Dave Fulton, Managing General Partner of Diamond Well Drilling

Our employees are well drillers, pump installers, lab technicians,  and clerical office workers. Of my 20 some employee pool, only two own houses in Placer County where our business is located.  One of those is retired. One is close to it and they bought their houses 40 years ago when things were more affordable. Three others own houses, but far away in Yuba or Nevada Counties where again housing is a little more affordable.

The lack of affordable housing poses a large problem for me as an employer because it reduces the pool of people from which I can draw employees. We have an extreme labor shortage in the Auburn area because it is too expensive here for the people who want to fill the jobs we have to offer. They just cannot afford to live here and the result is they have to either commute long distances or rent really marginal apartments locally. Everyone is unhappy. The employees have to commute and pay for that. The employers have to pay higher wages and to cover that charge higher prices. And consumers are forced to pay those prices.