Press Room

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.

Bakersfield will be getting FAT

August 20. 2018

  • Hamburger chain to expand
  • “We are excited to expand our existing presence on the West Coast”

Los Angeles-based fast food company Fatburger is getting bigger, adding stores in Southern California plus one in Bakersfield in the Central Valley. It will be its first foray into the Valley.

FAT is an acronym that the company says means “fresh,” “authentic” and “tasty.”

FAT Brands Inc. (NADAQ: FAT), parent company of Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express, says the expansion will see the  development of 12 new co-branded Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express restaurants The expansion is to include a Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express restaurant in a new casino being developed by the Quinault Indian Nation.

The Southern California locations will span across Orange County, Simi Valley, Rialto, Glendora, Colton, and Eastvale. The locations are slated to open within the next year. Specific sites for the stores were not announced, with the exception of the casino-based outlet.

The two brands offer menus of classic fare including made-toorder burgers, milkshakes and fries at Fatburger and customizable, boneless and bone-in chicken wings and fresh salads at Buffalo’s Express.

“We are excited to expand our existing presence on the West Coast with these upcoming locations,” says Andy Wiederhorn, CEO of FAT Brands.

The company currently owns six restaurant brands Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, that have over 300 locations open and more than 300 under development in 32 countries.

http://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/74f3a172-731b-409f-bc3c-1cc087cb4c25.pdf

Fresno State named one of the 100 best schools in the country

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.

Software engineering school opens inStockton

Central Valley Business Times

August 10, 2018

  • Code Stack Academy seeks students
  • “We know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of software engineers”

Stockton’s first immersive, accelerated software engineering school offering students paths to high-paying careers and source for businesses in need of highly skilled employees has opened.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education says it has officially launched “Code Stack Academy,” Stockton’s first accelerated software engineering school. The immersive  coding school provides a route for students pursuing careers in technology and will help build a community of software engineers in the region ready to meet the growing demand for a highly skilled workforce.

“Students will have opportunities to find well-paid jobs with local businesses in need of workers with software-engineering skills,” says San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas.

Code Stack Academy offers a combination of hands-on workshops, one-on-one mentoring with career-experienced developers, peer-to-peer learning, and real-world project experience. It uses project-based “gamification” to measure progress and provide a fun and engaging experience. Students gain points as they complete projects. Points allow progression through the curriculum.

In addition to the full, nine-month course, Code Stack offers three-day and one-day Foundation Workshops throughout the year that teach core concepts of web development and equip students with all the basics to develop simple websites.

No previous coding experience is required for either the workshops or the academy course. Students must be 18 years or older to enroll. The first nine-month Academy Course begins in November.

Code Stack Academy will be operated through the SJCOE’s Center for Educational Development and Research, a software engineering department responsible for building web, software, or mobile apps used by over 5,000 school districts nationwide and over a dozen state agencies.

“We have the resources, curriculum, expertise, and experience to provide a broad and deep dive into software engineering,” says Johnny Arguelles, director of CEDR. “And as an employer,

we know firsthand the challenge in recruitment and retention of

software engineers.”

Business and government leaders voiced their support for the new Code Stack Academy and its potential to benefit San Joaquin County.

“Our community needs a workforce trained in technology to support growth of our current businesses and attract others to our area. This program will help to meet those needs,” says Jane Butterfield, president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of San Joaquin.

For more information:

https://codestackacademy.org/

Advance Kern incentive program aims to bolster industries throughout county

The county has been drawing attention with its new Advance Kern business incentives, and hopes to soon have companies sign up for this program, which allows eligible companies to earn tax rebates when they relocate to the county or expand their operations here.

The program is being actively marketed by the Kern Economic Development Corp., which launched a website last month.

Teresa Hitchcock, assistant county administrative officer for economic and workforce development, said that although the process of relocating business is “lengthy” and the program is still in its early stages since being voted on by the County Board of Supervisors in November, she expects to see an application soon.

“As soon as we bring an agreement to the board…you would probably see the business up and running within the next 12 months,” Hitchcock said.

Richard Chapman, president and CEO of Kern EDC, said the program has already gained some attention and could be a “game-changer” for the local economy. In a state that offers few incentives and is ranked #48 in business tax climate by the Tax Foundation, Chapman said the county has taken it into their own hands to promote business.

“This is an important part of the toolkit when you look at site selection factors,” Chapman said.

This incentive program hopes to diversify county industries from current key players like agriculture, energy and government employers such as Edwards Air Force Base.

“It’s about investment in the region, be it companies coming in, as well as companies expanding their local operations,” Chapman said.

According to an industry snapshot provided by Kern EDC, agriculture-type workers are about 20 percent of the county’s workforce. Oil, gas and mining jobs declined at an average 8.1 percent annually the last five years, although oil is now picking back up.

Hitchcock said that with the recent downturn of oil and mechanization of agriculture, the time has come to bring in new business. Companies that sign up must meet certain criteria, such as bringing in jobs that pay above a living wage.

“We want to make sure that we’re enticing people that really will impact local economy,” Hitchcock said.

Chapman called these types of employers “multipliers” that can help create additional jobs in related fields. Target industries include aerospace and defense and health care services.

Bill Deaver, a board member for the Mojave Air and Space Port and for Kern EDC, said the incentives could help to bolster aerospace, which he said is booming, but also bring in new options, especially in the eastern part of Kern County.

“The whole county needs to diversify…you can’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Deaver said.

The county also recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to implement the East Kern Economic Diversification plan. Three county employees are being hired to work with area leaders in brining a study that was published in 2017 to fruition.

The primary goals of the plan, according to its text, are: (1) business development, (2) talent development and recruitment, (3) innovation and entrepreneurship, (4) tourism and visitor attraction, and (5) regional collaboration.

These employees would do work similar to Kern EDC, which markets Advance Kern incentives and other benefits of doing business in Kern County.

“We’ve got a lot to offer and some of the brightest people in the world,” Deaver said of eastern Kern.

The Advance Kern program also works on a case-by-case basis. Any business that applies will be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors, and a public hearing will discuss what the business can bring to the county.

Joe Rentfro, executive vice president of real estate for Tejon Ranch Company and a board member for Kern EDC, collaborated in the development of Advance Kern. He said the county was innovative in emphasizing job creation and ensuring that the incentive is not given until business is developed and benefits are reached.

From his perspective, Rentfro said, Advance Kern is already “helping to attract the interest of companies from outside the area.”

Rentfro said the program is a “safe bet” for the county, as it simply reimburses from companies’ own tax payments. He also pointed out that the policy stipulates that offsite developments must be built in an area with appropriate infrastructure and zoning, thus preventing expense to the county.

Tulare Meat Locker earns top prize at national competition

Calley Cederlof,

Aug. 1, 2018

For the second year in a row, Danny Mendes, owner of Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co., took home several wins at the American Association of Meat Processors’ American Cured Meat Championships, held in Kansas City.

Except this go around, he came home with even more “hardware” to showcase at his Tulare shop.

Mendes won awards for five different meat products, one of which earned grand champion: his hot link sausage.

The sausage, which he recently dubbed the “Kansas City Red Hot” is the shop’s newest item on the menu. The sausage beat out 15 other competitors for the top spot, including a Kansas City local.

He is the first to win in the category, which was introduced this year, he said.

“I’m pretty proud of that,” Mendes said of the win. “Here I come from California and come out with grand champion.”

Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months.
Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months. (Photo: Eric Woomer/ Visalia Times-Delta,)

The hot-link is a regional item known mostly in Oklahoma and Texas, said Jon Frohling, past American Association of Meat Processors president.

“For a California boy to go down there and win that — it’s a big deal,” Frohling said. “Especially when you’re not eating it every day.”

Other awards earned by Mendes include reserve grand champions for his bone in ham and braunschweiger — a German liver sausage. His boneless ham won champion and his country dry cured bacon was crowned reserve champion.

Mendes said he is excited about the wins.

“It’s been great, especially in with the bone-in ham (category),” Mendes said. “That’s one that I’ve really been wanting to master.”

In total, Mendes brought 22 products to the event, which flew with him on the plane packed in ice.

This is only his second year at the competition. Last year, he earned grand champion for his smoked bratwurst sausage and reserve grand champion for his andouille sausage.

At the competition, products are judged on a 1,000-point scoring system. Judges score based on several factors including internal and external appearance, color, aroma and flavor — the most important of all, Frohling said.

“If you win at that show, you’ve got a great product,” he added.

Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage is one of only two shops in California to take home awards at this year’s event and is the smallest shop competing.

When he arrived home on Sunday, he was celebrated with family, friends and customers. It was also extra special, it was his birthday.

Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months.
Danny Mendes, Tulare Meat Locker owner, took home top honors in several categories during the American Cured Meat Championships in Kansas City. His crew has been working on the selections for months. (Photo: Eric Woomer/ Visalia Times-Delta,)

“My kids had signs that said, ‘welcome home Daddy,’ and we met up with family the next day,” Mendes said. “I got a lot of calls and texts. It was a warm welcoming for sure.”

Mendes also posted the news on Facebook, where customers and friends flooded him with congratulations messages.

“Not surprised because your meats are amazing and deserving of every one of these awards,” wrote Steven Jorgens.

Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co. offers custom butchering of livestock and fresh meat that isn’t sliced until ordered. Sausages, snack sticks, hams, tri-tip and linguica are also available.

In February, Mendes also took home 11 awards at the California Association of Meat Processors convention.

He’s already planning ahead to next summer when the national compeition will be held in Alabama.

For more information, call 688-2047 or visit the shop at 1531 E. Bardsley Ave. in Tulare.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2018/08/01/tulare-meat-locker-takes-home-top-prize-national-competition/872651002/

FRESNO AIRPORTS ECONOMIC IMPACT PEGGED AT $788.5M

Published On August 2, 2018 – 1:52 PM
Written By The Business Journal Staff

The Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) system, including Fresno’s Chandler Executive Airport (FCH), generates just shy of $1 billion in economic punch, according to new data.

The annual business activity report examines the revenue and jobs contribution of both airports, which are owned by the City of Fresno but operate as independent enterprises.

Some highlights from the study include:

Airport activity, including the visitor industry and non-aviation real estate tenants on airport property, brings an annual direct contribution of $788.5 million to the regional economy.

Employment at both airports generates 9,307 direct, induced, and indirect jobs in the Fresno area.

Business revenue including salaries, purchases and taxes, and including the visitor industry and non-aviation real estate tenants on airport property, totals $559.8 million annually.

Re-sending and Consumption, which regards the purchase and services of goods produced locally, generated $228.7 million annually.

Out of the $788.5 million, business and tourism visitors arriving through FAT spend $184.2 million annually in the region.

Since the Great Recession in 2010, FAT has grown 36 percent in passenger traffic, and in the first half of this year, has experienced a 12.7 percent increase in passenger volume.

“As a major driver of regional economic activity and jobs, it is important that we invest in the future and plan for the continued growth of both airports,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle. “The completion of Master Plan Updates for both airports will provide the framework to ensure future travel needs are met to further support a growing and prosperous economy for the region.”

https://thebusinessjournal.com/fresno-airports-economic-impact-pegged-at-788-5m/

City of Tehachapi approves permits for Walmart construction

TEHACHAPI — The city of Tehachapi finalized and approved building permits Tuesday with Eleven Western Builders, Inc., clearing the path for construction of the new Walmart store to begin next week.

City officials gathered in the city hall annex with Eleven Western Builder’s Superintendent Craig Stewart for the start of what City Manager Greg Garrett called “the next chapter in the Walmart book.”

The process of getting the new Walmart has been going on for about nine years due to legal hurdles and the process of contracts and permits, said city Development Services Director Jay Schlosser.

Now that permits are complete, Eleven Western Builders can begin construction July 30 with the intent of finishing by spring 2019. The company, Stewart said, is familiar with building in small towns and recently constructed a new Walmart store in Ridgecrest.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Wiggins.

Schlosser said the 12-month construction time frame seems reasonable, especially considering the impacts that winter weather may have on the project.

Schlosser and Garrett both said the city has a partnership with the construction company to help see the project through, and that more shopping opportunities should be coming down the road.

You can watch for dirt and construction equipment to soon begin moving around the lot on Tucker Road and Tehachapi Boulevard.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/city-of-tehachapi-approves-permits-for-walmart-construction/article_dbeabb5e-8f96-11e8-a937-8b822f3767d2.html

Cannabis operation holds groundbreaking in Mendota

Inside an old packing shed on the outskirts of Mendota, a new cannabis operation is moving in, hoping to revitalize the space and the town’s economy.

“While so many have doubted us, I knew we could pull this off,” said Tim McGraw, the CEO of Canna-Hub.

Allowing this massive commercial marijuana business to move in wasn’t easy. It took months of city council meetings and convincing skeptical families.

On Thursday, Canna-Hub finally broke ground on the 16-acre property.

“You got to take some chances in this world, and that’s what the city of Mendota did,” said Mendota city councilmember Robert Silva.

The company itself won’t be growing marijuana. It’s leasing out nine spaces for operators to manufacture or distribute. Tenants can do anything, except for selling marijuana and operating outdoor grows.

“We are about a third already committed, leased out. Pretty good pipeline of very good operators to take the rest of the space,” said Jonathan Charak with Canna-Hub.

The company has promised to generate about 100 jobs. The operation will also bring in about $800,000 to Mendota per year.

“Our general fund is a little above $6 million right now, so $800,000 is a great 17 percent, 18 percent increase, which is a big deal. When it comes to public safety you can never have too much,” said Matt Flood, the Economic Development manager of Mendota.

The money is expected to roll in right away. Canna-Hub expects operators to move into the facility in the next 90 days.