"It's not something you that you want to see, losing 800 jobs. That's a big impact in San Ramon," president and CEO of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Stewart Bambino told ABC7 News. 800 jobs is also about one-fourth of Chevron's total work force at its San Ramon headquarters.
Chevron says it told affected workers two months ago, but didn't make it public until it sent out an all-employees email Friday. Five business units are involved, all of which support Chevron's oil exploration and alternative fuel research. All of those workers will now work side-by-side in Houston. Chevron said its headquarters will remain in San Ramon.
"It's got to be millions of dollars, millions, when you take into consideration property values, all the tax base, if for any reason they were to move any more jobs. It's a tremendous impact," he said, calculating the impact to the local economy.
Another concern is what a large relocation of workers will do to the real estate market. Barbara Reed-Foster has been selling properties in the area for 34 years at Golden Hills Brokers. She points out that many Chevron workers moved there from lower-cost areas and may not be homeowners.
"They ended up renting homes instead of purchasing them, so it's going to have a broad spectrum. It'll be vacancies on rentals or vacancies on homes, but we have waiting lists for rentals and our homes have multiple offers, so I don't think we're going to have any issues," she said.
Although it appears the transfer of 800 jobs to Texas appears to be fait accompli, Mayor Bill Clarkson hopes to talk to people at Chevron to learn what can be done to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.