Category: E-Commerce

HERE ARE THE VALLEY’S FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES

Published On November 9, 2018 – 7:00 AM
Written By Donald A. Promnitz
The past three years have been good to the staff at Lee’s Heating & Air in Fresno. In fact, at a 128 percent rate of growth between 2015 and 2017, the firm has become one of the fastest growing companies in the Central Valley.

For more information on the fastest growing companies in the San Joaquin Valley, please see The Business Journal’s annual list on page 10.

According to Tom Howard, the owner of Lee’s, this uptick in business can be largely attributed to customer service and reputation, along with upgraded software to connect with customers. Another big factor, however, has been the improvement of the economy, both nationally and locally.

“It allows homeowners to make upgrades that they haven’t been able to make before,” Howard said. “I think that the economy is doing a lot better in the Central Valley than it was in 2009 and 2010 — that definitely helped fuel the growth.”

Howard isn’t alone in his observation. According to Fresno State economist Ernie Goss, the Central Valley — which has previously lagged behind the rest of the state — has been making rapid progress in recent years.

“Now the catch up is really [sped] up, meaning the rate of growth has been positive for quite some time,” Goss said. “But the rate has definitely increased and relative to the U.S., it’s certainly stronger.”

In Goss’s research, he found that overall job growth in the Central Valley over the past 12 months has been 2.6 percent compared to the national average of 1.7 percent. Howard said that his own company has expanded its employment roster from approximately 26 in 2015 to about 50. Meanwhile, expanded business has given Lee’s the ability to pay tuition for his employees who are in college, along with their books.

Goss added that construction and manufacturing are two other sectors to watch. Construction is surpassing the national average with 8.3 percent job growth in the region, while in manufacturing, its 5.1 percent. Delano Construction, LLC of Fresno, which currently has a roster of 26 employees, saw a revenue growth of 208 percent.

The last three years have also proven successful for the solar companies in the region. Topping this industry has been Energy Concepts Enterprises, Inc., which went from revenues of $4.2 million in 2015 to $9.8 million in 2017, a rate of 132 percent. SunPower by Quality Home Services also saw growth of 90 percent in the same time frame, while in Visalia, CalCom Energy was up by 47.46 percent. According to Ryan Gutierrez of Energy Concepts, this has largely been the result of higher utility bills.

“Rates are continually going up,” Gutierrez said. “Solar offers a way for a customer to avoid rate increases by covering their own quest for energy.”

Goss said that tariffs on imported solar panels would further help domestic manufacturers.

Meanwhile, a law passed earlier this year mandating solar panels on new homes could also be good business when it goes into effect in 2020.

For some companies, however, growth isn’t necessarily facilitated by a growing economy. For example, BCT Consulting, Inc. of Fresno, provider of technology solutions, tends to be busier when there’s a dip in the market. This is because their company deals in the outsourcing of technology and helping clients find solutions that are more cost effective.

Nonetheless, BCT has grown by 27 percent. Eric Rawn, president and founder, credited this to acquisitions and mergers, along with community outreach and customer service.

“We don’t want to grow just to grow,” Rawn said. “We want to grow because it makes sense for everyone involved.”

In the months and years to come, Goss added that he has optimism for the future of the San Joaquin Valley. Though he stated concerns about immigration and the agricultural exports being impacted by the current trade war with China, he said the region has become increasingly appealing to the rest of the state.

“So there is the ability of some of those companies coming to Fresno and enjoying many of the benefits of California, but not many of the costs that we’re seeing in San Francisco, for example,” Goss said.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/here-are-the-valleys-fastest-growing-companies/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=612a341302-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_20_09_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-612a341302-78934409&mc_cid=612a341302&mc_eid=a126ded657

Kern proposes $3 million hiring incentive for Amazon

Amazon would receive $3 million in local tax rebates in exchange for employing 1,000 Kern County residents at the 2.6 million-square-foot distribution center the retail giant is building next to Meadows Field Airport, according to a proposal released Thursday.

The incentives package, scheduled for a vote Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors, would give annual refunds to one of the world’s most valuable companies in an amount equal to half its combined property, sales and use tax bills — an estimated $575,000 per year before the rebate — for an estimated 11 years.

In exchange, Amazon would be required to create 1,000 new jobs for Kern County residents with an average annual wage of $31,000 per job. At least 900 of those positions would have to be filled by October 2021.

The offer would expire in 30 years if the rebates have not been used by that time. The county could rescind the package at any time if Amazon does not meet and keep up its job-creation obligations under the agreement.

“The strength in the incentive being proposed is the time-bound nature of the job creation, coupled with the requirement that these are NEW jobs for Kern County residents,” county spokeswoman Megan Person said by email. “We have the ability to ensure our residents get these jobs, get paid a sustainable wage and they do it by a specific date.”

The incentive, if approved, would be the second time the county has used the Advance Kern Incentive Program the board created in 2017. The first, approved by the board in August, offered L’Oreal USA $2.3 million in tax rebates in exchange for the company’s pledge to create 155 new jobs at the distribution center it plans to open at the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center south of Bakersfield. No other Advance Kern incentives are currently under negotiation, Person wrote.

County officials confirmed in September Amazon’s plan to open a “fulfillment” center just north of Bakersfield at the 138-acre Landings Logistics Center LLC just north of Merle Haggard Drive. Industry observers have said the center might ultimately employ up to 2,000 people.

Amazon has not publicly confirmed its plan to open a distribution center in Kern. A company representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incentives package.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf.

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L’Oréal USA to open distribution center at Tejon Ranch Commerce Center

August 17, 2018

  • To relocate professional salon distribution operation to TRCC
  • “It’s all about access”

Cosmetics maker L’Oréal USA says it is relocating its professional salon distribution operation to the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center in Kern County, south of Bakersfield.

L’Oréal USA’s SalonCentric unit will occupy the remaining 240,000 square feet of space in a 480,000-square foot building developed in partnership with Majestic Realty Co., says the owner of the center, Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE: TRC).

As part of the move, SalonCentric will relocate its Valencia distribution center to Tejon. SalonCentric, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, and operating in 48 states, is distributes salon professional products.

“SalonCentric’s decision to move its Valencia operations toTRCC, which is located just 40 minutes north of its current facility, underscores Tejon Ranch’s value as a proven and opportune place for companies wanting to locate and/or expand in California,” says Joseph Rentfro, executive vice president of real estate at Tejon Ranch Co. “It’s also further evidence of Kern County’s emergence as a major distribution region with the ability to serve California and the western U.S.”

Bertrand Fontaine, president of SalonCentric, says the Tejon location directly on Interstate 5 provides great access, and “given the size of TRCC, we have room to expand operations to further realize our vision of modernizing the professional beauty industry.”

Earlier this year, Dollar General (NYSE: DG) leased the initial 240,000 square feet of space within the partnership’s building as it increased its footprint at TRCC by nearly 40 percent.

“It’s all about access,” says John DeGrinis, senior executive vice president of Colliers International, who represents TRCC.

L’Oréal USA is also applying for economic incentives administered through Kern County’s “Advance Kern” policy, which provides eligible companies the opportunity to seek reimbursement for a portion of the property and sales taxes they generate. The policy is only applicable to unincorporated areas of Kern County, like the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center.

The Tejon Ranch Commerce Center is Tejon Ranch Co.’s 1,450-acre master planned commercial/industrial development located at the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 99 in Kern County, about an hour north of the Los Angeles basin. It’s entitled for more than 20 million square feet of commercial and  industrial space, with about 15 million square feet still available.

VOLT Institute Graduates Inaugural Class

MODESTO, CA — On June 27, nearly a year after opening, VOLT Institute saw the graduation of its

first class of maintenance mechanic students. VOLT Institute, a partnership of Opportunity Stanislaus

and Stanislaus County Office of Education, was started at the request of local employers looking for

skilled candidates to fill existing and future vacancies. Employers set a priority of training maintenance

mechanics, a field with widespread shortages including over 300 openings in Stanislaus County alone.

Austin Parker, 22, is one of the graduates. He credits the program with his new job at Hughson Nut,

citing the teachers, hands-on learning, and personalized pace as benefits.

 

“VOLT was a greatopportunity,” said Parker. “It has already opened up a ton of doors for me. The instruction at VOLT

was hands-on and kept pace with students and the job placement assistance was beyond what any other

college would do. Thanks to VOLT I no longer just have a job- I have a career.”

 

Parker’s situation is not unique. In fact, VOLT boasts an 88% placement rate among graduates.

Opportunity Stanislaus CEO David White has been a driver of VOLT since the planning stages. “We

have come so far so fast and are excited about the momentum we’re gaining,” said White. “We have

the best equipment—machines that simulate industry facilities—and we have a team that is absolutely

committed to the success of the students. We look forward to great things.”

 

In addition to the 11-month Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program, VOLT also has a 3-month

Certified Production Technician program and workshops on a wide variety of business topics. Training

areas will continue to expand as the student population and capacity grows. “Stanislaus County Office

of Education has a tradition of preparing students for the workforce through education,” said Executive

Director Deb Rowe.

“VOLT is a great example of multi-sector partnership training, the industry

recognized certifications through VOLT qualify student for a living wage job which affirms we are

headed in the right direction to support our community and beyond.”

 

VOLT Institute recently made news when it was awarded $1,000,000 in the 2018-19 California State

Budget to expand training for high-demand careers in manufacturing, one of the county’s most critical

industries. The funding will support the expansion of an education and training partnership between

Modesto Junior College (MJC), Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE), and Opportunity

Stanislaus to prepare students for jobs based on employer demand. The grant will serve as the local

match necessary for a federal United States Department of Commerce, Economic Development

Administration grant.

 

New classes start October 8 and continue through September 5 of 2019. For more information or to

enroll please visit www.voltinstitute.com or call 209.566.9102.

1,000-plus new jobs coming to Stockton, Tracy

Two new employers are coming to San Joaquin County, each promising 500 or more well-paying jobs to a region with an unemployment rate that is 1 percentage higher than the state average.

The city of Tracy on Thursday announced that Katerra, a Menlo Park-based firm, will open a 577,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the first half of 2019. The building is under construction.

Katerra plans to open a high-tech factory that will produce building components including wall panels, floor systems, windows and cabinets.

Downtown Stockton, meanwhile, is the intended home for ConSol USA, a new firm that founder Robert Tibbs said will focus on developing artificial-intelligence technology to be used in the medical and financial sectors.

Of special note concerning ConSol USA is its planned workforce. Tibbs, 63, said he intends to provide jobs to young people from Stockton, giving them opportunities to begin in entry-level positions that will lead to living-wage careers with the company.

“We really have to demonstrate we’re committed to the (geographic) areas that really have the most needs,” said Tibbs, who added that he escaped an impoverished childhood to become a lifelong entrepreneur.

“It’s about zeroing in on communities like Stockton and putting our money where our mouth is. There are thousands of people in the Stockton area that have as much talent, intellect and energy as do I. It’s about giving them an opportunity.”

The ConSol USA plan was announced Thursday at a news conference featuring Mayor Michael Tubbs, the University of the Pacific and Valley Vision, a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization.

The main purpose of the news conference was to publicly release a “workforce development action plan” for Stockton produced with private funds. The 30-page plan offers a road map intended to bring better-paying jobs to Stockton while developing a better-prepared workforce to fill those positions.

“We want to build a future here in Stockton,” Tubbs said. “If we continue the status quo, we will continue to grow low-wage jobs. This report outlines our challenges but it also shows that with the right focus, we can set Stockton on a path toward economic prosperity.”

According to government data, Stockton’s 6.3 percent unemployment rate at the end of May was 2.1 percentage points higher than the state’s jobless rate of 4.2 percent. San Joaquin County’s unemployment rate in the same government report was 5.3 percent. Tracy’s was 3.4 percent.

At roughly the same time as the Stockton announcement, Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman spoke optimistically about the new jobs Katerra will bring to the region beginning next year.

“Tracy’s proximity to workforce talent, affordable land and state-of-the-art building opportunities provide a business-supportive environment for advanced manufacturing companies such as Katerra to thrive,” Rickman said.

Tibbs said he hopes to have a more detailed announcement of ConSol USA’s plan within two months.

http://www.recordnet.com/news/20180712/1000-plus-new-jobs-coming-to-stockton-tracy

Prologis pays $47 Million for two Stockton buildings

Central Valley Business Times

June, 29, 2018

  • The seller is CT of Newport Beach
  • “Reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets”

Newport Beach industrial developer CT says it has sold two newly-constructed buildings at its NorCal Logistics Center in Stockton. to Prologis for $47 million. The two buildings total 575,127 square feet and mark the initial completion of CT’s three-building Phase I development of the larger 4.4 m

Prologis (NYSE: PLD), the largest owner of industrial space in the U.S., paid approximately $82 per square foot for the buildings, which were unleased and in shell condition at closing.

CT was represented in the sale by Kevin Dal Porto, Blake Rasmussen and John McManus of Cushman & Wakefield; Prologis was self-represented.

“These transactions reflect the high demand for world-class logistics facilities in major distribution markets nationwide,” says Carter Ewing, managing partner of CT. “In this case, the transaction allows Prologis to enjoy a fair profit on their investment going forward while providing CT with a sizeable return and well ahead of schedule – a true win-win.”

NorCal Logistics Center is home to General Mills, KeHE Foods, Allen Distributors and Fox Head, and is in the heart of California’s Central Valley, a 185 million-square-foot industrial market. The region is an extension of a global logistics supply chain infrastructure directly linked to West Coast ports in  Stockton, Oakland, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Portland, Oregon and Seattle/Tacoma, Washington.

CT purchased the 345-acre industrial site for NorCal Logistics Center in May 2017 and has now completed the first phase development, including a third 1,122,341-square-foot building, one of the single largest speculative industrial buildings in Northern California.

The second phase of development will begin toward the end of 2018 and include three buildings totaling approximately 1.6 million square feet of space, the company says.