ability to pop by the CEO’s cube is a big bonus),” she says in an email. With more jobs comes a greater demand for supportive assets, such as schools, housing, restaurants and be- yond, Morin says. A massive mixed-use housing development — 3,500 acres in size — is under construction just south of Highway 50. Dubbed Folsom Ranch, the project will feature more than 11,000