Sacramento expected to land Fortune 500 company

JEREMY DANG / AGGIE

Thousands of private sector jobs coming to the region

The City of Sacramento signed a preliminary agreement with Centene, a Fortune 500 St. Louis-based health insurance company, to establish a West Coast headquarters in Sacramento. The agreement is expected to bring about 1,500 new jobs to the region. Most positions will be in the fields of health care, information technology, accounting and administration.

“[Centene is] the single biggest private sector job recruitment in the city’s modern history,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I believe this is just the beginning of growing a high-wage private sector economy to supplement and complement our public service sector here in Sacramento.”

On Nov. 28, Sacramento City Council unanimously approved an employment incentive agreement to attract Centene to Sacramento. Steinberg stressed that the employment incentive agreement was not final for the establishment of a headquarters in Sacramento.

“They [Centene] still have decisions to make,” Steinberg said. “We know, and I hope they know, their best choice. I think their signing of this agreement is a step in the right direction.”.

The headquarters is expected to be located in North Natomas. Although neither the company nor the city has indicated the exact location, it is expected to be in the vicinity of Sleep Train Arena.

“The area [North Natomas] is centrally located between the airport and downtown [Sacramento],” said Dan Trescott, the president of the Natomas Chamber of Commerce. “We have substantial infrastructure already in place […] and previous experience accommodating large facilities.”

The addition of 1,500 new jobs is estimated to bring in nearly $350 million in new annual labor income for the Sacramento region.

“There will be other businesses that will come in [to Sacramento] — it will activate the redevelopment of Sleep Train [Arena],” said Barry Broome, the president of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, in a Sacramento City Council meeting. “It will catalyze the Railyards.”

Centene ranked 66th on the 2017 Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations and 244th on the 2017 Fortune Global 500 list.

“Centene provides access to affordable healthcare plans to more than 12 million members across the country, and it delivers health insurance solutions for the underinsured and uninsured through Medicaid, Medicare, the health insurance marketplace, and other health solutions through its specialty services companies,” according to the Employee Incentive Agreement between the City and Centene. “Centene creates high-quality, full-time jobs by paying competitive wages and offering comprehensive benefits packages.”

The agreement is consistent with Sacramento’s Employment Incentive Strategy, which aims to attract large companies to the region.

“Adoption of the Centene proposal will not only assist with current recruitment activities, but will also set a tone for future attraction efforts in the capital region,” said Francisco Medina, the public policy manager for the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “The diversification of our region’s economy is a well-documented need for our prosperity.”

Sacramento was chosen as a preferred destination over the likes of Austin, Phoenix and Denver.

“This is a beginning, not only with Centene, but with other big companies that provide a potential future for so many of our kids here in Sacramento,” Steinberg said.

Centene’s Board of Directors is not expected to vote on a final decision until early next year.

 

Written by: Dylan Svoboda — city@theaggie.org