Soapbox

The key infrastructure projects to boost Sacramento’s economy

A shipment of cement is pumped into a warehouse at the Port of West Sacramento in 2015.
A shipment of cement is pumped into a warehouse at the Port of West Sacramento in 2015. Sacramento Bee file

Like all California businesses, Sacramento region companies often struggle in the face of the nation’s most challenging taxes and regulations. But we can’t give up. We must find ways to send a clear message to other states that steal our jobs – California is open for business.

One way is to invest in infrastructure to turn Sacramento into a globally connected hub for international business and logistics. In doing so, we create exceptional convenience that outpaces costs.

As the former CEO of the Northern California World Trade Center, I’ve seen other communities make this leap, through vision, discipline and total public-private support. We need federal infrastructure funding for our ports and commercial transit.

Andrew Grant

For starters, we should seek federal funds to expand air cargo operations at Mather Airport and to help build the Capital SouthEast Connector. We ask for money so the Port of West Sacramento can handle bigger vessels and we restart the marine highway project to use barges on the Sacramento River to bring containers to Sacramento from the Port of Oakland. Finally, let’s accelerate upgrades at Sacramento International Airport, including our own Custom and Border Protection field office and increased international flights.

Each of these initiatives brings our community one step closer to becoming an international gateway for business.

Let’s advocate for a clear plan that creates good-paying jobs, not just short-term construction projects. Smart projects will increase our competitiveness, not just fill potholes. Better infrastructure will protect our community from losing business such as Aerojet, which is leaving Sacramento after 70 years and taking more than 1,000 jobs to Huntsville, Ala.

Jobs will stay and companies will come here if it’s easier to work here. Our workforce will learn new skills and adapt. Businesses will be more productive selling into the global market. Let’s make our community open for business, from anywhere.

Andrew Grant is former CEO of the Northern California World Trade Center and a Republican candidate in the 7th Congressional District. He can be contacted at andrew@andrewgrantforcongress.com.

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