APRIL 2021
Percentages based on California EDD data
San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire are far outpacing the field as the COVID-19 recovery begins to take shape. In short order, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has released both its January and February jobs reports, and the numbers show San Bernardino County adding more than 100,000 jobs, since the depths of the COVID downturn in May 2020. That means we've regained 72.5% of the 138,500 jobs lost from March through May of last year – the strongest recovery rate in all of Southern California (SoCal) and more than 13% higher than the state average.

Riverside County is close behind, with a 72% recovery rate through February – meaning the Inland Empire, as a whole, is primed to lead SoCal and the state toward a strong post-pandemic economy.

We believe this underscores a number of our key competitive advantages: A strong business climate, room to grow, affordability and value, and a labor pool that's being trained and prepared for 21st century employment opportunities.

We also are playing to our strengths as a region. Over the past year, the Inland Empire has added more than 20,000 jobs related to supply chain, trade and transportation – a key industry that has become even more essential, as demand for e-commerce has surged. Leisure and hospitality, which was hit hard during the peak of the pandemic, rebounded in February – up 11,200 jobs, from the month before. In all, the two-county region added 21,200 non-farm jobs during February, as our unemployment rate fell to 8.1%.
My first job was back in high school, and it was dirty and disgusting, but fun. In my sophomore year, I worked for a waste management company to clean out the dumpsters, power wash, and repaint them to use again. Eventually, I worked my way up to changing the tires on the trash trucks. We all have our life stories on where we start and where we are now. You, too, can be successful.
‘We filled our openings because of your help’
Pat Croel, owner of Culligan of Barstow, isn’t sure how WDB Business Services Representative Salvatore Monica does it, but he manages to find job applicants when other methods fail. “Whatever it is, he’s done something that made people send their applications in," Croel said.

So we went straight to the source. Sal, what’s your secret?

“Like a lot of companies, they were lacking in applicants,” he told us, then described his three-step approach:

1. Assisted the company with labor market information and assisted in developing job descriptions and wage analyses.
2. Created an attractive flyer, posted it on social media and made it available to partners, including Barstow College and the Transitional Assistance Department in Barstow.
3. Posted the positions on CalJOBs and provided to the local America’s Job Center of California.

For more information on the WDB’s Business Services team, click here.
Message from the Chair
Help us help others by spreading the word
Phil Cothran, Chairman, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board

Your support is so critical to WDB’s success in helping individuals find jobs and establish careers, while ensuring that businesses can meet their employment needs. As we strive to have an even greater impact – particularly as we enter the post-COVID recovery phase – we have what we hope is a simple ask: Please help spread the word about the services and programs WDB offers. Below is a flier about a virtual hiring event next week, with an accompanying link for any job seeker who wants to participate. You’ll also see a link for upcoming virtual seminars, as well as archived videos. Please help us reach as many job seekers and businesses as possible by sharing this information – on your social networks or otherwise. And if you don’t already, please follow our social media pages, listed below, and share some of the great content we’re posting. Together, we are transforming lives and building a stronger economy.

WDB hosts free virtual seminars throughout the week to help job seekers on topics such as interviewing skills, resume building and navigating the employment resources available during the pandemic. If you know of anyone who could use this valuable assistance, a calendar of upcoming sessions is available here.

In the meantime, feel free to check out these upcoming events.

Friday, April 16: California EDD releases March jobs report.

Wednesday, May 12: Next regular WDB committee meetings (Finance, Economic Development and Business Resource, Special Populations, Youth). Check the WDB calendar for updates and agendas.
For archived videos of our free Business Services webinars, such as this one updating California labor law, click here.

Among other recent topics covered: