Press Room

Workers need more training to succeed in “gig” economy. In Stockton and Richmond, they’ll get it.

July 12, 2018 01:00 PM

Updated July 12, 2018 01:00 PM

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

Downtown Hanford fills up

Finer Thingz
Jeanette Tackett, owner of Finer Thingz, shows examples of custom gifts available at her shop.

HANFORD — After years of seeing empty buildings and storefronts, downtown Hanford seems to be going through a transformation.

“We’ve kind of had a surge of businesses interested in opening in downtown Hanford,” Michelle Brown, executive director of Main Street Hanford, said.

Brown said it’s a great time for downtowns everywhere, not just in Hanford. She said she believes people are really starting to see the uniqueness of downtowns and the benefits of shopping small businesses.

Several changes can be seen in downtown Hanford, including these new businesses:

  • The Ivy Boutique & Home Décor, 201 N. Douty St. – specializes in women’s apparel and also carries gifts for any occasion.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Kings/Tulare Counties ReStore, 415 W. Lacey Blvd. – sells donated items like cabinets, doors, windows, plumbing, electrical supplies and more. Proceeds go toward the organization’s home ownership programs.
  • Board & Brush Creative Studio, 207 N. Irwin St. – this business will celebrate its grand opening on July 26 during Thursday Night Market Place. Board & Brush Creative Studio is a place for creating unique wood decor projects from scratch in an instructor led atmosphere.
  • Hop Forged Brewing Co., 106 W. Seventh St. – this will open in the fall and be the first brewery located in downtown Hanford. Hop Forged is a family-run business and each batch of beer is hand crafted in small batches right here in Hanford. The taproom will serve its own in-house-brewed beers, starting out with up to 10 options, with hopes to expand that selection to 20 within a couple of years.

Another business that has opened is Finer Thingz, located at 331 W. Seventh St. Owner Jeanette Tackett said the shop has been open since June 1 and things are going well so far.

Finer Thingz shares a space with Tackett’s other business, a print shop called J.H. Tackett Marketing. Tackett uses her printing skills to personalize and customize gifts, like mousepads, frames, cups, cutting boards and pretty much any other thing you can think of.

“The idea is to be able to create and customize and give a unique gift,” Tackett said, adding her products can work for any person or organization.

Tackett, who owns the building her businesses are in, said she loves being a part of bringing downtown Hanford to life.

“I think it’s a great place to be and grow,” Tackett said. “We just love being able to serve and putting smiles on people’s faces when they get that custom gift is priceless.”

Speaking of the Vendome building, three new businesses will open there soon:

  • Lab Artistry, 215 N. Irwin St. – offers services including lash extensions, lash lifts, body waxing, brow shaping, micro blading and make-up for special occasions.
  • Employee Benefits, 221 N. Irwin St. – this business specializes in health and life insurance, has been around for 34 years and is relocating to downtown Hanford.
  • Beautifully Damaged, 219 N. Irwin St. – specializes in hand-painted furniture and vintage home décor. Instructor-led paint classes for all ages will also be offered in the store.

When all three businesses open in early August, Brown said the Vendome building will be completely filled up.

Brown said she has spoken with lots of interested business owners and the only issue is finding the right location for that particular business.

“We’re running out of spaces for people,” Brown said, adding she hopes new restaurants will start to pop up as well.

As far as vacancies are concerned, Brown said 100 W. Seventh St., 118 W. Seventh St. and 210 W. Seventh St. are still open.

Brown would love to see businesses locate in these vacancies and said when they do, Seventh Street will be completely filled up, which has not been the case for many years.

Brown said she hopes this new surge of businesses will bring even more positivity to downtown Hanford and convince people to make their way to the area to shop.

“These business owners are part of the community,” Brown said. “We need to spread the word and show our support by shopping small.”

https://hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/downtown-hanford-fills-up/article_f9edf024-00d6-53b4-9071-6316f0ff160c.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

What’s the deal with Dunkin’ Donuts?

What’s the deal with Dunkin’ Donuts?

Dunkin’ Donuts is teaming with shoe brand Saucony for a limited edition athletic-shoe company created for the Boston Marathon. The pink and orange sneaker is sure to make you hungry! Buzz60

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new development on the corner of Mooney Boulevard and Walnut Avenue has Visalia residents buzzing.

The nearly-completed building has room for three tenants, one of which has a drive-thru window facing Mooney.

Rumor has it Dunkin’ Donuts will soon be filling the space.

Employees of other businesses in the area also heard a bank and Chick-fil-A are vying for the new space.

But with “available space” signs posted on every corner of the property, for now, the potential list of businesses is just that — a rumor.

A new space

While the location has not been confirmed, a Dunkin’ Donuts is making its way to Visalia.

“A location for Dunkin’ Donuts is currently planned for Visalia, but I can’t confirm any other details at this time,” said Tricia Paulson, an account executive with Fineman PR.

According to the coffee giant’s website, there are more than 12,500 locations worldwide that serve approximately 2 billion cups of hot and iced coffee every year.

Over the long-term, the company plans to grow its U.S. presence resulting in more than 18,000 restaurants, according to the website.

If they do decide to make Visalia their new home, the location on Mooney and Walnut could bring the coffee and doughnut magnate a steady flow of foot traffic.

In July 2016, commercial real estate developers, The Orosco Group, purchased the building formerly home to Weatherby’s furniture.

The Orosco Group, based in Monterey, has several developments throughout the city, including the heavily-visited Packwood Creek shopping center, also on Mooney.

Currently, the company is also working to finish the new Starbucks in Tulare, located at the southwest corner of J Street and Cross Avenue.

The company has kept the list of potential tenants quiet since the start of the project, creating speculation among residents on what businesses will soon take over the corner.

Liz Wynn, a Visalia planning commissioner, said it is normal for developers to keep the lid shut on new developments. Still, she said if they had tenants who had already agreed to move into the building, the public would know.

“If they had it pre-leased, they would have already announced it,” Wynn said.

Wynn, who originally voted against the development because of limited parking and the idea of a drive-through on the busiest intersection in the county, also heard a Dunkin’ Donuts was a probable tenant.

Build it and they will come

Patrick Orosco, a partner with the group, said he could not discuss any businesses looking into the spaces on Mooney and Walnut just yet.

But, community members won’t have to wait much longer.

Visalia residents can expect to find out which businesses will move into the building in about a month, Orosco said.

The building will hold one fast-casual restaurant and two retail spaces.

“We’re getting quite close with two of what will be three tenants,” Orosco said. “We’re not at the point where things are signed yet.”

There are several benefits of building commercial space before leasing to tenants, Orosco said.

“Tenants have more certainty than ground-up projects that can take years,” he said. “For large-scale projects, you find raw dirt, typically ag land. The starting point for them then tends to be more elusive.”

Having a building complete or nearly complete before signing contracts also means all businesses are on the same time frame.

A newly-completed building with modern design also helps bring larger companies to smaller cities like Visalia and Tulare. The design seems “familiar” to companies with locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Orosco said.

“Oftentimes, retailers come from outside of Tulare County,” Orosco said. “They test the concept in larger demographics then backfill smaller markets.”

The new designs can also add a modern look to once-dated areas.

“Our goal is to leave it better than it was before we touched it,” Orosco said. “We want to create best of class projects and bring cutting-edge trends in architect and landscaping.”

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2018/07/15/new-visalia-commercial-development-has-residents-buzzing/776140002/

Valley Ventures helps entrepreneurs earn millions of dollars

Submitted by Geoff Thurner, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Fresno State University

In its first year, the Valley Ventures Accelerator has helped 25 companies attract $10 million in sales and $9 million in investment capital. Participating companies include founders from Fresno as well as Chile, Brazil, and South Korea, with many continuing to maintain business relationships throughout the Central Valley.

The three-year program is coordinated by the International Center for Water Technology at Fresno State and provides guidance on sales, marketing, distribution and venture capital for emerging companies in the water, agriculture and energy technology fields.

Funding was made possible by a $500,000 federal grant through the Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grants competition and the BlueTechValley innovation cluster funded by the California Energy Commission.

Companies accepted into the program must demonstrate the potential to have region and industry economic impact, along with the ability to improve the efficient use of scarce natural resources. Other evaluation criteria include commercial value, environmental impact, fundability, leadership, potential return, personnel skills and scalability.

The previous cohort’s 13 companies included Agri-logix, AjO, Azadi, BioFiltro, BLH Aguatech, BoxPower, HerdDogg, Map Thread, Re-Nuble, Spooky Action, Sweep Energy, Tiny Farms and Waterfind.

“We look forward to continuing to attract a diverse group of new technologies,” said project coordinator Benjamin Francis. “The spring cohort showed great potential and included products and services that addressed problems such as renewable energy for disadvantaged communities, sustainable wastewater treatment, manufacturer equipment optimization, and even a sustainable alternate protein farming method involving crickets.”

One company, HerdDogg, used the campus farm to test its dairy cow ear tag technology that is also found in 10 states and in Australia, Brazil and Norway.

The unit sensor uploads physiological and GPS location data to the cloud online storage provider so managers can better track and monitor health and activity throughout the dairy.

The company’s founder and CEO, Melissa Brandao, fits the entrepreneurial pedigree that the cohort is trying to attract. She has worked the past decade on the development of specialty agriculture technologies; was the first female to found an electric vehicle company; and was one of 32 entrepreneurs and companies invited to participate in a White House Demo Day event in 2015.

“HerdDogg’s passion for animal welfare has helped the company enjoy a successful start, and is now looking to scale sales and increase its strategic activities with dairies throughout California,” Francis said. “HerdDogg utilized the Valley Ventures program to assist with improving sales, building a sales team, and raising a second round of funding.”

The Valley Ventures Accelerator is now accepting applications through August 1 for its third cohort.

The three-month cohort will select eight to 12 companies to participate in three, two-day sessions starting in September. The fall session will culminate in a final open-pitch demonstration in November to the public, industry members, campus faculty and staff and potential investors.

Participants will take part in exercises and learning modules led by professionals, investors, industry experts, successful entrepreneurs and target consumers. Guest speakers will also offer advice about the evolution of their successful companies at similar stages of customer and venture capital development.

For more information on the program, visit http://www.valleyventures.org or contact Benjamin Francis at 559.270.7121 or bfrancis@mail.fresnostate.edu.

 

https://campusnews.fresnostate.edu/july-16-2018/valley-ventures-helps-entrepreneurs-earn-millions-of-dollars

 

photo
(From left:) HerdDogg employee, Aaron Andrade; Ronaldo Brandao, Melissa Brandao’s husband; Ben Francis, project coordinator; and HerdDogg CEO/entrepreneur Melissa Brandao at the campus dairy.

HVAC company expands in Central Valley

 

  • Legacy Air opens new Bakersfield operation
  • “Legacy Air … now is entering a new phase of growth”

The Brea-based HVAC service company known as Legacy Air is expanding its footprint in the Central Valley with the opening of a new office in Bakersfield. Legacy opened a Sacramento office earlier.

“Legacy Air has grown significantly since the company was founded and now is entering a new phase of growth with our expansion in Hawaii and throughout California,” says Jay Parker, president and founder of Legacy Air.

The new Central Valley office in Bakersfield is Legacy Air’s fifth  in the state. At present, the company also has California branches in San Diego, Orange County, and in the Sacramento and San Francisco areas. The new office will support the growing demand for Legacy Air’s services in California as well the needs of service technicians in the field.

Donovan Taylor has been named service manager at the new Bakersfield office. Mr. Taylor brings more than 17 years of experience in the HVAC service profession to his new role. He first joined Legacy Air in 2017 after being a college instructor, entrepreneur and residential HVAC professional in Bakersfield. In February 2018, he became an interim service manager in Los Angeles.

Legacy Air’s technicians work on HVAC, refrigeration, kitchen equipment and preventive maintenance projects for customers ranging from restaurants to cell towers to big box and convenience stores.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/7c50265a-10cb-4df9-b11e-d4e32028c22d.pdf

Hanford gives preliminary OK to Faraday

 

  • City issues a temporary certificate of occupancy
  • “Building my dream … that will change the way people view transportation”

Hanford has approved a temporary certificate of occupancy for the factory that is to make the all-electric Faraday Future vehicles.

Faraday expects its model FF 91 to start rolling off the Hanford assembly line by the end of the year. The lease for the 1-million square foot site was signed in August 2017, with major cleanup and infrastructural preparation continuing through the first part of last month when the building permit was given and the contractor signed to lead the construction project.

The TCO is the first step in final approval required from a municipality’s building and safety inspectors before a new occupant can fully take over a site or structure, move in, and start their intended activities full-time as a running business.

“This first TCO, specifically allowing ramp-up for assembly of our FF 91 prototypes in the most finished part of the Hanford site, is a real step forward,” says Faraday Senior VP of Manufacturing Dag Reckhorn.

“The Hanford location is ideal for both Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area for deliveries, among other benefits,” says Faraday Future Founder and Global CEO Y.T. Jia. “It is exciting for me as an entrepreneur to begin with this small step in building my dream of creating the next-generation mobility products that will change the way people view transportation.”

FF Hanford is applying for the Conditional Certificate of  Occupancy (CCO), and then the final Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for the first FF 91s. The Hanford plant is expected to create between 1,000 and 1,300 new jobs in the Central Valley when it reaches full operating capacity, the company says.

The company says its FF 91 is an all-purpose fully-connected EV with an estimated 0-60 mph acceleration of under three seconds and an expected range of 300+ miles.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/86dab1c4-e674-483b-8cfe-b766d6d48fef.pdf

KATERRA TO OPEN NEW ADVANCED MANUFACTURING FACTORY

 

Facility for Manufacturing Building Components to Be Located in California’s Central Valley

Menlo Park, CA – July, 2018 – Katerra, a technology company redefining the construction industry, today announced its plans to open a new advanced manufacturing factory in Tracy, Calif., where it will produce building components including wall panels, floor systems, roof truss assemblies, windows, cabinets and finishes. Manufacturing of building components in a factory setting allows for rapid assembly at the job site, significantly reducing construction time, costs and waste while improving quality.

Katerra is expanding its U.S. operations as it delivers on $3.7 billion in new build project bookings. With its new 577K square foot factory, Katerra’s manufacturing presence in Tracy will add more than 500 jobs. This new manufacturing facility will complement Katerra’s existing California operations, including its headquarters in Menlo Park and office in San Francisco.

“Establishing a manufacturing presence in the Central Valley made sense to efficiently serve the West Coast market while gaining access to talent to operate advanced robotic equipment,” said Michael Marks, chairman and co-founder of Katerra. “We’re excited to be adding jobs to California’s economy as we apply technology to deliver high-quality buildings faster.”

Katerra’s integrated factory model seamlessly connects building design to the factory floor and job site. Compared to its first factory located in Phoenix, Ariz., Katerra’s next generation plant will be an advanced manufacturing facility with significantly more automation. The operation will include fully automated wood frame wall production lines, automated floor lines, automated cabinet and finish areas, automated roof truss lines, an automated window line and a light gauge steel production line. The factory will be able to produce, on an annual basis, the equivalent of 12,500 multifamily units.

“We are very excited about the economic impact that Katerra will bring to the City of Tracy and the region,” stated City of Tracy Mayor, Robert Rickman. “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. I would like to welcome Katerra to the City of Tracy and thank them for ‘Thinking Inside the Triangle’.”

Additional facts and figures about Katerra’s Tracy factory include:

 The new facility will be strategically located near rail, shipping ports and freeways

 To support the factory’s operation, more than 500 jobs will be created in San Joaquin County, which is designated by the state as a high unemployment area

 Production is slated to begin in 2019

In addition to its factories in Arizona and California, Katerra is constructing a mass timber manufacturing facility in Spokane, Wash., which will produce cross-laminated timber wall panels and floor systems when it comes online in 2019. Katerra’s near-term manufacturing expansion plans for the U.S. includes three more building components factories to serve the South and East Coast markets, as well as another mass timber production facility to be located in the Southeast.

About Katerra

Katerra is a technology company optimizing every aspect of building development, design, and construction. With leaders from the most groundbreaking technology, design, manufacturing and construction companies, Katerra transforms how buildings and spaces come to life. Founded in 2015, Katerra has a growing number of domestic and international offices, factories and building projects. For more information, visit www.katerra.com.

Media Contact:

Robin Clewley | VP, Marketing & Communications, Katerra

Robin.clewley@katerra.com

 

Three new-to-Fresno restaurants to bring Korean fried chicken, giant sandwiches, more

July 09, 2018 

California Trade Report for May 2018

Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis. To view additional data and analysis related to the California economy visit our website at www.centerforjobs.org/ca.

Share of Goods Through US Ports
18.4%
CA Share of Total Trade
Through US Ports

Total US goods trade (exports and imports) through California ports edged down to 18.40% (12 month moving average; compared to 18.44% in Apr 2018 and 18.43% in May 2017).

California remained the #1 state, ahead of Texas with 17.07% (compared to 16.99% in Apr 2018 and 16.61% in May 2017). Trade through the Atlantic port states was at 29.47% (compared to 29.44% in Apr 2018 and 29.7% in May 2017).

The state’s continued lead in this area forms the trade-related base for one of California’s largest centers of middle-class, blue-collar jobs. Transportation & Warehousing alone provided 579,800 jobs in May (up from 559,000 in May 2017), paying an average annual salary of $54.5k. This employment base in turn supports additional blue-collar and white-collar jobs in a range of other industries.

California Goods Exports Increase
$1.7
Billion in Exports

Total California goods exports were up $1.7 billion from May 2017 (up 12.6%). California remained in 2nd place with 11.03% of all US goods exports (12 month moving total), behind Texas at 17.74%.

California’s Balance of Goods Trade
-$22.1
Billions of Goods Trade

California’s balance of goods trade through state businesses narrowed to -$22.1 billion, compared to a level of -$23.7 billion in May 2017. California trade accounted for 31% of the US trade deficit in goods in May 2018.

Top 10 Exports, May 2018
Top 10 exports by value are shown below, along with the change from May 2017.

By shipping weight (vessel and air total), the leading export was Petroleum & Coal Products at 1.1 billion kg (35% of total exports), followed by Waste And Scrap at 0.9 billion kg (29%), and Food & Kindred Products at 0.3 billion kg (9%).

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Top 10 Export Markets, May 2018
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Closer Look: California’s Trade With China
China and Hong Kong combined accounted for about 16% of the exports originating in the state (produced here or bundled for export here) in both 2017 and 2018 (for the 12 months ending in May in both years), while countries with which US has trade agreements (including NAFTA) accounted for about 41% in 2018, up slightly from 39% in 2017.  Overall exports to China and Hong Kong grew only 2.2% in the last 12 months, compared to 10.1% growth for all Trade Agreement Partners combined.
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By value, Top 12 Exports to China & Hong Kong for the 12 months ending May 2018 are shown below.
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http://cbrtcfj.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/j/C95DAAF4183765B92540EF23F30FEDED/70DD5D838DBEFE94DCC9454293137CA2