Rick Vaccari retired as vice president of investor relations for Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company whose subsidiaries provide electricity, natural gas and value-added products and services. In his former position, Rick oversaw Sempra Energy’s shareholder relations with the financial community. Previously, Vaccari was treasurer of Sempra Energy, and before that, served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He was also managing director of Sempra Partners, an equity fund with financial and energy counterparts to acquire attractive gas and power assets. Prior to Sempra, he worked on Wall Street for 21 years, most recently as a managing director at Credit Suisse. Rick has a BS from the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from the University of Chicago. Here Rick tells us about his passion for workforce development.
If you had $1M to donate to a workforce development program, what would you want done with it?
I would use the money to help overwhelmed mothers and fathers complete their high school or equivalent degrees, help them cover childcare costs and provide transportation options to achieve these goals. If a parent doesn’t have somewhere for their child(ren) to go, and doesn’t have a way of getting to school or work, their options are extremely limited. If you are able to get those components covered, job seekers will have access to more jobs and be better equipped to provide for their family.
Tells us about a program you’ve been involved with as a Workforce Development Board member
I’ve been most involved with the Income Share Agreement (ISA) program. There’s so much potential to expand this program. I think there’s a lot more fundraising that could be done to build up the program. We need to get more employers involved to create a clear pathway for candidates. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first cohort of graduates had a very hard time finding good jobs. If we have better relationships with employers, we’ll have more access to high-paying jobs for our candidates which means they’ll pay back into the fund to provide education for the next cohort.
Why is workforce development important for San Diego County?
We need to strengthen our communities and enhance the quality of life by creating pathways to self-sustaining careers. A good job is the a critical element in someone’s life and the Workforce Partnership is creating access to education, training and careers.