Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 99

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT People and businesses that call Sacra- mento home have routinely cited the many reasons the area is great for busi- nesses: quality of life, the multiple educa- tion institutions, and the rich history and culture all add to the appeal. But one factor that simply cannot be ignored is the people of the region. According to a 2018 Brookings Institu- tion Report, the talent pool in the region is well educated and diverse, with a “work- force that embodies the diversity that will define the nation’s demographic future.” The Greater Sacramento Economic Coun- cil also touts the talent in the area as an asset, noting that businesses located here are able to tap into a network of 318,000 currently enrolled 4-year university stu- dents within 90 miles of Sacramento. While data and numbers are great for looking at large-scale trends from an em- pirical point of view, local businesses have seen firsthand the competitive strengths of the region’s workforce, utilizing those strengths in different ways. For Lincoln-based GC Products, an architectural materials manufacturer, the wide array of talent is the biggest benefit of being located in the region. “We need everybody from laborers, draftsmen, CNC operators, to manage- ment positions,” says Michael Coburn, vice president of sales and marketing for GC Products. “The nice thing about this area is it’s all available. From the tech draftsmen who know computer and 3D modeling really well, to general labor. We’re able to pull from different areas of the region to get the labor that we need.” Talent comes from a variety of insti- tutions throughout the region, such as UC Davis, Sacramento State, eight communi- ty colleges, private schools, and numer- ous vocational schools and professional schools which meet the educational needs of local business and the community. Coburn says he has participated in curriculum development with the STEM department at Sierra College to help pre- pare the future workforce with the skills they will need, and his company is working to secure interns. “Because of where we’re at, and what’s available, it seems we can find the employees we need,” Coburn says. Coburn credits that talent for helping to make GC Products successful. But a talented workforce is not the sole appeal of the region — employee retention is another asset that Riskalyze CEO Aaron Klein has noticed. The fintech company The SkySlope team has a meeting in their Sacramento office. “I think it’s been hugely beneficial to be based in Sacramento, instead of in [Silicon] Valley. We’re able to recruit amazing talent who move here for the quality of life and affordability of the region. Meanwhile, we get the competitive advantage of great, affordable talent that is loyal and doesn’t just jump to the next company every 18 months.” - Aaron Klein, CEO, Riskalyze launched in 2011 and has offices in Auburn and Atlanta which employ over 200 peo- ple. Turnover is a legitimate concern for December 2018 | 99