Stanislaus County Workforce Development Board 

Stanislaus County Workforce Development Board 


Commuter Study (and COVID-19 Initial Impact Statement)


On behalf of Stanislaus County Workforce Development (SCWD), from 2019 to 2020, RDA conducted a large-scale commuter survey of the Altamont Pass/I-580 westbound corridor to provide the County with critical insight into the characteristics, motivations, and challenges of the local workforce and employers. This effort was both a point-in-time and longitudinal study that represents an update and expansion of two previous commuter surveys conducted in the last twenty years.


This project involved extensive outreach across a number of channels, including mailing 115,000 surveys to employed adults living in the County; creating a website where Stanislaus County commuters can learn more about the project, take the survey, and sign-up for qualitative data collection activities; managing an online advertising firm to draft online advertisements and conduct targeted deployment of ads; writing and placing rush-hour advertisements on radio stations; and drafting and submitting to the Modesto Bee an editorial about the survey. RDA also conducted employer group interviews and employee focus groups and interviews.


Data collection for this study concluded in December of 2019, and the final report was scheduled to be presented in March 2020. However, when California issued a shelter-in-place order in response to the spread of COVID-19, SCWD decided to delay the release of the report. In August 2020, SCWD reengaged RDA to add to the Commuter Study Report a preliminary summary of economic changes in the county since the onset of COVID-19. RDA researched emerging impacts of the pandemic on the county’s economy, labor market, and commuters and added these new insights to the report. Although the original report no longer represents a current description of the Stanislaus County’s workforce or local economic conditions, it provides important insight into pre-pandemic economic, labor market, and commuter trends that can inform local and regional economic development recovery efforts, including helping to set strategic objectives and metrics, workforce and economic program design, and strategies to attract businesses seeking to relocate.


Rubicon Programs with Contra Costa Workforce Collaborative

Aerial view of San Francisco with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the distance. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

City of Oakland Human Services Department 


Arnold Ventures and CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

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