Rod Jurbina remembers a time, perhaps just 15 years ago, when there wasn’t much to see in parts of Visalia’s industrial park. At the time, he was working for a gas company. “We put in a four-inch plastic gas main in there and I was asking myself, ‘I wonder why they need this here because there’s really nothing out here for now,'” Jurbina said. “And now look what it’s developed into.” In a January economic update, city employees describe an industrial park that is growing substantially. The reason for the growth? The city says it’s multiple factors, including the cost and availability of land, Visalia’s central location in the state, and the expansion of the UPS’ ground hub at this massive facility at Riggin Avenue and Plaza Drive.The city expects UPS will add another 250 jobs but predicts it will also spur new development and more jobs.
In the Central Valley, only Sacramento County had a jobless rate less than the state’s average. Adjacent Yolo County was at the state average while all other Valley counties had unemployment rates greater than the state average. The job gains in December contribute to a record job expansion in California of 118 months, surpassing the long expansion of the 1960s. California has gained 3,422,900 jobs since the current expansion began after the bottom of the Great Recession had been reached in February 2010, accounting for more than 15 percent of the nation’s 22,688,000 job gain over the same timeframe.