County’s vexing jobs quandary

first_imgCAMARILLO – While business owners and residents find Ventura County’s climate and low crime rates attractive, the area’s high housing costs and aging population make it increasingly difficult to recruit people even for well-paying jobs, officials say. The issue was raised Thursday at a joint annual meeting of the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County and the Ventura County Economic Development Association. Chris Engle, vice president and senior analyst for AngelouEconomics, a Texas-based consulting firm, addressed the group in a keynote address on how national business trends are affecting the local economy. Speaking before and during his address about housing costs, he said Ventura County residents have both benefited and suffered. Engle said the region’s economic development depends on its ability to match the work force with the needs of employers. “Clearly your ability to support employers is going to be dependent on how to recruit and retain workers that you need.” “I don’t think you can ignore the affordable-housing issue for long,” Engle said. “Improving the transportation system is part of it.” Engle said one sign of problems is a decline in the area’s 25- to 44-year-old population, from 32.5 percent in 1990 to 28.2 percent in 2005, and an increase in the 44-64 age group from 18 percent to 25 percent. “Companies have the most difficulty hiring young professionals,” he said. “In Ventura County, the average age is getting much higher.” “There are simply not enough workers in the right areas to meet the needs of our future industries,” he said speaking of technological workers in the nation as a whole. “We’re simply not generating the work force that global technologies need, while the older work force is retiring.” Meissner said he sees at his own company the problems in recruiting engineers and scientists. “We’re a growing company and are constantly trying to add people, including scientists and engineers,” he said. “These are well-paying technology positions. But it’s tough. We have an aging population and it’s difficult to bring people from outside California because housing is so expensive. Eric Leach, (805) 583-7602 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card According to DataQuick Real Estate News for December 2005 the median home price in Ventura County was $630,000, an increase of nearly 21 percent over December 2004. Ventura County housing experts say apartment rentals have gotten so expensive that young college graduates are finding it difficult to settle here, even if they find good jobs. “It’s so expensive to get into the (housing) market that you are going to have some real challenges recruiting a talented work force,” Engle said. “Ventura County job growth over the past few years has been minimal. A lot of that ties back to the fact there is a real estate shortage in the community.” Thursday’s gathering of business and government leaders at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo was the annual meeting of the Economic Development Collaborative in Ventura County and the 57th annual installation of officers for the Ventura County Economic Development Association. Chris Meissner, president of Meissner Filtration Products Inc., took over as the new chairman of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County, and Howard Smith, a Morgan Stanley vice president, continued as chairman of VECEDA. last_img read more

December 28, 2019 0