Category: New Location

Setton Academy for Industrial Robotics and Technology coming in 2021

Setton Farms has announced it will build a school in Terra Bella that will focus on industrial robotics and technology. The new school will be called Setton Academy.

In 2019, Setton Pistachio established a 501c(3) non-profit to develop and operate an industrial technology school. After a lengthy permitting process, the school was approved, and construction on Setton Academy began in summer 2020. DAYCO Construction and Industrial Design and Construction (IDC) are assisting with construction and materials. The school will be equipped with robotic and computer vision cells, as well as software development workstations for a hands-on laboratory experience.

“The school is a 501c(3),” said Setton Farms General Manager Lee Cohen “It’s an educational foundation that the family has set up to provide modern educational instruction in advanced industrial electronics and industrial robotics. We think that it’s a very effective way to change the trajectory of kids’ lives locally in Terra Bella.

“We are targeting students that are 18 to 23 year old high school graduates who we hope to basically give the requisite skills to change the trajectory of their lives to go into a pathway of industrial automation, which in today’s job market is very, very lucrative, high paying and very much in demand. The goal is really to go after the local kids who really wouldn’t have an opportunity like this.”

Once up and running, the Setton Academy will provide short certificate style courses that allow students to advance their education in industrial electronics, robotics and computer vision. The hands-on, module-based curriculum will be designed to focus on industrial automation control, robotics, computer vision and CAD design, and will allow students to learn at their own pace. The curriculum will cover subjects that match skills required in the broad industries throughout the Valley. All of the modules will be taught by industry professionals in a variety of methods ranging from live, hands-on instruction, to step-by-step videos and other interactive media modes.

“The school is going to be very modest and small,” said Cohen. “We’re going to try to take less than 30 students a year. If we can change the lives of 10, 20, 30 kids a year, over 10 years we’ll really have made a big difference in Terra Bella, and I think that’s the goal. The non-profit is going to be focused on providing access to these kids, providing very simplified and well designed curriculum, so that we can really utilize the state of the art of modern industrial robotics and technology, which really now is very accessible to these kids, because everyone of these kids probably has a smartphone and knows how software works, and I think the modern state of industrial automation is more accessible to them these days because of that.”

The goal of Setton Academy is its graduates acquire the necessary industrial technology and robotics skills to bring immediate value and productivity for employers who utilize production automation. If the school can achieve its goals, it could potentially change the pathway of its graduates’ lives from a minimum-wage, low-skill trajectory into a highly paid, high-skill, high-growth job trajectory.

“I think across the Valley, certainly in Agriculture, there’s of course ways of automation due to the difficult operating environment and higher costs across every aspect,” said Cohen. “I think nationally we will resort to automation to offset those costs in the long run, and I believe that, probably at this point in time, there aren’t enough educational institutions that are focusing on the people who will be operating, managing, interacting and designing this wave of automation that will be progressing through the Valley. I think it’s very within reach of all of these kids, absolutely. We just have to put together the right curriculum, the right delivery, the right program. So what we’re doing is bringing the education locally in town. They can walk to us. That’s the objective; this local education delivering really very market focused principles of education.”

Future goals for Setton Academy include developing a network of hiring companies that will source automation operators directly from the school.

“We are encouraging the community to get involved,” said Cohen. “We are looking for community members who can sit on a committee or some kind of advisory council. We want the community completely involved in this.”

The school is aiming to be completed by the summer of 2021.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/setton-academy-coming-in-2021/article_bf4b6b5a-ff48-11ea-8a87-4f3360aea47c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

 

Drive-in movies light up Merced County. Local group brings mobile cinema to Los Banos

Once a symbol of a bygone era, the drive-in movie has come roaring back in the Central Valley spurred on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, its ensuing shutdowns and subsequent desire for safe family outings. Now a local group is committed to bringing the concept to Los Banos and beyond. The Nightlight, a new mobile outdoor drive-in cinema and concert project, launches this weekend at the Los Banos Fairgrounds. Started by two cousins, one a valley native and one who spent his summers here growing up, the idea started when both saw their normal industries paused because of the COVID-19 outbreak. “We were reminiscing about early childhood movie marathon nights and we got an idea to get a drive-in together,” said Los Banos native Gia La Salvia, who is spearheading the project along with cousin Brian Perry.

Drive-in movies returned to Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties last month, with success and sold-out screenings. The Nightlight held an invitation-only preview at the fairgrounds last weekend, and opens it public slate this weekend Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13, with the beloved childhood movie “The Sandlot,” a 1993 coming-of-age classic about a group of friends who spend their summer playing baseball together. La Salvia works as a film producer in London, but when the coronavirus halted normal life and work, she returned to the region. Her cousin, Perry, works in construction in the Bay Area and also saw his work slow down. Together they have engineered a concept using shipping containers, available FM technology and the fairgrounds in Los Banos to recreate the classic drive-in experience.

https://www.modbee.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/biz-beat/article243430066.html

AMOR to break ground on $8M Mendota Health Center

Fresno-based nonprofit AMOR (Alliance for Medical Outreach & Relief) is hosting a groundbreaking next week for a health clinic and neighborhood resource center in Mendota. The two building, 20,000 square-foot clinic will provide youth, behavioral health and social services in addition to primary medical and dental care. It will also include a day care, public food pantry, nutrition education, specialty care, violence prevention classes, substance abuse counseling and parenting education.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/amor-to-break-ground-on-8m-mendota-health-center/

Ceremonial Groundbreaking Kicks-Off Construction of New F-35C Hangar

NAS Lemoore and Harper Construction Company Inc. leadership participated in a groundbreaking ceremony aboard NAS Lemoore, marking the official start of construction on a new F-35C Lightning II hangar. Building 360, known as “Hangar Six,” will be the second F-35C hangar at NAS Lemoore. This construction project began roughly four months after Harper Construction Company Inc., from San Diego, Calif. was awarded a $95 million dollar, firm-fix price contract for the new facility last September.

Hampton Inn and Suites coming to Porterville in 2021

Paul Jariwala, the general manager of Holiday Inn Express on Highway 190 put it best when it comes to the hotel industry. “There’s kind of room for everyone,” he said. Even though it will be in direct competition with the Holiday Inn, a Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton will be constructed at the 2.6-acre lot just to the east and of the Holiday Inn on Highway 190. The hotel will be the third one in that area as it will also join the Best Western Porterville Inn. The three hotels will continue to provide a need for people who travel Highway 190 to visit such attractions at the Sequoia National Forest.

NATION’S LARGEST SOLAR FARM PLANNED SOUTH OF PORTERVILLE

The nation’s largest solar farm is in the works south of Porterville. The big facility is planned on farmland with a water deficit, perhaps a glimpse of the future for some marginal ag land here. Tulare County released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) Feb. 14 announcing the big renewable energy project. Built on 3,800 acres scattered near the town of Ducor, the Rexford Solar Farm will be rated at 700 megawatts in addition to 700 megawatts of energy storage. The solar arrays would eclipse the state’s biggest solar farm in San Luis Obispo — the 550-megawatt Topaz facility built in 2011.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/nations-largest-solar-farm-planned-south-of-porterville/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=99b60615ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_17_08_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-99b60615ca-78934409&mc_cid=99b60615ca&mc_eid=a126ded657

Community Gets Preview of New $25M Oakhurst College Center

The community got a preview of the new $25 million Oakhurst Community College Center at a public forum this week in Oakhurst. Darin Soukup, Oakhurst Community College Center director, and project architect Paul Halajian were both on hand at the meeting to provide updates and answer questions from community members about progress on the project. Halajian also brought a scale model of the proposed 21,450-square-foot building to show around at the meeting. “This is what it’s going to look like, he said. “But it’s still a bit of a work in progress.” The current design features seven classrooms —  one for biology/chemistry lab plus a “prep” room, one art studio/classroom, one computer lab classroom and four general education classrooms that will also allow for 2-way simultaneous broadcast of courses from other locations in the District.

JAPANESE FIRM EXPLORES FRESNO AREA FOR US HEADQUARTERS

It’s not news to people in the Central Valley that we have one of the richest agricultural regions in the country and the world. The fertile soils of the San Joaquin Valley have been garnering attention from businesses in other countries — most recently, a well-established company from Japan. Manda Fermentation Co., Ltd., founded in 1987, is a health food manufacturer in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, whose flagship product, “Manda Koso,” along with other fermented foods, has been spurring interest in the United States.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/japanese-firm-explores-fresno-area-for-us-headquarters/

New bookstore to open in downtown Hanford

A local business owner is turning the page and opening a brand new bookstore in downtown Hanford. Running a business isn’t new for Janie Isidoro. She’s been managing a shop in Visalia, but as an author, she always dreamed of owning her own bookstore one day. “I’m a writer, so I had my books on my shelf, but then I started bringing in other books as well,” said Isidoro. When their building was sold, and they had to relocate last November, Janie decided it was time for a new chapter.

The CVBT Podcast: Bay Area manufacturer moves headquarters to Central Valley

For anyone who might have thought high-tech manufacturing cannot be found in the Central Valley, there’s a now-former San Francisco Bay Area company that might change one’s mind. It’s Jatco Incorporated, a plastic injection molding company that has packed up and moved its headquarters and main manufacturing plant to Modesto after some 40 years in the Bay Area.

https://www.jatco.com/