Preliminary findings from the Independent Committee for San Benito County Job Growth suggest local jobs are the answer to traffic and government staffing woes.
San Benito County Business Council member and Teknova Chief Financial Officer Richard Goozh presented the Hollister City Council with the committee’s preliminary plan during the council’s Oct. 15 regular meeting.
Members of the committee include Hollister Councilmember Jim Gillio, Hollister City Manager Bill Avera, San Juan Bautista Councilmember Chris Martorana, San Benito County Supervisor Mark Medina and Bob Tiffany, owner of Tiffany Ford.
Despite members’ ties to local government or other entities, they do not represent a specific organization, Goozh told BenitoLink. It is beneficial for the committee members to have knowledge and experience in specific areas, but they serve as individuals, Goozh said.
He added that not all committee members agree with the recommendations; they are a consensus of the majority.
In his presentation, Goozh said the benefits of job growth include higher wages, less commuter traffic, increased government budgets and services, and happier families and communities.
All the findings in the plan are based on data from local, state and federal resources, Goozh said.
San Benito County averages 1 percent job growth per year, Goozh said, while residential growth is about 3 percent.
He added there are approximately 25,000 jobs in San Benito County.
If the 1 percent job growth trend continues for the next 10 years, the number of commuters will increase from 15,000 to about 25,000, Goozh said. If job growth increased to 3 percent per year, he continued, the projected number of commuters would be 21,000.
With a 6 percent job growth per year, Goozh said commuter numbers would increase just slightly.
“Job growth is actually the solution, or certainly one of the solutions to the roadway problems,” Goozh said.
Job growth is a catalyst to providing more revenue for local governments, Goozh said. He added that in return, governments can provide more and better services because industrial and other jobs create more government jobs.
The Independent Committee for San Benito County Job Growth’s recommendations are:
- Create shared growth objectives between local agencies.
- Separate residential and business growth ideas. Business growth rate needs to be higher. Target 6-10 percent annual business growth.
- Hire marketing and intake director to spearhead job growth initiatives. Market Hollister to potential businesses.
- Support new and relocating businesses. Make the process as easy as possible to attract businesses, especially high-tech and biotech businesses because of Hollister’s proximity to Silicon Valley.
- Improve city and county partnerships to upgrade services and reduce costs. An example is animal control.
- Invest and support infrastructure improvements. The committee cites Measures X and M as examples.
“Six percent is not unattainable, 1 percent is completely unacceptable,” Goozh said.
Councilman Karson Klauer asked for an example of a local city that averaged 6-10 percent job growth. Goozh did not have that information on hand and said he would find one and report back. He said he intends to present a final job growth plan in the future.
Goozh gave a similar presentation at the Business Council meeting Oct. 4 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club.