Jobs and the Economy
In May of 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that more than 40,000 jobs had been created in Sacramento County since 2012. This is welcome progress considering the depths of our economic and financial crisis.
But there’s certainly a lot more that we need to do. Many people are still looking for work in our constantly changing economy. We’re living in an increasingly interconnected world where technology is reshaping how our economy works.
We need to recognize and understand these changes in our economy so that we can make the smart choices necessary to create more jobs and opportunities in Sacramento County. We need to encourage growth in sectors such as high-tech, manufacturing, clean energy, and provide support to our small businesses. This is all a crucial part of securing a thriving middle class in the 21st century -- so that anyone who works hard and does the right thing has a shot at the American dream.
- Supporting Sacramento County Workers:
- Helping Small Businesses Grow:
- Rebuilding Our Infrastructure:
- Creating New Clean Energy Jobs:
- Advancing Innovation and Technology:
- Investing in Manufacturers:
- Succeeding in the Global Economy:
- More on Creating Jobs and Opportunities:
As we work to create more jobs and opportunities in Sacramento County, making sure that folks who are looking for jobs can find work is critical to strengthening the middle class. After our economic and financial crisis – and with an increasingly changing economy—I know that there are many people who are unsure where to turn for help or support.
This is why I’ve directed my local office to do everything it can to help folks looking for work. This is a core part of my job of making government work for you. That means not only being your voice in our nation’s capital, but also helping you in any way that I can.
- Job fairs to help Sacramento County’s Unemployed: We’ve held job fairs in conjunction with Assemblymember Ken Cooley to connect hundreds of local jobless residents with employers who are hiring. We helped serve nearly 300 local residents alone at a job fair 2015!
During a job fair my office hosted in conjunction with Assemblymember Ken Cooley.
Comprehensive Job Seeker Guide: My office created a comprehensive guide for job seekers to help unemployed Sacramento County residents find work. It includes support for job seekers, job training resources, help for unemployed Veterans, and much more. It also includes details about emergency unemployment insurance and other resources to help people get by as they look for work.
Investing in Job Training: We also need to make sure that workers have the skills they need to compete for 21st century jobs. That’s why I voted for the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to improve our nation’s workforce development system, which the President signed into law. This law modernizes our workforce development programs and ensures state and local governments have support to tailor their job training services to their own unique needs. These and other reforms will help job seekers obtain useful and relevant work experience.
Touring the Crossroads Service Training Center, where local job seekers are connected with resources and assistance to find employment.
Training the Future: As more and more baby boomers begin to retire, we need to make sure that the next generation of workers has the skills and knowledge they need to pick up the baton. Unfortunately, some businesses are reporting an increasing “skills gap” that’s making it difficult to replace retiring employees who have strong institutional knowledge and talent. According to the National Manufacturing Institute, in manufacturing alone, this gap will leave 2 million unfilled jobs by 2025.
That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Train the Future Act. My bill would provide incentives to older employees who are near retirement to train and mentor new workers. This would help us bridge the skills gap and make sure our economy remains competitive.
Making Government Work for Sacramento County Families: Bureaucratic red tape, lost paper work, and other government log jams shouldn’t stand in the way of hardworking taxpayers accessing the services and benefits they’ve earned. Government should be a partner to help families get by and get ahead instead of being an obstacle.
That’s why one of my top priorities is to make government work for you. I’ve directed my office to help local residents cut through government red tape, hold events to help solve their problems, and to connect people with any resources they may need.
We've now helped more than 6,000 local residents and helped return more than $3 million in benefits owed to local taxpayers. This includes everything from student financial aid, tax refunds, and backlogged veterans' benefits. This is money going directly back into the pocketbooks of local residents – helping our economy.
Please always feel free to call my office at (916) 635-0505 to get help or visit bera.house.gov/gethelp to learn more. You may also learn more by playing the below video to see how we helped Corey, a 22 year Army veteran who nearly lost his home:
Helped unveil a new Small Business Development Center in Elk Grove. This center helps people develop business plans, access low-cost loans from the Small Business Administration, and provides free technical help. I was proud to help fight to bring this resource center to our area. Read more about it >>
I understand how hard our small business owners work and how vital they are to helping grow our economy and create good-paying, middle class jobs. I know first-hand that starting and running a small business is a key part of the American dream. Our small business owners’ pioneering spirts help move our economy forward. It is because of their innovative ideas and hard work that we all benefit from groundbreaking new technology, goods, and services. And according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses are responsible for creating nearly seven out of every 10 new jobs.
At a time when our economy is increasingly changing, we must do a better job of ensuring that government is a strategic partner for small businesses, not an obstacle. This will help us create more good-paying jobs and opportunities in Sacramento County while securing the middle class and the American dream for business owners and workers. This is why I’ve worked to connect local small business owners with resources, fought for tax relief, and reduced unfair regulations.
- Supporting Local Businesses: A core part of my job is making government work for you. That’s why I’ve directed my local office to do all it can to help connect local businesses with resources they can use to grow and hire.
For example, we’ve held several workshops to connect area business owners with resources they can use from the Small Business Administration and the Census Bureau. We also launched a Help for Businesses web page, which is full of resources that local businesses can use.
I was pleased to welcome Maria Contreras-Sweet, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to Sacramento County. This was a great opportunity for local small businesses to connect directly with the Small Business Administration to share their priorities and needs.
At a workshop my office held in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.
- Tax Relief for Small Businesses: I voted for the bipartisan Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, or the PATH Act, which is now law. It provides certainty and commonsense tax relief for local businesses and makes several crucial tax provisions permanent.
For example, it permanently extends the research and development tax creditmakes some key enhancements to the credit to make it work better for small businesses. , it increases and makes permanent the amount that businesses can deduct for certain investments. Many small businesses rely on Section 179 expensing to deduct the cost of buying new equipment and property to help them grow, expand, and create new jobs. Without the PATH Act, businesses would be limited to a maximum yearly deduction of $25,000. The PATH Act, however, raises the maximum deduction to $500,000and indexes it to inflation to preserve its future value.
These changes make it easier for new businesses and small companies to invest and jobs.
- Small Business and Family Relief Act: We should be making it easier, not harder, for small businesses to grow. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Small Business and Family Relief Act. This bill would help rollback a new health insurance tax that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. Non-partisan experts agree that this tax will result in higher insurance costs for businesses, which could hinder job growth and force layoffs. I’m proud to report that I voted for a bipartisan government funding bill in December 2015, which is now law, which included a version of my proposal to delay this tax for 2017.
Listened to the folks at Brothers Boats in Folsom. I discussed how my bill, the Small Business and Family Relief Act, can help local small businesses like theirs.
- Opposing Burdensome Regulations: We need to make sure we aren’t burdening businesses with needless rules that aren’t practical. That’s why I voted to ensure that federal agencies properly consider the economic impact of regulations on small businesses. Agencies would need to assess the indirect impact of their regulations and if the impact is significant, they should consider less burdensome alternatives before they issue new rules.
- Supporting Small Business Lending: We need to make sure that small businesses have the resources they need to invest in their future. Unfortunately, at one point in 2015, the Small Business Administration’s most popular lending program, known as the 7(a) loan program, was in danger of shutting down, cutting our entrepreneurs off from the funds they need to grow. That’s why I supported H.R. 3132, to ensure the 7(a) lending program could continue without interruption.
In America, both parties have to get back to dreaming big and building big things to invest in our future. President Franklin Roosevelt helped bring us out of the Great Depression with projects like the Hoover Dam. President Eisenhower continued this bipartisan commitment to the future by building our interstate highway system. This helped create jobs and laid the foundation for a modern economy to support a strong middle class.
Years after making these historic investments, our current infrastructure is in dire need of improvement. Our outdated roads and bridges endanger residents, discourage new business, and slow down our economy. To create jobs and build an economy that works for the middle class, we need to get back to the bipartisan American tradition of investing in our future.
- Bipartisan Action to Rebuild America and Our Future Prosperity: I voted for a major infrastructure bill, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, which is now law. This five-year bill was widely supported by both parties. It will help ensure that we make a significant national investment to rebuild our roads, bridges, and public transportation and provide states and communities the certainty they need.
- Upgrading the Folsom Dam: We should invest in our water infrastructure to safeguard our local supply of drinking water and to create jobs. Since I was elected to Congress, I’ve strongly supported making upgrades to the Folsom Dam. These upgrades are now underway and will allow Folsom Dam to store more water, and will also allow it release water more safely and strategically. This will help with our current drought and provide better flood protection during wetter years. This project has also already brought hundreds of new jobs to our region and infused tens of millions of dollars into our local economy. It’s a model for our region, and the epitome of government collaborating with state, local, and federal agencies to keep a project on schedule and under budget.
With Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell and Congresswoman Doris Matsui to review new upgrades to the Folsom Dam.
- The Partnership to Build America Act: We need responsible and sustainable solutions to help pay for rebuilding our roads and bridges. Raising gas taxes on hardworking families is not a solution. This would only hurt the people who can afford it the least. Instead, we need to find new and responsible ways to modernize our economy. That’s why I’m supporting the bipartisan Partnership to Build America Act. This bill would help us pay for major infrastructure projects without raising taxes or increasing our debt.
I was honored to help Intel unveil its new solar car port. This project will help generate fifty percent of the energy that’s needed to power Intel’s Folsom campus.
Clean energy is an enormous opportunity. It can help us end dependency on dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil that threaten the health of our families. And investing in solar, wind, and other clean energy sources can drive innovation in our economy and create millions of new jobs.
The Sacramento region can capitalize on the growing clean energy industry. Our area is consistently rated as a national leader in the clean energy job sector. Clean energy is crucial to protecting our health, addressing climate change, and creating new high-paying jobs.
- Encouraging Clean Energy Development: I voted to extend crucial tax credits that encourage clean energy technology development, including wind and solar power, as part of a major tax bill that passed Congress and became law in December 2015.
- Investing in Clean Energy Breakthroughs: We need to encourage development of cutting edge clean energy research and development. That’s why, as member of the Science and Technology Committee, I’m supporting a bill to reauthorize a law called the America COMPETES Act. This law makes possible groundbreaking clean energy research and development that can’t be supported by the private sector alone.
- Supporting the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: This office supports researchers who are developing clean and renewable energy sources. It also works to ensure that our economy and infrastructure uses energy more efficiently. I'm urging the Appropriations Committee, which dictates how our tax dollars are spent, to invest in this crucial office to continue its important programs.
CleanWorld and Atlas Industries, located in our district, is a leader in clean and renewable energy. Their BioDigesters convert organic waste to renewable natural gas, electricity, and soil for California farms. They’re the only fuel producer in California that has a net negative carbon footprint – protecting our planet from climate change. They're a great example of the type of clean energy jobs we need in our economy.
Visiting with one of our area’s largest employers, Intel.
Our economy is increasingly changing, and a big reason is the information technology revolution. The Sacramento region is home to many high-tech businesses and industries specializing in aerospace, personal computers, software development, and more. These innovative companies are an essential part of our local economy and the jobs of the 21st century. We should do whatever we can to capitalize on these strengths so we create and attract more good-paying jobs to our area.
- Supporting Innovation in the Science, Space, and Technology Committee: As a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I’m working to support education, research, development, and innovation. Here’s a clip from a Science Committee hearing I took part in about how we can make sure we have enough trained and well qualified people ready for the jobs of the 21st century. I also recently held a town hall with employees at Intel and was able to share their concerns:
- Driving Innovation and Research with the America COMPETES Act: America must maintain its global leadership in cutting edge research, science, and technology. That’s why I’m a strong supporter of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. This legislation would renew many of our country’s most critical science and technology initiatives. This includes substantial investments in clean and renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, nanotechnology, and education in areas like math and science.
This legislation is under the jurisdiction of the Science Committee. In the Committee, I’ve opposed short-sighted versions of this bill that proposed damaging cuts to leading science programs, which were broadly opposed by the scientific community. I’ve fought to amend the bill to make sure we don’t place harmful and unnecessary restrictions on scientific research grants, which are critical for institutions like U.C. Davis. I also offered an amendment to ensure we continue to invest in groundbreaking clean energy research and development supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
- Supporting Ingenuity and Economic Development at NASA: I voted for a bipartisan bill to reauthorize NASA, helping to ensure that they have the resources they need for future space exploration missions. NASA is essential for not only furthering our understanding of the universe, but also for making our economy more competitive.
You only need to look at some of our own local economic engines, such as Aerojet Rocketdyne, to see how NASA and its private partners help drive innovation in our economy. And though you may not realize it, you often come into contact with a commercial product that was made possible because of NASA’s research and cooperation with the private sector – including scratch resistant eye lenses, water filters, and adjustable smoke detectors.
I met with NASA experts in Washington and learned about some of the latest technologies that are paving the way for a human mission to Mars.
Visiting Aerojet Rocketdyne, one of our area’s largest employers. I’ve met with Aerojet’s leaders and employees many times to see how we can work together to grow our economy.
Visiting with Glide Cruisers USA, a local small business and manufacturer in Folsom.
Manufacturing is crucial for providing good-paying jobs that support a strong middle class. As our economy continues to change, we have to do a better job of helping manufacturers invest in their future and stay competitive in the 21st century. This is a key opportunity for growth because it means we can sell more products made by American workers around the world.
- Advocating for Sacramento County Manufacturing: I was proud to help advocate for a major contract between the Rail Division of Siemens and the Transportation Department. Thanks to this contract, Siemens’ Florin facility will help build dozens of new high-performance, 125-mile per hour, diesel-electric locomotives for several midwestern and West Coast states. This is a huge victory for Sacramento County and exactly the kind of project that creates jobs and improves the safety of our transportation network.
Visiting the Rail Systems division of Siemens, headquartered in Florin.
Investing in the Future of Manufacturing: As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I strongly support the America COMPETES Act to help manufacturers stay competitive in the 21st century.
The America COMPETES Act would renew many of our country’s most crucial science and technology initiatives. This includes substantial investments in advanced manufacturing to ensure we stay competitive in our changing economy. For instance, it would fund the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, a program that lets government, universities, and manufacturers collaborate and partner together on future innovations. It would also help support small and medium-sized manufacturers with loan guarantees and other assistance to help them pursue research and development.
In 2015, I was honored to join an official U.S. visit to India along with the President and other American leaders. I took part in several meetings with business leaders and others officials, including the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Here I took part in the U.S.-India C.E.O. Forum. Click here to learn more about my visit.
We live and work in an interconnected global economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States is only a piece of the world population and trillions of dollars in economic activity takes place outside our borders. Additionally, the Commerce Department reports that the Sacramento region exported more than $7 billion worth of merchandise in 2014 alone, which includes exports conducted by more than 1,500 small and medium sized businesses. In order to stay competitive, we need to be open to responsible ways to build on this success to create more American jobs.
On the Foreign Affairs Committee, I’m working to make sure our local businesses can continue to compete in the global economy so that they can grow, hire, and succeed in the 21st century.
- Strengthening Economic Ties With India: As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, I’ve made it a priority to strengthen our economic ties with India. Our region in particular has a lot to gain from the U.S.-India relationship. This is especially true in areas where we are already leaders, like agriculture and defense.
According to the Sacramento County’s Agricultural Commissioner, our region's crops had a production value of nearly $470 million in economic activity in 2015. This supports jobs from farm workers, to truckers, to grocery store clerks. For our farmers and agricultural businesses like Blue Diamond Almonds, exporting locally grown products to India is an excellent opportunity.
Our area also has the leading agricultural school in the world, U.C. Davis. In fact, U.C. Davis agreed to collaborate with Indian industries to see how they can prevent food losses due to spoilage. I was proud to help facilitate this agreement in my congressional term to help grow our agriculture economy.
Click below to see me address the U.S. – India partnership in the Foreign Affairs Committee:
- Supporting America’s Exporting Businesses and Workers: I was proud to vote for a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Export-Import bank. This is a critical jobs bill that supports thousands of small businesses and export jobs, including in our area. It helps U.S. companies compete globally by providing support for them to sell their products all over the world.
In our congressional district alone, the bank has supported more than $500 million in exports for local businesses since 2007. More than a dozen Sacramento area businesses have been helped by the bank since 2007, providing them the certainty they need to compete in global economy. You can view this graphic to learn more:
More on Jobs and the Economy
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), and Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA) introduced The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act.
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan emergency relief package for American families and small businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus.
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-07) voted today for two appropriations packages to avoid a government shutdown and keep the government funded through FY2020.
Washington, DC – Rep. Ami Bera (D–CA) welcomed Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Director Jason McAlister to Washington last week to help lead a discussion with Members of Congress on jobs, education, and vocational training. As the Co-Chair of the Access to Jobs Task Force, Rep. Bera invited Director McAlister to share his expertise leading SMUD’s premier training program.
Sacramento, CA – Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) released the following statement on the Republican tax bill that he voted against today:
Elk Grove, CA – Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7) and Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin announced a multi-million dollar Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant today for the Cosumnes Fire Department. The SAFER grant, totaling $1,947,191, will hire eight additional Cosumnes firefighters.
On Tuesday Congressman Ami Bera attended a meeting of local start up business owners that was held at Elk Grove’s InnoGrove Coworking, which is a local business that helps start up businesses and offers co-working spaces.
Sacramento, CA – Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7) announced a major, multi-million dollar grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today to improve Sacramento Mather Airport. The grant of $3,742,000 will be used to resurface pavement areas and upgrade drainage systems that will improve the airport’s safety and efficiency.
Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Ami Bera (D CA-7) introduced TechCorps, a bill that would incentivize the best and brightest Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates to enter the federal workforce through a debt forgiveness program.