Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs introduced a new plan on Thursday to transform a minimum wage workforce to one with increased skills — and a bigger paycheck.
More than half of the workforce in the county is paid minimum wage and the projected growth is in the same sector, according to Tubbs. The mayor says that, to change this, there will need to be an investment in job training and education.
Out of the top 100 metro areas in the country, “Stockton is No. 99 in terms of skills attainment,” Tubbs said. “Now only 17 percent of all our residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher.”
Tubbs says a new task force will expose youth to career opportunities, develop more micro degrees, and support industry which can provide a living wage. He calls his plan “The Need For Transformation,” and it includes partners such as University of the Pacific, Valley Vision, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and others.
The mayor says the present trend is leading toward lower-wage industries such as retail and food service.
“Where are we at as a community and where do we need to go so that we can have the living wage jobs of the future? Currently, in our county, about 52 percent of all jobs are minimum wage jobs, which are good jobs to start with but are very hard jobs to have and raise a family,” Tubbs said.