News Release: Labor Market Intelligence report shows San Bernardino County has the labor pool to meet business needs

02/27/19

Author: Economic Development Team

San Bernardino County’s newly adopted Labor Market Intelligence, Workforce Roadmap report shows the manpower exists to transform the region’s economy, but that more can be done to make sure that prime working-age adults have the opportunity to succeed.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) formally approved the Workforce Roadmap on Wednesday as part of the Countywide Vision’s initiative, Vision2Succeed. The report, commissioned by the WDB and compiled by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Center for Economic Forecasting & Development, noted that San Bernardino County boasts an above-average percentage of young people currently employed. However, the labor force participation rate among prime working-age adults – ages 25-64 – lags behind the regional average, which, if remedied, could create tremendous opportunities for businesses in high-growth industries.

The full report can be found at: http://wp.sbcounty.gov/workforce/labor-market-information/

“Considering that practically every industry continues to add jobs, the ability to tap into a large local labor pool is an important competitive advantage for us,” said Tony Myrell, WDB chair. “This kind of data gives us an opportunity to further focus our efforts when it comes to connecting the needs of businesses with career training and development.”

According to the study, those opportunities are most pronounced in the areas of transportation, warehousing, manufacturing and healthcare, which account for 40 percent of all jobs in the county, but 55 percent of all job growth. A large number of those jobs are being filled by non-residents, with 198,000 workers commuting from neighboring counties every day.

The county’s labor force participation rate among prime working-age adults has been trending down for some time, particularly among those with less than a high school education. From 2012 though 2017, San Bernardino County’s population grew at a 3.8 percent rate – roughly equal to the state’s 3.9 percent growth rate. The Workforce Roadmap notes that if San Bernardino County’s labor force participation rate equaled that of neighboring counties, an additional 33,000 to 108,000 jobs could be filled with local talent.

“Those are amazing numbers and speak to the need for businesses, schools, nonprofits and the public sector to work more collaboratively than ever – to make sure we’re preparing our residents for real-world job opportunities,” Phil Cothran, vice chair of the WDB. ”We’ve got so much going for us – a growing population, a great quality of life, reasonable housing costs. The kind of labor market data contained in the Workforce Roadmap form a baseline to help us better understand where the region’s workforce and economic opportunities exist.”

WDB-sponsored programs such as GenerationGo!, on-the-job training, and business support and assistance are designed to help bridge those opportunities and are key elements of Vision2Succeed, adopted by the County’s Board of Supervisors in December to engage the community in a way that strengthens the skills of our local workforce, prepares them for career opportunities and supports and attracts business.

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The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the county’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources, which generate jobs and investment in line with the Countywide Vision.

The Workforce Development Board, through the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences. In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America's Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county's businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce.