The Buzz: Redding is one of the ‘most dynamic’ metro areas, study says – Redding Record Searchlight

David Benda

Redding Record Searchlight

Published 11:48 AM EDT Jun 15, 2019

It’s an enticing place to live and among the most dynamic metro areas in the country.

That’s the takeaway from rankings released this month that show Redding cracking the list of the 30 most dynamic metropolitan areas. The report is part of the Walton Family Foundation’s Heartland Forward initiative. Children and grandchildren of Walmart founders, Sam and Helen Walton, head up the foundation.

Led by its standing as a medical hub — its two major hospitals, Mercy Medical Center and Shasta Regional Medical Center, among the area’s largest employers — and a bevy of government jobs, the greater Redding area has experienced strong economic growth, the study said.

The only downside has been Redding’s underperforming per-capita personal income level, which the Walton Family Foundation says “is to be expected among small, relatively isolated metros.”

RELATED: After reports of thieves in Keswick area, Shasta Co. plans sweep: ‘Lots of different issues out there’

Redding was the 29th most dynamic metro in the study, one notch above Charlottesville, Virginia and one below Raleigh, North Carolina.

The top five metros are:

  • Midland, Texas
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
  • Midland, Michigan
  • Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana
  • Bend-Redmond, Oregon

Meanwhile, at No. 9, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward was the only other California metro area to make the list.

For Redding, the study touted it as 16th for medium-term GDP growth among all metros, and the North State’s entrepreneurial environment is why Redding’s young-firm employment ratio was better than the national average. Its tech sector also is growing, the study said.

The study also played up Redding’s quality of life, noting its walking and mountain-biking trail network, nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park and of course the Sundial Bridge, which has put Redding on the global map. In fact, the Sundial Bridge is pictured in the study, along with a logging truck — sort of reflecting the old and new.

There is risk in living in Redding, the study notes, and it’s called wildfire.

While recovery from last year’s Carr Fire is underway, the study said it’s too early to say how the fear of another major fire will affect the decision to rebuild homes and families from moving to Redding.

RELATED: Rebuilding after the fire: ‘It’s nice to see the neighborhood come back from such a tragedy’

The Walton Family Foundation’s “Most Dynamic Metropolitans” uses job growth, average annual earnings, gross domestic product gains and total jobs at young firms to base its rankings.

For more on the rankings, go to

‘Seattle is Dying’ coming to Cascade

A film billed as an exploration of the impact that drug use and homelessness has had on Seattle will be shown July 9 at the Cascade Theatre in downtown Redding.

Shasta County Supervisor Joe Chimenti said he’s hosting the film, with the help of former state Sen. Maurice Johannessen and retired Redding police Capt. Steve Davidson, as a cautionary tale.

For the record, Chimenti is pushing to put a one-cent specific sales tax measure on the county ballot to fund public safety.

RELATED: Competing sales tax measures in Shasta County? No, but which one could land on ballot?

“I think it’s very telling what we can learn” from the mistakes of other cities, Chimenti told me.

Whether showing this film will generate more support for a tax hike to pay for, among other things, more police positions and more jail space is hard to know.

That’s because previous efforts to pass a tax in Redding failed, not necessarily because people weren’t convinced we need more money to fix homelessness and fight crime, but because there was a lack of trust in our elected leaders.

After Redding voters soundly rejected Measure D in 2016, the trust factor kept coming up: Council members would not have spent the money on public safety; the city’s priorities are mixed up; our elected leaders need to be held more accountable are some the things I keep hearing.

For the record, D was a general tax, but Measure E on the same ballot would have advised that the money be spent on public safety.

In 2014, Redding voters rejected Measure F, a specific tax to fund public safety. It failed because it didn’t pull the required two-thirds’ majority votes.

Mayor Julie Winter thinks the current council has won back some of that trust.

What do you think?

Meanwhile, “Seattle is Dying” will start to play at 6 p.m. July 9. Doors at the Cascade will open at 5:30.

After the film, Dr. Greg Greenberg and Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett will give separate presentations, Chimenti said.

Finally, is Seattle dying?

Not according to the Walton Family Foundation — the same folks who are so bullish on Redding.

The Walton Family report ranked Seattle metro as the 10th most dynamic area in the country.

“The surge in economic growth in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington metro area continues unabated as it is among the most innovative places in the world,” the Walton Family report states.

Mosquito district top bike-friendly employer

When it comes to an employer making it easier for its workers to bike to work, nobody does it better in the North State than Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The district recently was named 2019 Bike Friendly Business of the Year by Healthy Shasta, Redding Chamber of Commerce and the Shasta Bike Month Planning team.

Honorable mentions went to the Sheraton Hotel at the Sundial Bridge and Manzanita Elementary School.

Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control has secured, covered bike parking stalls for employees and locker rooms with showers. It offers bicycle information to new employees.

The district also trains its drivers on how to drive safely near cyclists, and includes bike-related topics during its monthly safety meetings.

“The Redding Chamber of Commerce knows that bicycle-friendly equals business-friendly,” chamber President Jake Mangas said in a news release. “It is important for us to honor those who are going above and beyond to encourage all modes of transportation in our city.”  


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David Benda covers business, development and anything else that comes up for the USA TODAY Network in Redding. He also writes the weekly “Buzz on the Street” column. He’s part of a team of dedicated reporters that investigate wrongdoing, cover breaking news and tell other stories about your community. Reach him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.

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