Category: Hi-Tech

Bitwise gets grant for job readiness program

Central Valley Business Times 

December 19, 2018

• James Irvine Foundation ponies up $350,000

 • “Unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make”

Bitwise Industries Inc. of Fresno says it has received a two-year grant of $350,000 from the James Irvine Foundation to help pay for its Geekwise Academy web developer job readiness programs.

The programs train unemployed and underemployed workers in the San Joaquin Valley for middle-wage jobs in the tech industry.

“The assumption that to be successful in technology, you must be a computer scientist in the Silicon Valley with a degree from a high-profile university, is one that has kept people in the Central Valley from exploring computer programming as a career,” says Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder and CEO, Bitwise  Industries. “We know that, if given an opportunity, unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make to the technology industry.”

One of the biggest problems facing the tech industry is the inabilityto find talent fast enough to keep up with demand. The purpose of Geekwise, theeducational arm of Bitwise, is to train software developers in Fresno. To date,Geekwise says it has educated 3,500 students and intentionally cultivated astudent population that is more than 50 percent female, 50 percent minority and20 percent first-generation immigrant.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/3834d3d7-5da2-43f5-aa83-1088bc4a2dc0.pdf

UC Merced working to open new management school

UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.By Nathalie GrandaFriday, December 14, 2018 04:18PMMERCED, Calif. (KFSN) –UC Merced is growing and changing and one of the biggest changes will be a new standalone business and management school.

The university is working to create a new interdiscplinary school, one that university officials are calling the “management school of the future”.

“We’re taking existing programs, putting them together and focusing them together on this complex system,” Gallo School Planning Initiative Director Paul Maglio said.

The new Gallo school will bring together educators from the schools of engineering, natural sciences and humanities to teach students under one main focus. The university is already known for its focus on research and science, and the new school will be incorporating those science components into their program.

“In a business school, you tend to focus on profit. In natural resources you tend to focus on the planet. In cognitive science, you tend to focus on people. We’re bringing all that together to have a sustained focus all at the same time,” Maglio said.

The university’s Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management already has graduate business programs.

Graduate student Taylor Fugere said the science-based business program is what drew her to UC merced, and she’s hopes a new school will bring more interested students.

“I think UC merced moving in that more specialized direction is going to be really helpful in people being able to explore different career options, and being able to have more opportunities for a hands-on educational experience.”

The process will take a few years. Ultimately, the new school will need to be reviewed and approved by several campus administrators, and the University of California regents. University officials hope to have the school in place by 2021.

https://abc30.com/education/uc-merced-working-to-open-new-management-school/4898598/

Fresno’s rising technology scene getting noticed

 

Inside an office space at Bitwise’s The Hive in Downtown Fresno, deals and orders are being made globally.

“I think Fresno it’s not just Fresno anymore, we’re global. I hope people realize that and go after more global clients and do more international business,” said Jennifer Kim, Blockheads Development & Marketing Founder.

Blockheads Development and Marketing, which specializes in blockchain consulting, solutions and marketing to help small businesses.
Kim and the company relocated from Chicago more than a year ago.

“One day I decided to the tour at Bitwise and I was hooked in and the community is great. Everyone wanted to support me. So I became a part of a bigger clan and got a lot of support. The facilities,” Kim said.

She had worked from home but chose to be a part of the startup ecosystem in Fresno.

Recently, Fresno was highlighted in a Global Startup Ecosystem Report by Startup Genome, which studied cities across America to see the environment for companies.

Bitwise Industries says about 50-60 companies have moved to Fresno since Bitwise began.

“You don’t start Silicon Valley on day one, but we’re beginning to see the potential. We’re seeing the sorts of resources needed to grow the technology industry in Fresno, but we have work left to do. We’ve got to support things like Bitwise and these collisions. We’ve got to continue to be welcoming to outsiders and do more and better in the technology industry,” said Jake Soberal, Bitwise Industries C.E.O.

Soberal believes new companies can create more jobs and economically help the Valley.

Bitwise has seen dozens of businesses relocate in the past few years and they think that that number will only go up.

HERE ARE THE VALLEY’S FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES

Published On November 9, 2018 – 7:00 AM
Written By Donald A. Promnitz
The past three years have been good to the staff at Lee’s Heating & Air in Fresno. In fact, at a 128 percent rate of growth between 2015 and 2017, the firm has become one of the fastest growing companies in the Central Valley.

For more information on the fastest growing companies in the San Joaquin Valley, please see The Business Journal’s annual list on page 10.

According to Tom Howard, the owner of Lee’s, this uptick in business can be largely attributed to customer service and reputation, along with upgraded software to connect with customers. Another big factor, however, has been the improvement of the economy, both nationally and locally.

“It allows homeowners to make upgrades that they haven’t been able to make before,” Howard said. “I think that the economy is doing a lot better in the Central Valley than it was in 2009 and 2010 — that definitely helped fuel the growth.”

Howard isn’t alone in his observation. According to Fresno State economist Ernie Goss, the Central Valley — which has previously lagged behind the rest of the state — has been making rapid progress in recent years.

“Now the catch up is really [sped] up, meaning the rate of growth has been positive for quite some time,” Goss said. “But the rate has definitely increased and relative to the U.S., it’s certainly stronger.”

In Goss’s research, he found that overall job growth in the Central Valley over the past 12 months has been 2.6 percent compared to the national average of 1.7 percent. Howard said that his own company has expanded its employment roster from approximately 26 in 2015 to about 50. Meanwhile, expanded business has given Lee’s the ability to pay tuition for his employees who are in college, along with their books.

Goss added that construction and manufacturing are two other sectors to watch. Construction is surpassing the national average with 8.3 percent job growth in the region, while in manufacturing, its 5.1 percent. Delano Construction, LLC of Fresno, which currently has a roster of 26 employees, saw a revenue growth of 208 percent.

The last three years have also proven successful for the solar companies in the region. Topping this industry has been Energy Concepts Enterprises, Inc., which went from revenues of $4.2 million in 2015 to $9.8 million in 2017, a rate of 132 percent. SunPower by Quality Home Services also saw growth of 90 percent in the same time frame, while in Visalia, CalCom Energy was up by 47.46 percent. According to Ryan Gutierrez of Energy Concepts, this has largely been the result of higher utility bills.

“Rates are continually going up,” Gutierrez said. “Solar offers a way for a customer to avoid rate increases by covering their own quest for energy.”

Goss said that tariffs on imported solar panels would further help domestic manufacturers.

Meanwhile, a law passed earlier this year mandating solar panels on new homes could also be good business when it goes into effect in 2020.

For some companies, however, growth isn’t necessarily facilitated by a growing economy. For example, BCT Consulting, Inc. of Fresno, provider of technology solutions, tends to be busier when there’s a dip in the market. This is because their company deals in the outsourcing of technology and helping clients find solutions that are more cost effective.

Nonetheless, BCT has grown by 27 percent. Eric Rawn, president and founder, credited this to acquisitions and mergers, along with community outreach and customer service.

“We don’t want to grow just to grow,” Rawn said. “We want to grow because it makes sense for everyone involved.”

In the months and years to come, Goss added that he has optimism for the future of the San Joaquin Valley. Though he stated concerns about immigration and the agricultural exports being impacted by the current trade war with China, he said the region has become increasingly appealing to the rest of the state.

“So there is the ability of some of those companies coming to Fresno and enjoying many of the benefits of California, but not many of the costs that we’re seeing in San Francisco, for example,” Goss said.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/here-are-the-valleys-fastest-growing-companies/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=612a341302-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_20_09_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-612a341302-78934409&mc_cid=612a341302&mc_eid=a126ded657

South Valley Industrial Summit

Join us Wednesday, November 14th for the
optional pre-summit workshops offered free of
charge to industry partners. Come and learn about
new technologies and processes.
Thursday, November 15th is designed to be a
full-day event that will feature vendor booths,
keynote speakers, and various breakout sessions
offered by industry experts and practitioners.
Keynote Speakers
 President & CEO, California Dairies
 Faraday Future
 Surf Ranch, Kelly Slater Wave Company
NEW! Optional Pre-Summit Workshops
Nov. 14
 Lean Principles
 ABB Inc in Robotics
 Variable Frequency Drive Basics & Control Methods
 Intro to Machine Vision
 Safety Solutions: Introduction to Automation Safety

Faraday Future announces mass hiring

 

JULISSA ZAVALA

Sep 12, 2018

HANFORD — Faraday Future officials welcomed newly hired employees Tuesday at its Hanford factory and have announced even more hiring efforts.

The announcement comes just in time, as the first pre-production FF 91 luxury electronic vehicle was recently built at the Hanford facility, which is located in Hanford’s Industrial Park.

Vince Nguyen, director of human resources and recruiting – product and technology at Faraday Future, said the company has hired around 100 employees to work in the Hanford facility and ultimately hopes to employ around 1,000 people by mid-2019.

 

Currently, Nguyen said a majority of the new hires have original equipment manufacturer (OEM) backgrounds and the company is looking for talented individuals who have experience in that area, especially locals.

“There really are a lot of genuine listings for Hanford on the corporate [website], so it’s not just a small part, there’s significant hiring going on right now,” said Matt Davis, senior manager, product communications.

Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle attended the announcement and spoke with the employees. When he asked the group of about 50 people how many of them had grown up in the Valley, a majority of them raised their hands.

Pyle told them he never would have expected a company like Faraday Future to locate in the Central Valley.

 

“We’ve got some big businesses here in the Valley, but I can tell you none of them generate the interest in Hanford that you have,” Pyle said. “You have not put Hanford on the map, you have put us on the globe.”

Pyle said the most exciting aspect is that this is only the first wave of employees to step into this new venture and he can’t wait for more people to jump at the opportunity.

https://hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/faraday-future-announces-mass-hiring/article_4314db09-7e81-5a85-8ceb-37d08404c14a.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

Where can you find self-driving cars?

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/

Faraday Future occupies Hanford factory

  • Updated 
Faraday Future Vidak
Senator Andy Vidak shakes hands with YT Jia, founder and global CEO of Faraday Future, at the company’s Hanford facility.

ANFORD — In another milestone for Faraday Future, the electric car company announced July 16 it was awarded a temporary certificate of occupancy for its Hanford factory.

The temporary certificate of occupancy is the first step in final approval required from building and safety inspectors before a new occupant can fully take over a site or structure, move in and start its intended activities full-time as a running business.

This latest development intends to keep the company holding on to its ambitious schedule to start production on its first product by the end of 2018, an electric luxury car called the FF 91.

The lease for the old Pirelli tire plant, a 1-million square foot site in Hanford’s Industrial Park, was signed in August 2017, with major cleanup and infrastructural preparation continuing through this summer. A building permit from the city was given in early June and contractor Bernards signed to lead the construction project.

At the Hanford City Council meeting on July 17, Community Development Director Darlene Mata said parts for over 80 cars to be made have been shipped into the factory.

Mata thanked her staff for all their hard work, especially chief building inspector Tom Webb, who she said walked Faraday Future through the entire process and made sure the inspections were performed.

“It was a team effort,” Mata said. “It was a huge achievement to get them that [certificate] in such a short amount of time and we look forward to continuing that relationship.”

Mata also commended the Faraday Future officials, saying they were collaborative, easy to work with and were always gracious and willing to work with the city toward finding solutions if something wasn’t working out.

Dag Reckhorn, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of manufacturing, said the temporary certificate of occupancy is a step forward and will allow for the ramp-up of assembly for the FF 91 prototypes in the most finished part of the Hanford site.

“The team effort here from all participants to get to this point is indicative of the spirit of this entire project and company,” Reckhorn said in a released statement.

Ayers said the city is appreciative that Faraday Future chose Hanford to produce the advanced automobile.

“The commitment Faraday Future has made to Hanford is matched only by Hanford’s commitment to the company,” Ayers said. “We anticipate a long and mutually-beneficial relationship.”

In turn, Jia said he was impressed by the city’s partnership and commitment with the shared goal of building the FF 91.

“This is a positive step toward delivering our first production vehicle on time,” Jia said in a released statement. “We are grateful for Hanford officials’ partnership in making the [Faraday Future] Hanford factory a top priority.”

Jia said Hanford’s location between Southern California and the Bay Area has several benefits, including being ideal for deliveries. He said city officials have been very collaborative and he’s pleased to be able to bring jobs and add revenue to the area.

“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,” Jia said.

Following the temporary certificate of occupancy, and as aspects of construction move ahead while building the initial prototype cars at the factory, Faraday Future is set to apply for the conditional certificate of occupancy and then the final certificate of occupancy for the first FF 91s.

Faraday Future hopes to create over 1,000 new jobs in the area when it reaches full operating capacity.

https://hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/faraday-future-occupies-hanford-factory/article_03346e86-6c5f-5d30-a2ae-1e57f31182df.html#tracking-source=home-top-story