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Career & Workplace

Exceptional Women Leaders in Government

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EASTVALE, CA–The City of Eastvale would like to highlight women contributing to the organization’s goal of exceeding Eastvale’s expectations every day. The City of Eastvale’s first Management Team, which was created in July 2018 to provide growth, service, and development opportunities consists of over 60 percent women (seven women and four men). In addition, our contract City Attorney, Erica Vega, is also a leader from Burke Williams & Sorrensen.

While we have many exceptional leaders at all levels of our organization at the City of Eastvale,we want to take this opportunity to highlight three leaders specifically. Their stories and successes will hopefully provide inspiration to others to also believe in yourself, dream big, and work hard to spread your wings and soar.

Angelica Zepeda, who started as a volunteer Office Assistant with the City in July 2011has carried various titles in different divisions such as Account Clerk, Senior Account Clerk, Management Analyst and through her hard work was promoted to our Talent & Special Project Manager, where she currently oversees the Talent Attraction and Development Team (rebranded from Human Resources and Risk Management). Angelica has led large scale successful initiatives, all contributing to the goals in the Strategic Plan. She has successfully enhanced professional and organizational   development   efforts   to   include launching the first Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) in 2017 designed to enhance employe engagement and moral, elevating Eastvale’s workplace culture. It is comprised of City team members, who have rotating volunteer assignments that focus on investing in employee recognition and team building. The ERC continues to thrive today serving our teammates so that they in turn can serve our residents and businesses to the best of their ability.

“One of her greatest strengths is Angelica’s ability to connect with people and seek to understand to help them move in the direction of their full potential,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Her primary focus on attracting and developing people have helped create an amazing people-centric workplace that has helped address historical attrition rates to an all-time low and receiving incoming applications for hiring talent is at an all-time high. She has done all this while being an incredible mother to two very active, well mannered, scholar-athlete boys.”

Olivia Applegate, who started as a Communication Specialist with the City in November 2017 was quickly recognized for her talent in community and organization engagement and promoted to Public Information Officer/Communications Manager in July 2018. Olivia has led large scale successful initiatives related to the Strategic Plan such as but not limited to the first Community Satisfaction Study, Website Redesign Project, our most recent State of the City two-day event, Financial Priorities and Public Safety Community Workshops, and others. Olivia has significantly increased communication and engagement for the City of Eastvale. While working full time and countless hours to Exceed Eastvale’s Expectations, she also completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in April of 2019 from Grand Canyon University with Magna Cum Laude and most recently received a Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement through Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership through Pepperdine University. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to strategically engage and communicate to bring people together. Her leadership, innovation, and creativity have contributed to elevating our communications and engagement practices.

“Olivia’s leadership and forward thinking have elevated the City of Eastvale’s communication and engagement efforts to be one of the most active in the region; setting a new standard of excellence,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Olivia was also recognized as one of our Top Performers in 2018 because of her grit, passion, and perseverance, as well as, her ability to always focus on serving the community first.”

Gina Gibson-Williams, our first Community Development Director and first women in a Director level position, joined the team in March 2019 with over 27 years of hands on, local government planning leadership experience. She is overseeing the Public Works/Engineering, Planning, Building and Safety, and Community Enhance & Safety Team which provides code enforcement, Neighborhood Watch Program support, CERT, and Emergency Management roles. She is an expert in all facets of residential, commercial and industrial private land entitlement and development and capital projects. She has been instrumental in facilitating and permitting Tailgate Fest, one of the Nationals Top Musical Festivals coming to Eastvale on August 17 & 18, which is putting Eastvale on the map with Country Music. She also streamlined the permitting of the first hotel in Eastvale, a 4.5-starStaybridge Suites with rooftop bar, conference & event center and vegan food option hotel, and the first steakhouse/fine dining restaurant Tony’s Chop House by the Meat Cellar. Both are key strategic focus areas for economic development and creating new revenue opportunities for our City to thrive.

“I love that she always brings a can-do attitude and her leadership motto is ‘service, solutions, success’, as Eastvale utilizes a lot of alliterations in our leadership and service capacity building approaches,” said City Manager, Bryan Jones. “Gina is a mother of three children and has shared how her daughter was raised at hundreds of Planning Commission Meetings and can probably do a Conditional Use Permit or at least present it to the Commission. What her daughter had the opportunity to see is her mother in action; a true public servant leader.”

Eastvale is focused on utilizing a three-prong approach of Exceptional Performance, Talented People, and Effective Process. We know that by investing, influencing, and inspiring our talented people to move in the direction of their potential with a people-centric workplace culture, that the byproduct is 2-3 times more productive teammates serving our community than just those who are merely satisfied. So, it is by focusing on the people and performance, not just the results, that creates a thriving workplace, incredible customer service, and an exceptional community.

“It’s inspiring to see a government’s culture thriving because of the amazing contributions of great women leaders,” said District 2, Riverside County Board of Supervisor, Karen Spiegel. “The City of Eastvale has done an excellent job of seeing the talent and strength that women can bring to local government, promoting, hiring and developing them into management positions, all which help provide opportunities to break barriers and glass ceilings.”

The City Council approved a 5% Cost of Living Adjustment in January 2019 for all City employees since it had been several years since an adjustment was recommended or made which was attributing to attrition. Over the last 18 months, Angelica Zepeda and Olivia Applegate, meritoriously earned well deserved salary increases to be more competitive in the region for their roles and help retain valuable talent to serve our community. The City of Eastvale historically has lagged behind with competitive salaries with class and comp studies (last one conducted in 2016 and approved 2017) and will be updating those studies this fall.

“As Mayor and a father, I am proud to have extraordinary role models for our children at the City of Eastvale,” said Mayor, Todd Rigby. “Many of these outstanding leaders are women who mare innovative, determined, and dedicated to the success of Eastvale and are passionate about the people they serve. We are honored to have a very hard working and notable team who are majority women, coming from all walks of life.”

The City of Eastvale will be implementing a Women’s Leadership Program, “A Women Like Me” to continue to invest in building the leadership capacity within our organization and lifting each other up and influencing one another to achieve their full potential. If you would like to support building leadership capacity among other women, we invite you to connect with us so we can learn from you and your story.

“Women are leading our communities and improving community life in our cities,” said President of Women Leading Government and City of Rancho Cucamonga Deputy City Manager Lori Sassoon. “We are excited to see that the City of Eastvale is passionate about valuing and appreciating its women leaders.”

Over the past year, since July 1, 2018 we have made a number of new hires and promotions, through our Talent Attraction and Development Team, including many women that are making great contributions towards our ability to Exceed Eastvale’s Expectations Every Day. Currently, over 60 percent of our workplace is made up of women.

“Women as decision-makers should be viewed as the norm rather than the exception,” said Council Member, Jocelyn Yow. “It is important to empower and embolden girls and women, whether it is a seat at the table, or a glass ceiling broken—and together we can create a more cohesive society and enhance the fabric of our community. It is an honor to have a platform that demonstrates that when women are included and seen in this narrative, our communities are better for it.”

The City of Eastvale is committed to recognizing and valuing the leadership at all levels of the organization and making sure that our culture reflects our diverse community that we serve.

 

About the City of Eastvale

The City of Eastvale was founded on October 1, 2010 as an independent local government agency, governed by a five-member, elected City Council.  The City of Eastvale serves over 73,700 residents and encompasses 13.1 square-miles in western Riverside County.  The City is strategically poised between Interstate 15 and California State Routes 91, 60, and 71, making access easy for residents, visitors and businesses alike.  Eastvale is a young and dynamic community filled with economic opportunity, tremendous growth, and strong values.  For more information on the City of Eastvale, please visit: www.EastvaleCA.gov

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Career & Workplace

Navigating California’s New Labor Laws — 2023 HR Confereence

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2023 Inland Empire Human Resources Conference

The 2023 Inland Empire Human Resources Conference promises to prepare businesses to be proactive against litigation, workplace disputes, risk mitigation, California labor law and regulatory compliance. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 7, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jessie Turner Community Center, 15556 Summit Avenue in Fontana. 

“The conference will be beneficial for all employers, leaders, and HR Professionals who want to stay up to date on labor laws and learn about the best practices for retention and recruitment,” said Vilma Brager, COO of Insight HR Consulting. “Insight HR Consulting is partnering with the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide the tools and resources business need to thrive.”

More than seven major employment law changes took effect just this year — including disclosing salary ranges, paid sick leave, sexual assault claims and more.

Compliance with the constantly changing employment laws in California is essential. The state of California presumes that every employer, regardless of size is aware of new laws and is taking steps to implement changes where necessary,” said Allyson Thompson, Attorney and Partner at the law firm of Kaufman Dolowhich Voluck.

Key topics of discussion will include:

  • 2023 Labor & Employment Law Update
  • Employee Retention & Engagement
  • California’s Pay Transparency Bill

Speakers Include:

  • Vilma Brager, COO, Insight HR Consulting, LLC
  • Edward Ornelas, President & CEO, Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce (IERCC)
  • Allyson K. Thompson, Parnter, Attorney, Kaufman Dolowhich Voluck
  • Alyson Boyd, Major Market Sales Executive, Paycor
  • Brittany Huerta, Employee Benefits Consultant
  • Vanessa Casillas, CEO, Changing Lives Staffing
  • Juan P. Garcia, Principal, Blue Whale Compensation

Tickets are complimentary for members of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce with pre-registration. Early bird registration for non-members is $10, and tickets will be $45 after early bird registration ends. Parking is free. To register, please visit the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce website at hr.iechamber.org.

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Bernardino County, Insight HR Consulting, Maniaci Insurance Services, Inc., Paycor, and Strategic Retirement Partners sponsor this event.

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Career & Workplace

California’s Worker Shortage Struggle Continues…And Likely to Continue in 2023

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Job Growth Modest In Latest Numbers; Unemployment Rate Unchanged

California’s labor market expanded modestly in the latest numbers, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by just 16,200 positions during December, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. November’s gains were also revised down to 19,900 in the latest numbers, a 6,900 decrease from the preliminary estimate of 26,800.

Overall, California added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022. As of December 2022, the state had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 at the pandemic’s outset, and there are now 70,000 more people employed in California compared to February 2020. Over this time, total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 0.4% compared to a 0.8% increase nationally. California’s economy increased payrolls by 3.6% from December 2021 to December 2022, outpacing the 3.0% increase nationally over the same period.

“During the year, California’s employers added jobs more quickly than was the case in the national economy, but labor shortages in the state dampened job growth towards the end of the year and will continue to be a drag on job growth in 2023,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting.

Indeed, the state’s struggle to add available workers continues. In December, the state’s labor force contracted by 26,800 workers. Since February 2020, California’s labor force has fallen by 313,600 workers, a 1.6% decline. This lack of workers made it difficult for some employers to bring on the additional staff they typically recruit during the holiday season. California’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.1% in December, unchanged from the previous month. While this figure is near historic lows, the state’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.5% rate in the United States overall.

Industry Profile  

  • Employment in nearly half of the job sectors in California now exceed their pre-pandemic levels; sectors that were hit the hardest by the pandemic have yet to recover all the jobs that were lost.
  • Health Care led job gains in December, with payrolls expanding by 8,900. Health Care payrolls are now 4.4% above their pre-pandemic peak.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Construction (7,500), Government (6,000), Leisure and Hospitality (5,300), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (4,500), Other Services (1,300), and Real Estate (1,100).
  • Retail Trade (-9,500) posted the most job losses during the month. Other sectors with significant job losses were Information (-6,100), Wholesale Trade (-2,000), and Administrative Support (-1,900).

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. The Inland Empire saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 9,400 (0.6%) during the month. San Diego (8,600 or 0.6%), Orange County (4,300 or 0.3%), Los Angeles (MD) (2,100 or 0.0%), and Ventura (1,200 or 0.4%) also saw payrolls jump during the month. Since April 2020, the Inland Empire (140.8%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by El Centro (115.3%), San Diego (105.1%), Orange County (100.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (94.7%), and Ventura (91.5%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) experienced the largest job increase, with payrolls expanding by 6,400 (0.4%) positions in December. The East Bay (3,100 or 0.3%), San Jose (1,800 or 0.2%), Santa Rosa (800 or 0.4%), San Rafael (MD) (600 or 0.6%), Vallejo (500 or 0.4%), and Napa (400 or 0.6%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (105.3%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by San Francisco (MD) (96.1%), the East Bay (92.6%), Santa Rosa (88.3%), Napa (79.4%), Vallejo (74.3%), and San Rafael (MD) (55.5%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase, as payrolls expanded by 2,800 (0.3%) positions in December. Payrolls in Fresno (1,400 or 0.4%), Visalia (500 or 0.4%), Chico (300 or 0.4%), Modesto (300 or 0.2%), Merced (200 or 0.3%), and Madera (100 or 0.2%) increased as well. Since April 2020, Stockton (147%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Visalia (135%), Madera (124%), Merced (122%), Sacramento (115.7%), Fresno (114.4%), Redding (113.9%), Hanford (110.3%), and Yuba (110%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, San Luis Obispo added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 900 (0.8%) during the month. Santa Cruz (600 or 0.6%), Santa Barbara (600 or 0.3%), and Salinas (400 or 0.3%) experienced payroll declines during the month. Since April 2020, Santa Barbara (103.6%) has enjoyed the strongest recovery in the region, followed by San Luis Obispo (100%), Santa Cruz (91.6%), and Salinas (84.3%).
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Career & Workplace

California Continues Adding Jobs at a Healthy Pace But Hiring Remains Constrained by Lack of Workers

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Unemployment Rate Ticks Up, Elevated Compared To Nation

California’s labor market expanded steadily in November, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 26,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. October’s gains were also revised up to 59,800 in the latest numbers, a 3,100 increase from the preliminary estimate of 56,700.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022. As of November 2022, the state had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020, and there are now 60,700 more people employed in California compared to February 2020. Over this time, total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 0.3% compared to a 0.7% increase nationally. The state increased payrolls by 4.0% from November 2021 to November 2022, outpacing the 3.3% increase nationally during the same period.

California’s unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the latest numbers, a 0.1 percentage-point increase over the previous month. While this is near historic lows, the unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the nation’s 3.7% rate. California continues to struggle with its labor supply, which fell by 21,000 in November. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has contracted by 282,000 workers, a 1.4% decline. This lack of workers is making it difficult for some employers to hire the additional staff they typically bring on during the holiday season.

“While the state’s payrolls are now in expansion mode, many communities continue to struggle to find workers, especially in coastal areas of the state,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “The lack of affordable housing along the coast is the primary constraint holding back job expansion.”

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, the largest job gains continue to occur in the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. While employment in nearly half of California’s sectors now exceed their pre-pandemic peaks, employment levels in the hardest hit sectors remain below pre-pandemic levels and, as such, should continue to steadily gain jobs over the coming months.
  • Leisure and Hospitality led the gains in November, with payrolls expanding by 13,900. Leisure and Hospitality still has a long way to go to recover all of the jobs lost due to the pandemic, with payrolls still down 5.3% since February 2020.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Health Care (10,500), Information (6,300), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (3,800), Education (2,900), Other Services (2,800), Government (2,200), Real Estate (2,200), Administrative Support (1,500), and Manufacturing (1,100).
  • Job losses also occurred in November with Retail Trade (-14,700) leading the declines during the month. Other sectors posting significant job losses were Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (-6,500) and Management (-600). With a tight labor market, Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities are finding it difficult to find the additional staff they typically hire during the holiday season.

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the largest increase, with payrolls growing by 18,000 (0.4%) during the month. San Diego (5,300 or 0.3%), Orange County (900 or 0.1%), and Ventura (200 or 0.1%) also saw their payrolls jump. Since April 2020, the Inland Empire (136.8%) has experienced the strongest recovery in Southern California, followed by El Centro (113.6%), San Diego (102.1%), Orange County (97.7%), Los Angeles (MD) (96.1%), and Ventura (90.4%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 3,000 (0.3%) positions in November. San Jose (2,000 or 0.2%), Santa Rosa (1,900 or 0.9%), the East Bay (1,100 or 0.1%), and Napa (500 or 0.7%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (104.7%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the Bay Area, followed by San Francisco (MD) (92.4%), the East Bay (91.6%), Santa Rosa (87%), Napa (78.3%), Vallejo (72%), and San Rafael (MD) (53.9%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 1,600 (0.2%) positions in November. Payrolls in Bakersfield (1,000 or 0.4%), Merced (800 or 1.1%), Stockton (700 or 0.3%), Chico (400 or 0.5%), Fresno (300 or 0.1%), Hanford (200 or 0.5%), Visalia (200 or 0.1%), and Redding (100 or 0.1%) increased as well. Since April 2020, Stockton (144.3%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the Central Valley, followed by Visalia (130.7%), Merced (122%), Redding (116.5%), Madera (116%), Sacramento (114.9%), Fresno (108.3%), Hanford (106.9%), and Yuba (106%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 700 (0.4%) during the month. San Luis Obispo (400 or 0.3%), Salinas (300 or 0.2%), and Santa Cruz (300 or 0.3%) all saw payrolls decline during the month. Since April 2020, Santa Barbara (102.1%) has experienced the strongest recovery along the Central Coast, followed by San Luis Obispo (92.7%), Santa Cruz (88.4%), and Salinas (80.8%).
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