Big Businesses Use State Tax Fund to Train Their Own Staff

Some subsidies, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are awarded to multinational corporations valued in the billions
State subsidies for vocational training might provide a windfall to large corporations already able to offer similar instruction, if a planned expansion of a program funded through a tax on all businesses in California moves forward. State officials say they aim the vocational training funding at big businesses in key industries that are in danger of relocating to other states. But while tens of thousands of smaller companies pay into the program via the Employment Training Tax, it is hard for most to qualify for grants. Many do not even know the program exists.
SAN FRANCISCO’S WORKFORCE REBOOT is the cover story in the fall 2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Check back for updates on other stories.


Online Payment Firm Acteva Acknowledges Multimillion-Dollar Debt to Charities, Blames Cash-Flow Problem

The top executive of Acteva, a San Francisco-based payment processing company, says he has a plan to dig out of $4 million to $5 million in debt and repay online donations owed to nonprofit organizations across the country. Still, some creditors — including a community college, an environmental group, an agricultural cooperative and a regional journalism organization — say they are owed tens of thousands of dollars each, and question whether the business will ever refund the money. Some are now taking legal action.


State Should Follow S.F.’s Lead and Raise Minimum Wage, Says Lawmaker

San Francisco’s record of raising the minimum wage 10 years ago without crashing the local economy proves that California can do the same, said a leading labor policy reformer in the Legislature. Watsonville Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s plan to raise the state minimum to $9.25 an hour by 2016 draws heavily on the experience of San Francisco.

S.F. Lacks Data to Set Minimum Wage Policies

Estimates of low-wage workers range from 20,000 to 55,000
This story is part of a special report in the Spring print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.
With President Barack Obama proposing to increase the federal minimum wage, local policy experts say fully understanding the economic effects of the change could be a problem given the dearth of accurate statistics in the large city that has had the highest minimum wage for years: San Francisco. No one has ever done a formal tally of minimum wage earners in San Francisco, said Ted Egan, chief economist for the city’s Office of Economic Analysis.