Bay Area Region

Nine Counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo

Decarbonization requires a larger workforce, higher technology integration skills

More than 70,000 annual job openings indicate solid economic growth. Environmental and Equity progress requires advances in workforce development to decarbonize communities and create economic mobility for their residents.

Our Process:
Three-Part Data Analysis

TESC cultivates regional collaboratives that prioritize workforce initiatives to drive the triple bottom line of Economy, Environment, and Equity


Aligning workforce development priorities with regional economic initiatives
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Building essential workforce skills to support regional decarbonization
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Creating career opportunities for members of Disadvantaged Communities
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The Bay Area churned out a whopping $748 billion gross domestic product in 2017 and hit an annual growth rate of 4.3 percent during the past four years — nearly double the nation’s growth rate. Key drivers boosting growth include a high percentage of educated residents, robust pipeline of startups and a relatively diverse base of employers.

Commercial construction remains strong, rising to the demand for space being created by new business formation.

Against those strengths, the region also suffers from a core weakness: inadequate housing production. The Bay Area’s economy could have grown even faster than it did and displaced fewer people if the region added more homes to keep up with new jobs.

Growth in Construction jobs continue to outpace increases in the labor pool, creating significant employment opportunities and associated economic benefits.

Economy | Environment | Equity
Sustained Growth, New Opportunities

Workforce capacity continues to lag construction volume, contributing to housing shortages and increases in the cost of living. TESC facilitates synchronized regional workforce development initiatives to help bridge this gap.

Highlights: New initiatives are needed to build a workforce that can stem housing shortages and apply competencies to implement the region’s decarbonization agenda.
Economy | Environment | Equity
High-skill Occupational Clusters in Greatest Demand

Bay Area regional economic growth is creating 71,000 job openings annually in the Energy, Construction, and Utilities Sector. These new positions support further economic growth and help drive the triple bottom line.

Highlights: A complex mix of education and training programs are needed to build capacity for serving these workforce priorities.
Economy | Environment | Equity


The Bay Area has significant capital and technological resources to help address the region’s clean energy and pollution challenge. Workforce capacity and competence continues to be a major issue, one that’s created the need for action by TESC and its collaborators.

What is the challenge? The San Francisco Bay Area Summary Report (August 2018) bullets the effects of climate change that residents are already experiencing:

  • The area’s average annual maximum temperature has increased by 1.7°F since 1950;
  • Coastal fog is less frequent;
  • Sea level in the Bay has risen 8 inches in the last 100 years;
  • The 2015-16 El Niño storms created waves with energy 50 percent larger than average, driving unprecedented beach erosion;
  • The area burned in “large-fire” years in the Bay Area has steadily increased over the past 80 years.
Economy | Environment | Equity
Concentrations of Poor Environmental Quality

Communities most impacted by environmental issues cluster around the Bay, reflecting heavy industrial and power generation footprints. Significant health issues are common in the region, attributable in part to environmental conditions.

Highlights: More than 300,000 Bay Area residents live in the highest quartile of poor environmental quality among all communities in the state.
Economy | Environment | Equity
The Workforce Opportunity

Heavy industrial and power generation sites are the target of California’s Cap and Trade Legislation. Heavy traffic corridors are major pollution sources as well. Complex site-level and community-scale decarbonization projects will require significant new workforce competencies for advanced technology integration.

Emerging Occupations

  • Database Systems operators
  • Data analytics specialists
  • Coders and programmers
  • digital energy systems
    • Designers
    • Integrators
    • Operators
  • Digital Energy network specialists
    • Cybersecurity specialists
  • Digital programming specialists
    • Microgrid-associated technologies and networks
    • Energy auditing,surveying and benchmarking
    • Energy modeling
  • CAD/CAM drafters and operators
  • Energy systems
    • Sales specialists
    • Product marketing specialists
Highlights: Significant upgrades to education and training programs are required for essential technologies that can achieve environmental improvement in distressed communities and beyond.
Economy | Environment | Equity


Rising inequality, stagnant wages, and persistent racial inequities have put the long-term future of the booming Bay Area economy at risk, a report from PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California finds.

The report examined regional demographic trends and indicators of economic vitality, career readiness, and connectedness and found that while closing racial income gaps would boost the regional economy by nearly $138 billion, job growth is not keeping up with population growth, that black and Latino workers have seen the hourly wages fall between 2000 and 2014, and that income inequality in the region is worsening.

The report’s authors further argue that achieving full racial economic inclusion and equity could double annual incomes for black and Latino residents, with all residents of the region seeing an average increase of 33.7 percent.

Source: An Equity Profile of the Five-County San Francisco Bay Area Region

Economy | Environment | Equity
Communities in Need: Environmental Justice

Disadvantaged Communities are disproportionally affected by environmental issues. Mitigation or removal of environmental impacts is essential to quality of life for more than 300,000 Bay Area residents. Hover over each population for a total count.

Highlights: These communities are among the most environmentally disadvantaged in the region. Environmental justice requires large scale measures to improve quality of life for community members.
Economy | Environment | Equity
Communities in Need: Social Equity

Social and economic mobility challenges are more severe in Disadvantaged Communities. Workforce development solutions are needed to create pathways out of poverty, requiring strong regional action.

Highlights: Social equity is a serious issue for members of these communities, adding the need for family wage jobs to health issues associated with poor environmental quality.
Economy | Environment | Equity
Abundant Job Opportunities, Targeted Workforce Development Required

More than 71,000 job openings are projected annually for the Bay Area Energy, Construction, and Utilities Sector through 2026. TESC partnerships with community-based organizations and industry create a strong platform for pathways out of poverty.

The chart below displays median ECU hourly earnings as well as the living wage as calculated for the SF Bay Area.

Highlights: Significant opportunities exist in middle-skill jobs for which members of Disadvantaged Communities can be trained and employed.
Economy | Environment | Equity