It’d be nice if this article actually changed things for the better in Orange County. It’s getting to the point where I myself am planning on moving out. It’s too expensive and companies want to hire me at $10K less than what I made back east. It’s insane because the cost of living is much, MUCH lower back east.
I moved back here 2.5 years ago and I’ve been struggling the entire time. I had a much easier life back east and was able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. But I couldn’t adjust to the cold and I was allergic to just about everything out there.
Something’s gotta give and maybe this article is the start. Read below…
Too much of a good thing
Skilled workers are saying ‘no’ to Orange County.
Even the most fortunate of us living here in Orange County have at one time or another thought, “How do I afford all of this?” When we analyze the costs involved in maintaining our lifestyles, it is challenging to some, impossible for others, particularly for young people. It’s no surprise that the U.S. Census reports that OC has lost some 13% of residents ages 25 to 34 over the past five years. They simply cannot afford to live and work here. The disparity between earnings and the cost of housing is the biggest factor. The median income for a family of four is approximately $75,000 – an income that can only buy a home priced at $229,000. Yet, the median priced home in Orange County is well over $600,000.
As a result, more and more Orange County-based organizations report difficulty attracting and employing top young professionals here in the county. OC METRO Magazine met with two local business people responsible for hiring into their organizations to discuss the impact of these changes on the talent pool.
Jill Dominguez is president of the WRJ Group, a company that helps governmental agencies, universities, municipalities and private companies meet social responsibility objectives. Dominguez believes that Orange County municipalities have not worked hard enough to create affordable housing for low-income earners, as well as those earning moderate incomes who also struggle. “We have made it impossible for important professionals like our policeman, fireman and teachers to own homes here,” says Dominguez.
Michael Wolfsen agrees. As vice president of operations for Michael Brandman Associates, an environmental services firm specializing in documentation, planning, and natural resources management, he believes that the decline in affordability has had the largest negative impact on the not only the unskilled workforce, but the skilled labor force as well. “We recently gave a very generous offer to a recent college graduate we coveted. She declined due to the cost of living in Orange County,” Wolfsen explains.
Economists preparing their year-end reviews and 2007 forecasts seem uncertain about the long-term impact of high housing prices on future job growth. As a Cal State Fullerton forecast notes: “High housing prices are likely to impact new business creation and expansion over a longer period.” Those prices “are making it difficult to attract high-skilled professionals from outside the region.” OCM
John Nolan is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University. He owns Core Marketing Agency in Tustin: email@example.com
How to attract talent to OC
1. Create your own information packet on Orange County living. Let candidates know what to expect concerning costs and how to stretch their budget.
2. Help employees find and take advantage of creative subsidized home financing or rental opportunities.
3. Create internal carpool programs to help them save time and gas costs.
4. Take advantage of local employee affinity discount entertainment programs such as “Entertainment” cards.
5. This is after the fact, but, be a good boss. It will be hard enough to make ends meet in Orange County. OCM
Found on OCMetro.com – http://www.ocmetro.com/NEW_SITE/current_issue/entrepreneur.php