Even if you are local, you may have heard of SACTO, but not had a clue what they do. Today, the Sacramento Association of Realtors hosted our Finance Forum in which Barbara Hayes from SACTO spoke. She gave us a truly “meat and potatoes” picture of the purpose and success of this organization.
SACTO is an acronym for Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization. Their sole purpose is to bring jobs to the Sacramento area. They are non-profit, non-political in nature and were created out of the
Metro Chamber years ago. They work with the local 26 governments that make up the Sacramento area. How do they stay out of politics, but work with governments? They receive feedback from companies either in the area or contemplating coming to the area. They then provide this feedback to the appropriate governance’s. Last year, they were responsible for bringing 1000 jobs to the area.
In a time when there is a definite shortage of jobs, SACTO is busier than they have been in the past 5 years. The “incubation” time from the beginning of talks to actual job realization is about 12 to 18 months, so we should be looking forward to some good times in the relatively near future.
It may be surprising to learn that about 50% of the potential jobs being considered in Sacramento are involved in “clean or green” technology. Nationally, California is viewed as the mecca of green technology and Sacramento, supplying access to policy makers, give Sacramento (both locally and statewide) a strong appeal. We are an appealing location due to several factors: Sacramento’s climate is ideal (other states such as Arizona and Nevada are too hot) and our former military bases generate incentives to use their locations. The very thing that has stagnated our economy in this area is also a great asset…the potential work force. Our educational institutions also give us a benefit. University of California at Davis has a globally known expert in wind power. California State University in Sacramento is known for it’s “smart” technology, developing smart grid technology opportunities with a 127M dollar grant (the second largest grant in this field). The Los Rios community colleges are committed to developing grad students into green force experts. Sacramento is winning more companies than anywhere else in California.
Our second largest job force is in consumer goods. There are several factors contributing to this fact. At one time, companies were relocating to states such as Arizona, Utah, etc. However, when oil prices went up, the cost of shipping exceeded the benefits of going to those states. Also, a state with 38M people is hard to overlook globally. Succinctly put, we are too large to fail. According to Time Magazine, California will chart the course for the future. According to the magazine, California is the center of innovation and talent.
Locally, Sacramento has a plethora of benefits to offer potential employers. The very fact that our property values have gone down has provided for affordable housing. The
Sacramento International Airport supplies an easy supply line. Our mild climate (a 75 degree average high and a 50 degree average low) reduces cost to companies concerned about high heating and air conditioning costs. Sacramento claims the highest number of intersecting major highways and freeways in the country (Interstates 5, 80 and Highways 50 and 99). This makes transporting of goods cost effective. Our health industry is thriving with UC Davis, the Sutter Health, Mercy and Kaiser. We offer recreation of every sort within 2 hours of Sacramento – skiing (water and snow) snorkeling, biking, running, baseball, soccer, boccie ball…just name it and it is here! One company that came to town discovered windsurfing..and that clinched the deal! We have the highest performing students statewide.
Nestle is presently committed to a 10M dollar investment in Sacramento. By the end of the year, they will have spent 3.5M of that commitment. 70% of the workforce are local contractors. A solar manufacturer from Asia (yet to be announced) will be investing initially in a 150,000 square foot building to be expanded to 300,000 square feet. They will employ 200 people. We are seeing increased interest in China due to their growing wealth.
We have a beautiful and vibrant city…and it is nice to know that others are realizing what
Sacramento has to offer!