Category: Distribution

Amazon to bring over 2,500 jobs to the Central Valley as part of widespread hiring spree

Amazon is recruiting more than 100,000 workers across the U.S. and Canada in anticipation of the holiday season, over 2,500 of which will be hired across the Central Valley.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, the company is adding over 4,000 jobs throughout Northern California, with 1,700 in the Sacramento area and 2,600 planned for the Central Valley. Brittany Parmley, a PR manager for Amazon Operations, said the Central Valley jobs will be available in Tracy, Patterson and Stockton. She added that jobs range from packing customer orders to positions in HR and finance within the individual buildings.

Wages will start at $15 per hour, Parmley said, and benefits like health and dental insurance, as well as a 401(k) match, will be available “on day one.” Select positions also come with a sign-on bonus of up to $1,000. Jobs are available for those with and without a college degree, and those interested can apply immediately on Amazon’s website. She also added that the company has an internal program available to employees called “career choice”, which helps workers get certifications in fields that they’re interested in order to set them up for their chosen long-term career paths.

The company’s most recent hiring spree is the fourth it has rolled out this year. E-commerce sales have skyrocketed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic as people were forced to stay home and limit their trips to physical retailers. Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, experienced a 40% revenue rise last quarter and the biggest profit in its 26-year-history. In March, the company added 175,000 new jobs across the region as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the globe.

Amazon has faced criticism surrounding worker safety during the pandemic, but Parmley said the company has implemented “hundreds of safety process changes” to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. She said warehouse employees are subject to regular temperature checks and that there are designated “social distancing ambassadors” in each building. There are acrylic shields partitioning workers and sanitizing stations throughout the warehouses, and Parmley said Amazon has doubled its janitorial staff.

The new job openings are available at 100 new warehouse and operations sites across the United States and Canada. As of June 30, the Seattle-based company employed 876,800 people, excluding temporary personnel and contractors. “Amazon is proud to be a part of the Central Valley community,” Parmley said. “We’re excited to welcome members of the community to apply for these jobs.

https://www.modbee.com/news/business/article245757780.html#:~:text=Amazon%20is%20recruiting%20more%20than,hired%20across%20the%20Central%20Valley.

Fresno agriculture company completes major expansion during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Despite a drop in demand in some markets due to the pandemic, a Fresno ag company has just completed a major expansion. Expansion at Baloian Farms in Fresno came at a good time with so many vegetables now in season – like mini bell peppers. They were picked, packed and then shipped out to stores across the US and Canada.

Company CEO Tim Baloian said, “There’s three major retailers that we’re working with right now on consolidation, and then we work with wholesalers and there’s been increased demand.” The cold storage space has been expanded and the loading area has doubled in size from eight to 16 docks. That keeps the product moving in and out of the facility. Additional big rig parking has also been added.

Baloian said, “We can back a lot more trucks in and get these orders out much quicker than without these facilities.” In addition to bell peppers, Baloian also grows lettuce, squash and egg plant in the Fresno area, all the way to the central coast to keep up with demand. Baloian explained, “We do a lot of these commodities on a year-round basis, loading them either in Fresno or in Nogales, Arizona so we try to build our business as a year-round supplier of certain commodities.”

The retail market remained strong but the struggles continued for ag producers which supply restaurants and school cafeterias during this pandemic. Baloian said, “The food service sector of our business, which is a big part of what we do, is still suffering and is still down.” Baloian Farms survived its trial by fire. In October of 1993, Action News was there as fire destroyed its warehouse. The company was able to not only rebuild but gradually expand over the next few decades. Baloian said, “It’s by the grace of God we’re still in business.”

https://abc30.com/agriculture-fresno-ag-central-valley/6397620/

BC begins to offer courses for students aiming to get a white-collar warehouse job

Kern County’s third largest industry, behind agriculture and oil, is distribution, and Bakersfield College has just begun offering courses to prepare students for management positions in the field. “Warehouse Management” is a business administration course now open for registration. It marks the first of five courses that the college plans to offer to students interested in working their way up the management ladder at the many distribution centers in Kern County. “We’re in the right spot, and we want to get them prepared,” said Gary Blackburn, a faculty member who will be teaching the course.

Kern County is the midway point between Southern California and Northern California. That makes it an attractive location for many distribution centers that have made their home here, including Ross Stores, Target, IKEA, Dollar General, Walmart, Caterpillar and Amazon. Altogether those centers add up to 35 million square feet of distribution, Blackburn says. He points to a Kern Economic Development Corp. report that puts Kern County within 300 miles of 14 percent of the U.S. population.

These distribution warehouses offer a lot of jobs. Blackburn says these distribution warehouses don’t tend to have a problem finding blue-collar workers here, but finding locals who are ready to take on the white-collar opportunities in management can be tougher. But he says there are opportunities for higher-paying jobs with room for advancement, and Bakersfield College’s new courses are aimed at putting them on that track. “That’s our niche,” Blackburn says. “That’s what this training is going to help them do.”

Blackburn says even just a few courses at Bakersfield College will put them in a better position to move up the management ladder, but he says students who want to continue their degree will be able to take courses at CSUB, which has a Supply Chain Logistics program he helped to get off the ground in 2011.

This semester he won’t be able to take students on field trips to show them how warehouses operate to give them hands-on experience the way he usually does. But he’s hoping that as the COVID-19 outbreak eases, he’ll be able to take students on site and have them meet guest speakers in the field for courses like “Operations Management and Lean Principles,” “Supply Chain Management,” “Purchasing and Contracting,” and “Transportation Management.” For that last course, he’s hoping to take students to the Port of Los Angeles.

This semester “Warehouse Management” will focus on “maximizing value in the modern warehouse, relationships in the supply chain, inbound and outbound product and processes, management systems, and safety.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bc-begins-to-offer-courses-for-students-aiming-to-get-a-white-collar-warehouse-job/article_2cceb956-ed89-11ea-90cc-07eb57d663b4.html

UPS & Amazon offer huge boost to Visalia Industrial Park

-September 9,2020-

After 2 years of construction activity United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to open their new 450,000sf distribution hub on Plaza at Riggin in the Visalia Industrial Park early next month. UPS spokesperson Kim Krebs says when it opens the “new Visalia package sortation and distribution center will create more than 625 new full-and part-time well-paying jobs.”

Contractors are packing up now after erecting the 88 acre complex that includes several outbuildings, a truck maintenance facility, fuel center, customer service center and entrance station besides the main tilt-up concrete building with its advanced package sorting conveyor system. UPS bought the land in summer of 2017 from CapRock Partners adding 30 acres last fall from the same party. But wait,as they say ..there’s more.

Right next door to UPS there is some surprise news from another mega-shipper. Amazon is the unnamed mystery logistics center that is now under construction with a 1.3 million square ft distribution center of their own – one of their “fulfillment centers” that typically employ 1000 or more. Amazon has not announced the Visalia project but the contractor on the job Gray Construction based in Kentucky is an Amazon contractor and at the job site today.The company secured the city building permit.

Blake Steel with Gray Construction says this will be the third Amazon center he has worked on and says they will be complete in 11 months. Some 300 construction workers will be needed during the busiest months of the Visalia project.

A typical scenario played out in Fresno with the distribution center built and open in less than a year. In Fresno’s case “During peak times, the fulfillment center ships over 1 million packages per day and has created over 3,500 jobs within the immediate area” says a report. If Fresno has one, Bakersfield too now has seen completion of a 4-story Amazon complex near their airport, expected to open September 6,according to the Bakersfield Californian.

The new general manager told the press there “This is one of the most advanced buildings that Amazon has,” he said, adding that the building — four stories, each about the size of 11 football fields — is the company’s 26th “fulfillment center” in California.” Make that the 27th – counting Visalia. Like UPS, Amazon is not just hiring robots to do the work. Amazon has more than 110 active fulfillment centers in the US and more than 185 centers globally. Now we are on the map

Property owner Newport-based CapRock Partners has been working on this 1.3 million “spec building” for over a year and just received City of Visalia approval to begin construction with grading of the empty site starting last week. Electric power to the site for construction is being added this week to the new address- 3315 N Kelsey.The building has a million sf at ground level and a 300,000sf mezzanine.

CapRocks’ President Patrick Daniels said he could not comment who the tenant was for the big building, what will be by far Visalia’s largest – almost 10 Costcos for comparison. Daniels has been working on their 640 acre industrial park – they call it the Visalia Logistics Center – since 2006 when he first visited Visalia drawn by developer Richard Allen and his successful effort to bring in VF Corp to Visalia in 2005. VF, a major local employer, is another big UPS customer who came to town because UPS ships by ground from Visalia to most of California in less time than almost all other competitive locations. Scores of other firms have suggested that is why, they too, chose Visalia.

With the coming of these two new shippers, the City of Visalia already is planning to widen Riggin from Plaza to Shirk in coming months as well as punching Kelsey north that will allow Amazon street access.The Riggin and Kelsey intersection will now be signaled. Riggin is already busy with truck traffic with the new connection to Highway 99 ( Betty Drive Interchange) that fully opened in the past year.

As for jobs at Amazon the Bakersfield location is a close model, offering warehousing jobs paying $15 to start, the company says, and full-time employees immediately qualify for comprehensive health benefits as well as a 401(k) program with a 50 percent company match. Amazon also offers to pay 95 percent of tuition for college courses in in-demand fields, regardless of whether that education relates to their current job with Amazon.

Amazon.com also said last week it received federal approval to establish a fleet of drones and will begin limited tests of package deliveries to customers in the U.S., although a number of key steps remain before widespread use of the technology will be allowed. Besides drones, both UPS and Amazon promises a green fleet of delivery vehicles based in the Visalia Industrial Park.

What will be the impact on government of a new Amazon logistic center here? A summary of Amazon’s 2019 U.S. taxes they reported includes:

•Over $1 billion in federal income tax expense.
•More than $2.4 billion in other federal taxes, including payroll taxes and customs duties.
•More than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, including payroll taxes, property taxes, state income taxes, and gross receipts taxes.
•Last year alone, Amazon collected and remitted nearly $9 billion in sales and use taxes to states and localities throughout the U.S. The recent enactment of “marketplace laws” by 40 states allows Amazon to legally collect state and local sales and use taxes on behalf of third-party sellers who sell their goods on their platform.

If Amazon is the golden boy company, UPS and their stock has been on a tear recently as well, propelled by a surge in e-commerce activity this year as a result of COVID. UPS stock has doubled since May.

UPS is developing more so-called super-hubs across the US handling more shipments using highly automated technology.The trend is continuing as demand for same-day service accelerates fueled by more internet shopping and door-to-door delivery. The company is gearing up for the holiday shipping season 2020 in Visalia a year earlier than Amazon will do here – for the holiday season of 2021. With all those internet orders a recent analysis expects that e-commerce will require more than 3x the logistics space of brick-and-mortar sales, according to 2019 data.

Global e-commerce sales are projected to more than double to $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to Statista. The Boston Consulting Group estimates U.S. e-commerce sales will double too, to $1 trillion, growing at six times the rate of all retail transactions.

Those projections came before the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted an explosion in online shopping by people avoiding brick-and-mortar stores because of stay-home orders or fear of being infected by the virus. Best Buy recently reported that e-commerce sales grew 242% from the year-ago quarter and now represent 53% of total sales. VF Corp recently posted e-commerce earnings enjoying a surge as well.

The side-by-side locations of UPS and Amazon in Visalia may encourage a mutual feeding frenzy in our future. Amazon is UPS’ largest customer, accounting for almost 12% of UPS’ $74 billion in revenue last year. Besides taxes, payroll and the job impacts of the double powerhouses of UPS and Amazon, the developments will clearly draw more companies to Visalia say officials. Already 5 more spec buildings are nearing completion within a country block of the two centers.

CapRock itself has 300 more acres just to the north of the Amazon/UPS sites and Fresno developer John Brelsford ,who already has a dozen tenant-filled big buildings in the industrial park, has 150 acres at the NWC of Plaza and Riggin. CapRock too has plans to build another 500,000sf spec building just north of Amazon.

The coming of all this new industry along the city’s northern edge is going to further juice homebuilding in this area and spur other development along Riggin that now ties to Hwy 99 – a continuous 4-lane artery.To the west of Plaza, Brelsford plans several million square feet of new industrial space and sources say Tevelde has long range plans to annex land not yet in the city north of Riggin,plenty more land almost to Hwy 99.

http://sierra2thesea.net/central-valley/double-double-combo-in-visalia

Despite economic hardships, almond industry continues to thrive

A recent report published by the Almond Board of California shows that despite a currently challenging trade environment, global shipments of almonds continue to increase as the industry navigates through tough times.

California almond growers are consistently producing crops at record or near-record levels year after year, meaning the industry must constantly work to expand existing export markets and continue to grow demand in those regions — while also keeping an eye on new opportunities at the global level. In the past year, the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with China’s continued tariffs, have continued to pose a problem for growers looking to move their nuts from California ports to export markets.

During the 2019-2020 crop year, California produced 2.55 billion pounds of almonds. Nearly 1.6 billion pounds were exported, while domestic shipments accounted for 774 million pounds. This represents nearly parallel growth between the two compared to 2018-2019, when domestic shipments grew 4.5 percent and exports grew five percent. The ABC credits this continued growth to the industry’s investment in nutrition research, as well as development of the global market.

The ABC expanded its nutrition research into the area of beauty in the past year, and is also building demand through consumer marketing programs in 11 countries, from India and Japan to the U.S. and Mexico.

“One of the things that I first noticed when I joined the Almond Board four years ago was the passion and pride staff have in helping grow this industry,” Vice President of Global Market Development Emily Fleischmann states in the report, “and that fire continues. It’s what has helped our teams launch innovative new campaigns like ‘Do You Almond’ in the UK this past year and what helps almonds remain the number one nut in new product introductions for 10 years running.”

Forthcoming partnerships include a campaign with Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings, a brand-new campaign in France and the ABC’s first digital program in India.

India received 256 million pounds of almonds from the U.S. in 2019-2020, followed by Spain (193 million), Germany (134 million) and China (99 million). Global trade tensions with China have changed the landscape of priority markets, according to the report.

“Five years ago, China was our second-largest export destination. It stayed as the third-largest market for several years, surpassed only by the strong growth of the Indian market,” said Julie Adams, vice president of Global Technical and Regulatory Affairs for the ABC.

Adams went on to explain that retaliatory tariffs implemented by China two years ago derailed progress that had been made, with the country previously poised to expand amid an increasing middle class and economic growth.

“Starting in April 2018, we saw the impact of the trade war, which took almonds from a 10 percent tariff to the current 55 percent tariff,” Adams said. “Over the last two years, shipments to China/Hong Kong dropped 25percent in crop year 2018-19 and another 23 percent in crop year 2019-20, with Australia benefiting.”

Although China has dropped to fourth in the line of top U.S. export destinations, the country is still key to building demand for expanded crop production. Many trade issues take a long time to resolve, Adams stated, but it is still essential to engage in positive interactions with difficult markets so that a solution can be found quickly

The report states that global appeal among customers and consumers worldwide is clearly reflected in the almond industry’s regional shipments, and that being well diversified helps counteract trade disruptions that can unexpectedly come up in one market or another. For example, India and China have historically been the primary destination for in-shell markets, but now India has absorbed much of those shipments.

In India, almonds are the number one ag import at $732 million, accounting for 40 percent of all U.S. ag exports to India. In the United Arab Emirates, almonds are the number one ag import and account for around 23 percent of total U.S. ag exports. “There are so many growth opportunities around the globe,” Adams said. “For years, the Middle East and Africa were a small share of exports, but now they represent almost 20 percent.” While acknowledging the many challenges facing California almonds, Adams also believes “the opportunities are limitless.”

https://www.turlockjournal.com/news/local/despite-economic-hardships-almond-industry-continues-thrive/#:~:text=A%20recent%20report%20published%20by,industry%20navigates%20through%20tough%20times.&text=During%20the%202019%2D2020%20crop,2.55%20billion%20pounds%20of%20almonds.

Former Sears warehouse in Delano will become home to 100 new distribution jobs

A former Sears warehouse in Delano has been purchased by a furniture and bedding company that plans to reuse the 1.2 million-square-foot building as a distribution center employing about 100 people within the next two years.

The purchase by Utah-based Malouf is the latest large distribution center deal in the valley portion of Kern County, where warehousing companies include Amazon, Walmart and other large national retailers. Terms of the transaction announced Wednesday were not disclosed. Malouf said in a news release the building will expand its ability to offer next-day shipping in the western United States. It stated it was pleased to operate in “an area with an excellent labor pool with a strong work ethic” and that it plans to begin using the facility later this year.

Occupying nearly 166 acres, the building at 1700 Schuster Court has 185 dock doors, an extensive conveyor system and storage racks. The seller of the property was represented by Stephen Haupt with Colliers International. Malouf was represented by Eric Dienstbach with Binswanger. “The Sears facility in Delano seemed to be a perfect fit with existing racking, conveyors and equipment,” Haupt, a local senior vice president at Colliers, wrote in an email. “Malouf will be a great asset to Kern County, creating 100 new jobs, building on Kern County’s successful job created by recent additions of Amazon, Dollar General, Loreal, Ross Dress-for-less and Walmart,” he continued. “I was happy to involve Melinda Brown, with the (Kern Economic Development Corp.), to assist the Malouf with local and state contacts and incentives. The KEDC is always a great partner and resource when working with potential clients.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/former-sears-warehouse-in-delano-will-become-home-to-100-new-distribution-jobs/article_42763f92-bbeb-11ea-aff4-5f1fe79de5ff.html

New Stockton Amazon facility will create hundreds of jobs in SJ region

STOCKTON – There were smiles all around Tuesday as the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved a lease with e-commerce giant Amazon to develop property at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport, creating hundreds of jobs and bringing significant new activity to the region. “This is great for the county, great for jobs and great for the airport’s expansion,” Supervisor Tom Patti said following a presentation of the lease proposal by Airport Director Russell Stark at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Stark said the development is expected to generate 240 jobs for Amazon.com Services LLC, the company that will support Amazon at the airport. Amazon already has several large distribution centers in the region, making it the largest private sector industrial employer in San Joaquin County. The services company will lease 9.569 acres from the county-owned airport in order to build a $10-15 million, 56,000-square-foot building, along with parking for trucks and employees. The building will allow Amazon to more than double the current capacity of cargo that can be processed at the airport.

Amazon began operations there in 2016, using multiple air cargo service providers to transport products to and from it site in a temporary 20,000-square-foot sprung structure. To date, Amazon has moved 205,830 tons through the airport, according to Stark.

The initial term of the lease is five years, with nine five-year options for a total of 49 years providing the airport with $54,187 in annual revenue, or $270,937 over the first five-year period. The agreement includes a 5% escalator every five years until year 21, and, if the options are exercised, a fair market value assessment will be conducted and the rent will be adjusted according to the assessment findings. In addition, the airport will see an estimated $300,00 in annual revenue generated through increased fuel flowage fees and landing fees. The future calls for expanding daily aircraft capacity to eight large cargo jets.

https://www.recordnet.com/news/20200722/new-stockton-amazon-facility-will-create-hundreds-of-jobs-in-sj-region

FRESNO COMPANY ACQUIRES PRODUCT LINE FROM GLOBAL BEHEMOTH

Published On July 1, 2020 – 3:05 PM
Written By The Business Journal Staff

Vie-Del Co., one of the largest and the oldest grape processors in the U.S., has announced it intends to acquire Constellation Brands U.S. Operations, Inc. (CBUSO) grape concentrate and high-color concentrate business. Under the agreement, the terms of which were undisclosed, Vie-Del, which is headquartered in Fresno, will be acquiring CBUSO’s Mega Purple, Mega Red, MegaNatural, and Canandaigua Concentrates brands used in the high color concentrate business. The agreement also includes CBUSO’s certain intellectual property, inventory, goodwill, interests in certain contracts, assets and liabilities.

Vie-Del plans to incorporate the MegaNatural High Color concentrate produced under the corporate Vie-Del Co. brand and legacy product lines. “This acquisition provides a seamless complement to our existing lines of grape juice concentrates, allowing our operation to further build upon the success we’ve created for more than 70 years,” said Dianne Nury, president of Vie-Del Company. “We look forward to continuing to serve the needs and help fuel growth for our industry partners with the same personalized business approach our family-owned company has become known for.” Constellation Brands is one of the largest distributors of beer, wine and spirits in the world.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/fresno-company-acquires-product-line-from-global-behemoth/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=ee924e4a35-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_07_01_09_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-ee924e4a35-78934409&mc_cid=ee924e4a35&mc_eid=a126ded657

Malouf Expands Distribution Network to 5.3 Million Square Feet with Acquisition of California Property

LOGAN, Utah—Malouf™ recently acquired a new warehouse distribution property in Delano, California. The strategically located building adds 1.2 million square feet to the company’s distribution network and will allow the company to better serve its clientele in the Western United States. “Based on feedback from our retail partners, we know that efficient shipping and proper inventory levels are essential to their success,” said Malouf™ VP of Sales Mike Douglas. “As our company continues to grow, we will strengthen our capabilities to meet our customers’ needs.”

The new warehouse is fitted with a storage racking system and 185 dock doors, and miles of conveyers connect through the building to promote increased productivity and efficiency. Prior to the acquisition, the facility functioned as a distribution center for Sears. With this new property, Malouf’s distribution centers total 5.3 million square feet, and the company can now offer next-day ground shipping to 35 percent of the continental United States. Ryan Egbert, national director of distribution for Malouf™, commented, “With an ever-evolving product mix and the addition of Salt Flat furniture, this new facility provides ample space for future growth and allows us to increase our outbound capacity for our customers.” With the acquisition, Malouf™ also expects to create 100 local jobs within the next two years. Egbert explained, “We’re excited to be in an area with an excellent labor pool with a strong work ethic, and we look forward to welcoming them to our family.”

Malouf™ is currently preparing the building for operations and plans to start shipping product out of the facility later this year. The company will transition the majority of its West Coast distribution to California. Malouf™ was represented by Eric Dienstbach with Binswanger, and the property owner was represented by Stephen Haupt, an industrial specialist with Colliers International.

https://kernedc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Malouf%E2%84%A2-Expands-Distribution-Capabilities-with-Acquisition-of-California-Property-2.pdf

California’s Recovery Must Focus on its “Essential” Central Valley

California State Assembly, 34th District

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Crises have a way of revealing what’s important. And Californians adjusting to life in the age of COVID-19 are learning the importance of the Central Valley. The Central Valley is home to many parts of the economy that continue to operate during the crisis producing products and providing services that we all rely on. It’s a place where food is grown, where warehouses and fleets of trucks distribute essential goods, and where the energy to power our state is made. Without these things, Californians would not be able to persevere through this pandemic.

The question Governor Newsom and the rest of the state’s leaders must ask themselves, does California have a future without essential places like the Central Valley? This crisis is proving once and for all that our state’s recovery can’t fully take hold unless we support essential regions.Right now, we recognize the everyday heroes of this crisis in the Central Valley and throughout California. However, over the years, the State of California has imposed challenges on these same professions from expensive mandates and complex rules that hinder the growing of our food and delivery of products. That can’t continue. Post-COVID-19, our laws must change to reflect our new reality.

Governor Newsom convened a task force charged with developing strategies for economic recovery, both short-term and long-term. It’s vitally important that this task force, which is dominated by individuals who represent large urban areas, provide adequate attention to the importance and needs of essential Central Valley industries. In a head-scratching decision, the co-chair is former Democratic presidential candidate, Tom Steyer, who wants to eliminate entire industries like oil and gas. My hope is the task force can aside old political agendas, and find a new way forward.

Like the rest of California, the Central Valley is hurting from unprecedented job losses. Many workers in the energy industry are out of jobs due to the downturn in oil prices, farms are hurting from lost demand from restaurants, and countless entrepreneurs are unsure if they will ever open their doors again. Short-term, the top priority must be supporting businesses, especially small ones, because people need to get back to work first. The best place to start is a moratorium on new state regulations, taxes or fees on businesses unless they are a COVID-19-related. Hitting the pause button will benefit the job recovery in the entire state, not just the Central Valley. If we want jobs to bounce back, the state needs to do everything in its power to reduce burdens so local businesses can rehire and expand.

Long-term, California is fortunate to be home to the Central Valley that feeds not only our state but the world. The state can’t continue to ignore the needs of agriculture and the importance of having a local, reliable food supply is. Sacramento needs to deliver on overdue water solutions for Central Valley farmers and create more sensible regulations that preserve the environment while keeping us competitive with other countries. This is also an opportunity to bolster domestic manufacturing in the Central Valley and other inland areas, so we are never dependent on foreign suppliers for crucial things like medical equipment. Those priorities will both create jobs and make our state more resilient to future disasters.

The COVID-19 crisis is a reminder of how reliant other parts of the state are on their inland neighbors for food and other essential goods. The resilience of our food supply and proximity to California-grown food has allowed grocery store shelves to stay stocked, but what if those shelves went empty? Other parts of the US are preparing for food shortages, but local supply chains have spared us similar shortages. That may not always be the case in the future if inland areas remain neglected by Sacramento. There are a lot of lessons to learn from the COVID-19 crisis, and none more important than realizing what’s essential. What’s clear is that the Central Valley’s success also is essential for California’s future and recovery.

Assemblyman Vince Fong represents the 34th California Assembly District which includes portions of Kern County.

http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2020/05/californias-recovery-must-focus-on-its-essential-central-valley/