Sacramento Region

Seven Counties: Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Plumas, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

Decarbonization requires a larger workforce, higher technology integration skills

More than 18.000 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 Sacramento clean technology and energy cluster is a target for economic development due to the presence of strong regional initiatives that have targeted growth and development of this cluster since 2005 (e.g. Green Capital Alliance, CleanStart and Greenwise). A study of this cluster in the Sacramento Region identified approximately 200 establishments supporting over 3,000 jobs and $846 million of annual sales.

The proprietary Green Technology Firm database created for this study shows that the City of Sacramento contains about 25 percent of the Region’s Clean Energy Technology establishments (including one of the larger and more visible firms in the clean transportation and energy efficiency segments, Airco Mechanical) with close to 34 percent of the estimated cluster jobs and 55 percent of annual sales. Most of the Clean Energy Technology firms in the city fall within the clean energy and energy efficiency segments of the cluster.


New construction and infrastructure are needed to support economic growth in the Capital Region. However, evidenced by the data above, this next wave of prosperity is in jeopardy without the construction workforce to meet current and future needs. Construction workforce gaps cause project delays and result in increased costs — often ending in delayed or abandoned projects.

One area where a significant gap exists is in the construction workforce. In fact, according to a 2018 report by Valley Vision and the Centers of Excellence at Los Rios Community College District, there is a “projected shortage of about 7,250 workers … annually over the next five years…including a shortfall of nearly 2,000 carpenters, 860 construction managers, 640 electricians, …520 heavy equipment operators, and 500 engineers.” In late 2019, the Metro Chamber convened a working group to examine the roadblocks and policy friction points to help reduce the projected shortage of over 7,000 construction industry workers.


Economy | Environment | Equity
Continued construction growth, Projected at a Slower Pace

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

Sacramento regional economic growth is creating 18,000 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 air is terrible in Sacramento, and climate change is baking the problem in, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association.

For the second year in a row, Sacramento was named fifth in a list of worst major U.S. cities for ozone pollution in the Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report. Sacramento also moved up from 19th to 15th in the nation for particle pollution days, scoring an F for both categories.
This year’s report covered data from 2015 to 2017, when record high temperatures and wildfires caused by climate change contributed significantly to a rise in air pollution levels across California, according to the report.

“The climate warming we see is actually undoing a lot of the good work that our air quality regulation is trying to do,” Dr. John Balmes, the physician member of the California Air Resources Board, said in a press conference outlining the report in April 2019.

Balmes said that Sacramento fares comparably better on year-round pollution levels, which are mostly affected by power plant and diesel fuel emissions, but still suffers from more bad particle days because of wildfires and high ozone days because of global warming.


Economy | Environment | Equity
Concentrations of Poor Environmental Quality

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

Highlights: More than 234,000 greater Sacramento 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


The Need for Equity

A recent report* found that between 2006 and 2016 the Sacramento region ranked in the bottom-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in growth and prosperity. The report concluded that the increased disparity in quality of life between high-performing and low-performing neighborhoods, including access to basic services such as health care, transportation, education and economic opportunity, is holding back our entire region’s potential.

*2018 Brookings Institute Study, Charting a Course to the Sacramento Region’s Future Economic Prosperity.

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 234,000 Sacramento 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 18,000 job openings are projected annually for the Sacramento Energy, Construction, and Utilities Sector through 2022. 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 greater Sacramento area.

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