Kern County, California
National Healthy Worksite Program
Community Director: Ashley Vorhees
Kern County, located in the heart of California, is a growing community with a variety of industries and recreational opportunities. Known mainly for its agriculture and petroleum sectors, the county comprises 11 cities with approximately 44 census-designated places. Bakersfield is the largest city in Kern County. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the population of Kern County was 839,631 with a racial make-up as follows: white (59.5%), Hispanic or Latino (49.2%), African-American (5.8%); others (approximately 6%). Some historic landmarks for Kern County include the Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace, Mojave Spaceport, and Edwards Air Force Base.
The health of Kern County residents has become an alarming concern, given the following statistics:
• Out of California’s 58 counties, Kern County ranks 58 in incidence of heart disease
• Out of California’s 58 counties, Kern County ranks 57 in incidence of diabetes
• More than 60% of Kern County’s population is considered obese
Kern County has begun to address these health issues and has put in place proactive measures such as establishing more farmers’ markets, creating walking paths, and bringing community leaders and local organizations together through the Kern County Call-to-Action plan.
Kern County Health Statistics
Kern County, including the city of Bakersfield, is a mixed urban and rural community with a large agricultural base, 10,673 employers and 137,182 employees.
Kern County is the least healthy in California, and ranks near the bottom in 6 of 8 health indicators out of California’s 58 counties in health factors, according to the County Health Rankings. Health factors in the County Health Rankings are those that influence the health of a county, including health behavior and clinical care, as well as social, economic and physical environment factors.
Kern County has begun to address lifestyle-related risks for chronic disease, including the Healthy Kern County Call to Action Plan through a Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kern County’s tobacco-use rate, obesity rate, and the number of individuals who are physically inactive are considerably higher than state and national averages.
Kern County Participating Employers
Total number of employers in Kern County: 13
Total number of employees in Kern County: 1,379
- Steps, Inc., Bakersfield, small, services
- DV Assisted Living, Bakersfield, small, services
- JVD Assisted Living, Bakersfield, small, services
- WorkLogic HR, Bakersfield, small, finance, insurance & real estate
- City of Taft, CA, small, public administration
- Around the Clock Home Care, Bakersfield, small, services
- San Dimas Medical Group, Bakersfield, small, services
- Klein DeNatale Goldner Cooper Rosenlieb & Kimball, LLP, Bakersfield, small, services
- Community Action Partnership of Kern, Bakersfield, mid-size, services
- Housing Authority of County of Kern, Bakersfield, mid-size, services
- The SpaceShip Company, Mojave, mid-size, manufacturing
- Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Bakersfield, large, services
- Golden Empire Transit, Bakersfield, large, transportation