EDB Microlending Program Growing Small Businesses, Jobs

May 20, 2017
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Banks and other traditional lenders are wary of entrepreneurs and small start-up companies. But a county-sponsored program with local lending partners is helping to meet that need instead.

Find out more about the Sonoma County Impact Loan Fund here.

Tiffany Camhi

Getting into the job market is hard enough and for some people with mental illness, behavioral disorders or learning disabilities it can be nearly impossible. But, the Thrive Cafe, located in Napa County’s Health and Human Services campus, is making it their mission to get this disadvantaged group back in the workplace. KRCB’s Tiffany Camhi reports.

Find out about more about Thrive Enterprises and On the Moves other programs and services here.

Jobs, Housing and Inter-State Migration Assessed

Apr 3, 2016

   California is creating new jobs at all income levels, but lower wage workers are leaving the state as housing costs soar.  A new report examines these interlocking trends.

Check out the entire interactive Compare 50 database here.

Farmworker Health Survey Details Disparities

Sep 7, 2015

  A detailed survey of farmworkers in Sonoma County confirms that they are often very poor, with compromised health. Despite that, most of them claim this as their full-time home.

You can read the Executive summary of the full report here.

California Continues to Grow Green Jobs

Sep 4, 2015

  California's continued employment growth includes a significant number of "green jobs." Suzanne Potter has the numbers.

Legislature Urged to Address 'Wage Theft'

Sep 1, 2015

  Wage theft--when workers are not paid for their time on the job--is a low profile issue that involves some big numbers. Suzanne Potter reports on the campaign to get the California legislature to crack down on it.

Energy Efficiency Boosts California Economy

Aug 21, 2015

Reducing the energy used by buildings and appliances across California has saved consumers billions, while also creating jobs and stimulating other sectors of the economy. But there’s still more that needs to be done for the state to meet its long-term goals.

An 'Opportunity Fair' for Young Workers

Jul 30, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  More than just a summer job, The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corp is grooming its participants for the broader workforce, and providing access to numerous possible future career paths.

Summer Youth Ecology Corps Goes Back to Work

Jun 22, 2015

  Today we look at a triple-win summer job program for youth—they’re working outdoors, helping the community, and gaining experiences beyond job skills that will serve them going forward.

  The youth participating in the Ecology Corps don't just gain land maintenance skills that can be applied in numerous situations. Karen Freis, Assistant Director of Sonoma County's Human Services Department notes that they also learn about the local environment they are working in.

A Pathway to Apprenticeships

Mar 2, 2015
Redwood Empire Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center

  A new partnership between local construction trades and the Sonoma County Office of Education is getting underway this week, a program that will offer at-risk youth a pathway towards a union apprenticeship.

'The Right to Stay Home'

Feb 19, 2015

One little-publicized aspect of the immigration reform issue is the role that American laws and policies play in driving impoverished Latinos to leave their homes. The 10 year old North American Free Trade Agreement is a case in point.

  The downside of NAFTA is abundantly clear now, contends writer David Bacon, while the benefits that proponents of the policy predicted  have not lived up to those expectations.


Locals heading for Oakland Climate March

Feb 4, 2015

 Thousands of people from all over California are preparing to converge in Oakland Saturday to show their support for more aggressive measures to combat global warming. And Sonoma County will be well represented among them.

    For Denny Rosatti, Executive Director of Sonoma County Conservation Action , the biggest worry--among many--about fracking is it's potential impact on California's groundwater reserves.

Sonoma County's Economic OUtlook for 2015

Jan 22, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  The Great Recession is now safely behind us, with the nest two years expected to be a time of continuing gradual economic growth. That was the forecast presented at the annual State of Sonoma County forum yesterday.

Sonoma County Living Wage Ordinance Proposed

Sep 8, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 A new ordinance that would set a $15 per hour minimum wage for all county workers and employees of county contractors is heading for the board of Supervisors. But even that, backers admit, won’t fully cover the cost of living here.

Union Vote at Graton Casino

Jun 17, 2014
Sarah Norr, Unite Here 2850

The first large union representation vote at the new Graton Casino in Rohnert Park is underway, and local labor leaders are optimistic it will set a significant precedent for the region.

Postal Workers Protest Staples Deal

Apr 2, 2014

  A deal between the US Postal Service and the Staples office supply store chain is coming under fire from the American Postal Workers Union, which is coordinating a series of protests at stores where that new partnership is being tested. The actions reached the North Bay this week, so KRCB’s Bruce Robinson talked with one of the workers involved to find out more about the issue.

Recruiting Bioscience Businesses

Apr 1, 2014

  With Marin leading the way, four North Bay Counties are teaming up to attract bioscience businesses to relocate. It’s a campaign intended to create jobs, provide interlocking support systems for the companies, and expand economic diversity in the region.

California's Recycling Goals Also Create Jobs

Mar 21, 2014

There are a lot of good reasons for recycling. But one that doesn’t come to mind right away is an economic impact. A new study suggests that boosting recycling also increases employment, and today we take a closer look at that connection.

Read more about this issue here.

Union Organizing Graton Casino Workers

Feb 7, 2014

The Graton Casino in Rohnert Park has hired more than a thousand workers, creating many positions that may soon become union jobs. Which is exactly what the tribe expected to happen.

Wei-Ling Huber, President of Unite/Here Local 2850, says the friendly relationship between her union and the Graton Rancheria is not a new development, but grew out of the early stages of the tribe’s efforts to create their new casino.

A Day at the Casino Dealer School

Sep 15, 2013

 A new class begins Monday, Sept. 16 at the Graton Resort and Casino Dealer School in Rohnert Park. The soon-to-open casino has trained dealers since April, giving many in the community the chance of reinvention in a difficult job market. KRCB reporter Danielle Venton visited the school to become a temporary student for the day.

Entrepreneurship at Sonoma State

Jun 3, 2013

The new Entrepreneur in Residence at Sonoma State University hasn’t been residing there long, but he’s hoping to make his presence felt in short order. He spoke with KRCB's Bruce Robinson.

  Not everyone thinks they are entrepreneurial, yet Mark Nelson believes the seeds for that approach to life lie in each of us—and is it more necessary now than ever to nurture them.


A key part of the entrepreneurial spirit is a willingness to take chances, says Nelson, and in the new economy, that’s becoming increasingly essential.

Planning Ahead at SRJC

May 8, 2013

Students at Santa Rosa Junior College may be headed for a university, training for a career, or simply taking classes for self-improvement. Meeting their disparate needs is just part of the strategic planning process currently underway at the JC. Bruce Robinson takes a closer look. 

  Many SRJC students have had little or no opportunity for foreign travel or exposures, notes college President Frank Chong. So part of the school’s planning involves recruiting students from abroad, to bring more international interactions to the local educational experience.

Economic Inequality in Sonoma County

Apr 25, 2013

Sonoma County presents a prosperous and inclusive face to the world, but upon closer examination, this area is also home to serious and growing income inequality. A new report spells it out in detail, and Bruce Robinson has this preview.

Ginny Browne, author of The State of Working Sonoma in 2013 report, says that in summary, it shows that the “hourglass economy” is expanding in Sonoma County.

Jobs Made Real

Mar 29, 2013

YouTube videos offer far more than casual entertainment. Corralled and curated on a new, locally developed website, they can also help teens explore career options they might never have otherwise considered.

Although the Jobs Made Real website was designed with teens in mind, Chops Teen Club Executive Director Diana Curtin says she got an unexpected demonstration of its wider demographic appeal…in her own home.

Robert Reich Critiques Wal-Mart

Feb 24, 2013

Wal-Mart says expanding into a Superstore in Rohnert Park, essentially adding a grocery outlet, will create 85 new jobs. But at what cost, asks a prominent critic of the corporation. Bruce Robinson spoke with him.

Professor Reich will speak at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa at 7 pm  on Monday, Feb. 25. Ticket and event information here. He also contends that Wal-Mart has a history that demonstrates they are not a desirable community neighbor, nor a good corporate citizen.

"Shift Change" documentary examines coops worldwide

Jan 28, 2013

  A new documentary examines worker-owned cooperative businesses, from a huge complex in Spain to small start-ups here in the Bay Area.