Petaluma CA exemplifies the type of city that is working to build business in the North Bay, via the NBLSA. it offers both world-class business locations and a great quality of life for residents. The city’s economic development manager, Ingrid Alverde, points to the arrival of Synergy Health as an indicator that the North Bay is heading in the right direction.
“Synergy Health specializes in sterilization for medical devices. Any company that’s making medical devices needs to sterilize their product, in a certain way and in a certified facility. People making medical devices here have been shipping out of the area to get things sterilized and now there will be a facility in Petaluma with excess capacity.”
She notes that, in addition to creating synergies for the companies in question, clustering companies is beneficial to potential employees. “Employees want to go where they can see five potential jobs, depending on how things work out. So having that connectivity of other companies is vital when it comes to building a pool of talent.”
When it comes to work/life balance, cities like Petaluma start to look like an attractive destination for talent. “The Bay Area is the center of the life sciences industry right now,” says Ingrid. “Coming to the North Bay, you’re not leaving the Bay Area, you still have access to all of it, just without some of the hassles of being in the city. Once you recruit here, people don’t leave. And that allows a company to truly grow, set roots down and plan for the long term, knowing they have talent and a comfortable place for their talent to live, with good schools and a great quality of life.”
For cities like Petaluma, helping businesses make the right connections is key to creating an environment where this can happen. “I think the area where we provide the most assistance is connectivity, connecting new people together and new companies together. We reach out to our companies all the time, we try to stay abreast of what their issues are, we lobby for policy that makes their lives easier, and we provide that connectivity and connections and problem solving when things come up. It’s like having an extra layer of support.”