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Is Drinkpak a good thing for Santa Clarita?
Drinkpak is a Ventura beverage manufacturing company that moved to Santa Clarita during the Pandemic. Drinkpak has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years and has entirely overtaken the new Needham Ranch Industrial Park. You might think this is excellent for Santa Clarita; why else would Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation be their biggest cheerleader? The only problem is that most of the employees of Drinkpak commute here from Ventura and places as far away as Corona.
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (SCVEDC) was started as a department of the City of Santa Clarita to do what its title suggests to stimulate Santa Clarita's economy, eventually breaking off to incorporate. One of SCVEDC's primary purposes is to improve the quality of life in Santa Clarita; one way is to bring higher-paying jobs into town, in turn helping turn Santa Clarita into an economic hub rather than a bedroom community where the vast majority of people spend countless hours commuting on Los Angeles’ god awful freeways, which we constantly get told our tax dollars are finally going to fix and never do.
Santa Clarita gave up some of its open space to develop an industrial park that Drinkpak has now completely taken over, and the majority of the wealth generated from this venture is leaving Santa Clarita just like the countless SCV commuters do every work day. We have highly competent people that drive right past this facility to stay on L.A. freeways for another hour, which means more time away from their families, higher carbon emissions, and an insane gas bill.
Holly Schroeder, SCVEDC's CEO, has been a big supporter of DrinkPak, but maybe she shouldn't have because one look at Glassdoor shows a clear divide in the company reviews; the office seems happy, while the warehouse workers complain about mistreatment. The newly hired VP, Marketing & Communications, whose primary job is recruiting talent, obviously not Santa Clarita talent, keeps trying to raise Drinkpak’s Glassdoor score with shill reviews, hilariously even responding to herself. Most of the negative reviews from former employees seem to be coming from warehouse jobs, which after the recent debacle with Truckers being forced to camp out 16 hours and then being refused bathroom access, is absolutely ridiculous. Seriously? Quit treating workers like trash DrinkPak, improve your company culture, or go elsewhere. The trucker problem was caused because you don’t have enough workers; maybe you don’t have enough workers because you treat workers poorly. The massive presence of DrinkPak in the industrial business spaces hinders job creation in the community; those buildings could be filled with Santa Clarita workers; rather than Santa Clarita and LA commuters continuing to cross paths on the freeway.
We are sad to see Holly Schroeder announcing her resignation, and we hope this was not in response to the nonsensical criticism that the SCVEDC isn’t “equitable” enough because going woke in business, what could go wrong? Hopefully, SCVEDC or the City of Santa Clarita can encourage Drinkpak to be a better citizen in our community because right now, they are just industrial colonizers taking all the benefits and giving little back.
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