California Millennials and Job Prospects

150 150 Ed Coghlan

The Millennial Generation in California is optimistic about the future, even if today’s economy and current political climate argue otherwise. The first Millennials (born in 1981) have turned 30, and millions of them are in the workforce. In California, about 20% of them are out of work, so the work of the California Economic Summit on the issue of job creation is potentially very important to them.

Heidi Gantwerk of Viewpoint Learning just finished a survey of the Millennials in California. The survey was commissioned by California Forward and you can find out more on their Millennial Survey info page and watch a video that breaks down the results.

The generation wants to be heard, and are being heard in much different ways than the Baby Boomers or Generation Xers that preceded them. 

One of this much-discussed group says her peers are frustrated. Sally Phonthachack said they view California’s ecconomy simply as a huge mess. Phonthachack is in the process of earning her MBA at Drexel University in Sacramento and works for a Summit regional partner organization, Valley Vision.

“Despite all the natural resources we have, the state is strained because of misuse and redundancy and disconnect among business leaders, government officials and the community,” said Phonthachack. “We want to see that change.”

Valley Vision is regional nonprofit that provides solutions-based research on economic and quality of life issues. Their Next Economy program, part of our network of regional forums held this year, brings together the public and private sectors in the capital region of the state to strategize and influence economic policy. 

Despite the frustration of her peers, Phonthachack’s work on Next Economy helps her remain optimistic because of the opportunity to help influence change in her community.

“We want our elected leaders to focus on what’s good for the future generation of leaders,” said Phonthachack. “We need them to reconstruct the system in a way that puts education and community vitality at the top of the priority list.”


Ed Coghlan

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