I will get the city to prepare an inventory of commercial parcels. We can determine which industry sector would be the most suitable for the parcels and related infrastructure, and accordingly, target and actively recruit those industries. This is critical if we want to attract high profile flagship businesses that could change the image of the city. It isn’t enough to just create a welcoming business climate.
I will push to expand the Contractor Resource Center started last year through a partnership between Richmond Build and Chevron, to include all small businesses rather than being limited to construction businesses. Richmond with our prime location and affordable rents, has already started attracting incubator parks. Additionally, a small business resource center is critical if we want to turn downtown and the south side into thriving mixed-use mixed-income neighborhoods.
Even though Richmond has seen a sharp drop in unemployment, I am still pushing for measures to ensure that our residents get good jobs with benefits. I fostered co-operation between our Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) and the Building Trades to help residents have careers in the Building Trades. I will also ensure that we do a better job of outreach to our residents (we hardly use churches, for example) about the great career opportunities available here. We not only have one of the best job training programs in Richmond Build; in Serra Adult college, we have one of two Northern California centers that prepare students for careers in the more lucrative Building Trades.
What is the Richmond Promise, and how did Vinay influence its implementation?
As part of the Chevron modernization agreement in 2014, Chevron agreed to fund a $35M college scholarship program for Richmond students. Last year we implemented this program under which every Richmond student attending college will receive $1500 per year scholarship. I made sure that all students were eligible regardless of what type of school they attended. For the college year of 2016-17, we awarded about 400 scholarships, and we expect the number to go up substantially over the next few years. The program also includes college orientation components and help for students to access additional funding.