Visalia community college upgrades Valley workforce with soft skills, management training

Visalia community college upgrades Valley workforce with soft skills, management training


(Photo: College of the Sequoias)

For several years in Visalia, employers told the Visalia Economic Development Corporation and the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board they had a problem.

Their present and future workers needed to understand how to function better in the workplace—what they call “soft skills.”

For Jorge Zegarra at the College of the Sequoias that was a clue to get to identify and refine trainings to meet the employer needs.

“We work with employers to meet their workforce needs because we have the willingness to improve the economic growth and global competitiveness of business and industry in our region,” Zegarra said. “This helps more workers achieve upward mobility, which in turn improves their livelihood.”

The college offers an Essential Workplace Skills Training for employees of the manufacturing and logistic companies in the community. The training consists of eight sessions of three hours each and teaches basic skills like communications, problem solving, time management and critical thinking to name a few.

The classes are either held at the Training Resource Center at the College or at a local employer.

Another workplace challenge identified by employers is training people how to manage.

“Often, you will promote a valued employee into a managerial position, and they don’t have any managerial experience,” said Bruce Nicotero, who runs the JoAnn Stores distribution center in the Visalia Industrial Park.

The Frontline Supervisory Academy is a 36-hour course that covers 12 modules in three-hour increments in which new or existing managers learn tips about how to manage and motivate, the importance of teamwork, and how to manage change in today’s economy.

“We have an open enrollment approach to support small businesses where they can send one or two of their employees,” said Zegarra, who said that a class would normally need from fifteen to twenty participants.

In addition, the College of the Sequoias has partnered with a local employer in the city’s industrial park to offer an open enrollment electrical safety and industrial motor controls class that will begin this spring—as well as offering several food safety related trainings to help local employers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“The San Joaquin Valley now has sustainable support systems for Community Colleges that are industry led,” said Gurminder Sangha, Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing for the California Community Colleges. “South Valley Industrial Collaborative, and San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance are the regional platforms supporting the development of K-16 CTE programs and pathways that are aligned with regional industry needs. Now my focus will be on the creating such partnerships across California to help support the Vision for Success.”

The COS mission talks about being focused on student learning that leads to productive work, lifelong learning and community involvement.

For Nicotero and other employers, there’s an appreciation for the work the college is doing not only to help employers today, but also to help build momentum for the South Valley Industrial Collaborative.

“We’ve held two Industrial Summits and we are in the early stages of building the process which will attract more industry partners and hopefully even more cooperation with local community colleges to address the key issue of workforce preparation,” said Nicotero.

The California Economic Summit—which will be held in Fresno this year (November 7-8)—brings together public, private and civic sector leaders to collaborate and adopt initiatives for fueling job creation and a stronger economy. The Summit—a collaboration of California Forward and the California Stewardship Network—has identified a strong workforce as critical to widely shared prosperity.

“It is exciting to see robust relationships developing between community colleges and employers in the Central Valley,” said Susan Lovenburg, director of the Partnership for Economic Prosperity for California Forward. “Their collaboration is crucial to building the workforce of the future.

Bitwise teams up with FresYes Realty open third downtown location

Bitwise Industries is teaming up with Fres-Yes realty company and expanding to a new location in Downtown Fresno.

It will be located at the Old Spaghetti Factory building on Ventura and R Streets.

The building will be the third location for Bitwise, which already has South Stadium Van Ness and The Hive.

The second story of the new building, called “Bitwise 41,” will eventually have a team of 150 FresYes agents working there.

Organizers say they hope the new location will inspire other businesses to come to Downtown Fresno.

“So I think the exciting part as far as visibility goes you can’t get more visible than this building right here. 41 is directly behind me. North and south. 45,000 cars going each way. It is a prime location for just visibility alone,” said Channelle Charest with Bitwise.

Bitwise 41 is expected to be ready to occupy in April.

A grand opening will be held in early summer.

FOR SECOND TIME IN SIX MONTHS, TRCC SECURES LEASE WITH COMPANY RE-LOCATING FROM LOS ANGELES

TEJON RANCH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 14, 2019– Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE: TRC) today announced that it has agreed to terms on a lease with a company that will relocate its western US distribution operations from the Los Angeles area to the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC) in the fourth quarter of this year. The company, which wishes to remain anonymous for the time being due to competitive reasons, will occupy approximately 390,000 square feet of space in a new 580,000-square-foot building TRC is developing in partnership with Majestic Realty Co. The new building represents the third partnership between TRC and Majestic Realty. Construction has commenced, and the building will be ready for occupancy in approximately eight months.

“This decision to move its western distribution warehouse from the Los Angeles area to TRCC underscores Tejon Ranch’s value as a proven and opportune place for companies wanting to locate and/or expand in California,” said Joseph N. Rentfro, executive vice president of real estate at Tejon Ranch Co. “Coming on the heels of L’Oréal USA’s decision last fall to move its professional salon distribution subsidiary, SalonCentric, from its Valencia facility to Tejon, it reinforces our location as a place where companies find great value in our compelling logistics model, our outstanding labor force, and where they have opportunity to grow and expand.”

“Majestic Realty is extremely pleased the partnership has been able to pre-lease a large portion of the new building we’re developing in partnership with Tejon Ranch Co.,” said Brett Tremaine, senior vice president at Majestic Realty Co. “Working in Tejon Ranch, the time required to deliver a building ready for occupancy is as efficient and expeditious a process as you’ll find anywhere in the state, and perhaps the country. And with L’Oréal, and now a second company moving up from Los Angeles, we believe many more companies currently located in the Los Angeles basin will want to avail themselves of the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center’s strategic location at the southern gateway to Kern County.”

“It makes perfect sense for growing companies located in Los Angeles to consider relocating operations to Tejon Ranch,” said John DeGrinis, SIOR, executive managing director of Newmark Knight Frank, who represented TRCC and the other party in this transaction. “As available space is at a premium in Los Angeles–and commanding premium prices–Tejon Ranch represents an attractive alternative for companies needing additional space and seeking value for their businesses.”

“TRCC’s central location with direct access to Interstate 5 allows companies to get their goods to market easily and quickly,” Rentfro added. “In addition, employees and professional drivers have access to a wide variety of adjacent amenities. And with total operating costs among the lowest in the state, TRCC gives companies opportunities to take their distribution operations to the next level.”

This newest tenant at TRCC imports goods for sale throughout the US and beyond and will therefore have opportunity to take advantage of TRCC’s status as a Foreign Trade Zone. All industrial sites within TRCC, totaling nearly 1,100 acres, are included in FTZ #276, which was re-established and expanded last year by the U.S. Department of Commerce in conjunction with Kern County. FTZ #276 is locally administered by the County of Kern and is one of the largest activated FTZs in California.

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. In addition to the previously mentioned L’Oréal USA, the Commerce Center is also home to major distribution centers for IKEA, Famous Footwear, Dollar General (NYSE: DG), Vision Media and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT).

http://tejonranch.com/for-second-time-in-six-months-trcc-secures-lease-with-company-re-locating-from-los-angeles/

California’s Central Valley Named as Third Location for New T-Mobile Customer Experience Center

Third of Five Announced New T-Mobile Customer Experience Centers will create 1000 new jobs in area, pending merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS) and Sprint Corporation (NYSE: S) today announced that, pending the close of their merger, they have selected the Central Valley in California as the area for the third of five new Customer Experience Centers to serve New T-Mobile customers. The facility will create approximately 1,000 local jobs.

As with the other previously announced locations in Kansas and New York, the new California facility, once integrated, will bring top-notch support to New T-Mobile customers. The state-of-the-art facilities will offer T-Mobile’s innovative Team of Experts (TEX) service model, which allows customers to have direct personal access to a dedicated team of specialists when they call or message for assistance. The specialists work with local retail and engineering to address a wide variety of topics and tackle complex challenges for customers.

The five new TEX-enabled facilities are just one part of the future New T-Mobile’s plans to put customers first and bring jobs to communities. The companies also previously announced that two existing T-Mobile Customer Experience Centers will be expanding. These cumulative efforts will create up to 5,600 additional American jobs by 2021. The combined companies will have 7,500 more customer care professionals in 2024 than the stand-alone companies would have employed.

“We needed to find just the right area for our next New T-Mobile Customer Experience Center – and we found it in the Golden State! California and the Central Valley have everything we need to take care of customers – amazing energy, a commitment to innovation and business, and most importantly skilled and diverse people who we can’t wait to join our team of Magenta heroes!” said T-Mobile US CEO and New T-Mobile CEO, John Legere.

T-Mobile has consistently been featured on numerous “Best Place to Work” lists year over year. The newest Care team members will be eligible to receive benefits and opportunities such as significant management preparation experience, career development paths and college tuition reimbursement.

The new Customer Experience Centers are just one way the New T-Mobile will invest billions of dollars in job creation and infrastructure in the United States. Sprint and T-Mobile together will employ more people in the U.S. than both companies would separately. Other investments include building out an industry-leading nationwide 5G network, delivering more competition and new choice to customers like broadband, and opening new stores to an expanding customer base.

The completion of the combination remains subject to regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions and is expected to occur during the first half of 2019. Additional information regarding T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint can be found at: www.NewTMobile.com.

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/t-mobile-sprint-california-customer-service-center

Valley Children’s Hospital to open new Modesto medical center

• Official opening comes Friday
• A 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical center

Valley Children’s Hospital officially opens its new Modesto medical center on Pelandale Road on Friday. The Specialty Care Center, a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-theart medical center, is expected to bring more pediatric specialists closer to families who need care. Valley Children’s will continue to provide expert care in several service lines, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric neurology, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric orthopaedics.

Pelandale Specialty Care Center will help Valley Children’s meet the needs of families in Stanislaus County and nearby communities, and keep them closer to home and to their own primary care physicians.

Last year, providers at Valley Children’s former outpatient center saw more than 12,000 visits. That number is expected to grow
to more than 27,500 within the next decade.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/6149bd34-6f27-464e-8a22-0c1f1f9b73f1.pdfhttps://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/6149bd34-6f27-464e-8a22-0c1f1f9b73f1.pdf

Here’s why Foster Farms will be adding new jobs at its Livingston chicken plant

Foster Farms employee’s protest for better wages, affordable insurance, new contract
Employees at the Foster Farms Livingston chicken plant protested on Thursday, April 27, 2017, for better wages, affordable insurance and a new labor union contract. (Monica Velez/mvelez@mercedsun-star.com) 

MAGIC TOUCH: $3M ONLINE FRESNO BUSINESS BRINGS ILLUSION TO THE WORLD

Written By David Castellon

Paul Gross is vehement in stating his opinion on magic.

“There is no such thing as real magic. I can’t make you disappear for real,” the 63-year-old said.

That may seem an odd stance, considering the Fresno resident founded and owns Hocus Pocus, among the most prolific online vendors of magic tricks, props and paraphernalia in the country, selling everything from trick playing cards and how-to books to the various swords, escape boxes, restraints and other items used by amateurs to professional magicians.

What Gross doesn’t believe in is actual magic — love potions, spells, totems, the occult, etc. — that some people mistakenly believe his business can supply.

Gross’ stock in trade is illusion, in which the seemingly impossible is done through sleight of hand, mirrors, diversions and hidden compartments that all are explainable, if you know how the tricks work.

Gross believes in that sort of magic strongly, so much so that he has dedicated most of his life to it, first as an amateur turned professional illusionist by his teen years, then going into in the retail side of magic, initially opening a magic shop in Fresno in his late teens and a couple of decades later converting to a mail-order business and then to an online vendor of supplies, props and memorabilia with sales last year totaling about $3 million.

“If it wasn’t for the Internet, this business wouldn’t be where it is,” Gross said, noting that the vast number of YouTube postings and other online sources teaching people how to perform illusions has magnified the public’s interest in buying magic supplies and to see magicians perform, both of which benefit Hocus Pocus.

“We’re in a 30,000-square-foot building whereas we used to be in 500 square feet.”

Even the larger space in a nondescript Fresno industrial building barely has room to contain all of the items for sale.

The back portion of the building is a veritable museum to illusions, because besides selling new supplies and books, magicians, their families and their heirs often sell their old props and supplies to Hocus Pocus or consign the business to sell the items for them.

Need a guillotine or a basket to impale with swords after an assistant shimmies inside of a mock mummy’s tomb or a strait jacket or a big wooden box and saw for sawing a lady in half? Hocus Pocus might have one or more any given week and be able to pack and ship it to you.

Hollywood is a frequent customer, with studios often buying thousands of dollars worth of props and other magic-related goods to use in movies and television shows.

Gross’ magician clientele has included Mark Wilson — a staple of 1960s and 1970s television — Criss Angel and Shin Lim, last year’s America’s Got Talent television show winner. Hocus Pocus also sells the magic supplies Lim endorses.

“We’re open every day of the year, 24 hours a day, and we never close, and we have such a wide base. Thirty five, almost 40 percent of our [orders] go overseas,” Gross said. “We probably have an active member base of maybe 60,000 online members.”

A Fresno native, Gross began his love of magic at the age of 8, when his grandparents took him to a movie theater — back when they put on vaudeville-style acts before matinees — and he saw his first magician.

“He did three tricks, which I still remember to this day — got my grandfather up to help him [with one], and that was it. I got bit,” Gross recalled.

Back then, there were no magic shops in Fresno, so Gross ordered tricks and instructions on performing illusions via mail-order catalogues and later via trips with his parents to a San Francesco magic shop.

“I bought every single trick until I opened my own business,” said Gross, who got skilled enough that between the ages of 12 and 18 he worked paid gigs as a magician between school and working at the furniture store his father ran.

After high school, his father co-signed a $2,500 loan for him to open a magic, gag and novelty shop in 1973 in southeast Fresno, and while it did well, Gross closed it 15 years later because he had to take over running the furniture store his father had opened after he fell ill to cancer.

Nine months later, Gross said, he reopened the magic shop in Clovis, “and we ended up getting out of the furniture business, because it wasn’t my cup of tea,” after four years of running it.

In the years that followed, Gross changed locations and his business model, converting from a walk-in magic and novelty store to adding a side venture as a mail-order magic supplier in the late 1990s.

But that wasn’t a particularly fruitful change, as business by mail order went so badly that “we might have gone out of business after that first year.”

But that changed in 1999 after a friend introduced Gross to his first home computer, and he decided that online ordering and offering an online catalog bigger than what any other magic and novelty suppliers were offering on the Web was the way to go.

Business since then has been good, so much so that Gross stopped operating a walk-in store to sell just online.

“We probably have a thousand people a day visit our site. When we had a retail store, we probably didn’t have that many people visit us in a year.”

But Gross never forgot his brick-and-mortar roots. With no other magic shops in the Fresno area, people often walk into Hocus Pocus looking for tricks or advice from Gross or his son and partner, Max Gross, 26, who has never performed magic professionally but is skilled in many of the tricks the family business sells.

The two also spend a lot of time speaking with customers calling in for advice, “But they don’t always listen to me,” the senior Gross noted.

“It could be a thousand-dollar item, but what good is it going to do me to sell that to you if you’re going to get it and you’re not going to use it?”

https://thebusinessjournal.com/magic-touch-3m-online-fresno-business-brings-illusion-to-the-world/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=a5cecd36c1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_30_09_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-a5cecd36c1-78934409&mc_cid=a5cecd36c1&mc_eid=a126ded657

 

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, says study

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 04:51PM

Visalia has the most affordable homes in the state, according to a new study.

HomeArea.com looked at 142 California cities with a population of 60,000 or more, calculating what’s called the “median multiple” for each one.

The median multiple is the ratio of the median house price by the median gross household income.

Visalia’s median multiple is a 3.6, putting it at the top of the list for most affordable homes in the state.

Other Valley cities in the top 10 include Clovis and Bakersfield.

At the very bottom? The City of Newport Beach, whose median multiple is nearly three times higher than Visalia’s.

Central Valley EDCs Partner with Workforce Collaborative to Boost Business

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark Hendrickson, Chairman of Internal Affairs, CCVEDC Board of Directors

Phone: 209-385-7686

February 1, 2019

MERCED ­- California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation (CCVEDC) announced today it will receive a $50,000 contract with the Central California Workforce Collaborative (CCWC) in a collaborative effort to boost effectiveness in serving employers.

“This is a historic partnership between workforce and economic development in an area that encompasses a quarter of California.”  stated Lee Ann Eager, CCVEDC Chairman of External Affairs. “The Central Valley is a rapidly expanding region for business, and workforce is the number one factor in business success and longevity.”

The business engagement program will use existing economic development networks to deliver information on workforce programs, tax incentives and other resources that can maximize the competitiveness of businesses and the productivity of the local workforce and increase regional economic prosperity.

“The CCVEDC is proud to work hand in hand with our workforce development partners,” stated Mark Hendrickson, Chairman of Internal Affairs.  “This contract not only solidifies our collaborative relationship but also strengthens our position as California’s leading location for economic development opportunities.”

CCWC is comprised of eight (-8-) local Workforce Development Boards representing ten (-10-) counties of Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.

CCVEDC is a not-for-profit Corporation supported by the 8-county region in the Central Valley, PG&E and Central Calif/Central Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) Partnership, whose mission is to attract and retain jobs and investment in the Central San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern. For more information,  www.centralcalifornia.org.

Almond milk is booming. Blue Diamond will expand its Turlock plant to meet the demand