Leading Economic Development Profession
Toronto, ON., September 18, 2017: Tulare County Economic Development Corporation was recognized as one of the top 25 digital economic development organizations (EDOs) in North America at the 2017 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference. The annual Digital 25 reflects those organizations that best use digital technology to differentiate their communities online, and to better serve businesses.
The recognition comes from Community Systems, a company that develops websites and software to foster economic growth and tourism in communities across the world. The Digital 25 recognition is based on results from an annual survey of over 400 EDOs, analyzing how they use digital technology to drive growth and support community businesses.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized at IEDC as a digital leader in the economic development industry,” said Paul Saldana, President & CEO of the Tulare County EDC. “Embracing digital technology has helped the EDC save time, better serve businesses and create a better digital portal into the communities we represent.” The EDC is currently undergoing a major overhaul of its digital content and delivery systems, Saldana reported.
“We’re pleased to recognize these 25 leaders in the economic development community,” said Ben Wright, CEO of Community Systems. “These are some of the most successful EDOs in North America and we believe that’s a direct result of how they embrace and use digital technology to help businesses and community members.”
In July and August 2017, Community Systems surveyed 436 economic development practitioners about the importance they place on digital technologies, which technologies they’ve adopted, budget for technology as well as their overall attitudes about technology. Results showed how data driven technology is implementing positive change throughout the economic development community.
1,300 jobs coming to region
Faraday Future has announced it will lease the former 1 million square foot Pirelli Tire plant in Hanford for its new manufacturing facility. The facility, which has been vacant for more than 15 years, was ideally suited for Faraday as they abandoned their original plans for a manufacturing plant in Nevada, which was announced in 2015. "We are excited about another electric vehicle manufacturer coming to the Tulare-Kings County region" commented EDC President Paul Saldana, "companies like Faraday and Green Power Bus will lead the growth of a new industry in our region that will contribute new jobs and economic expansion throughout our communities" Saldana added. The Tulare County EDC, along with the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board supported the proposed site over other sites in consideration in California, as the economic impact would be positive for both counties and its residents.
GreenPower Motor Company didn’t just break ground on Friday for its electric-power bus manufacturing plant – it laid down roots.
The owners of the Vancouver, Canada-based company all expressed they had found a partner in the City of Porterville and they couldn’t be happier setting up shop, the first major green energy company to locate in Porterville.
GreenPower Chairman Fraser Atkinson made it very clear the company had found a home in Porterville, not just a location.
After telling how helpful and open the city staff was from the very first day they came into town in late 2015, to today, Atkinson said, “It was that kind of commitment and dedication that solidified” their decision to place their plant here.
Phillip Aldridge, company CEO who will head up operations in Porterville and one of the company’s founders and principal owners, told a crowd of more than 100 city officials, civic leaders, business people and citizens, “It’s been a long, long time in coming,” he said of the company that is just five years old.
“We’re excited,” he said, followed by saying he has moved his family from Canada to Springville where his wife will run the soon-to-be-opened Springville Inn.
Vice Mayor Brian Ward welcomed GreenPower to the city, “especially to celebrate the unique partnership that has been formed between GreenPower and the city.
GreenPower will build a 145,000 square-foot plant. It also plans a two-story, 6,000-square foot office at the same site on Hope Drive at the Porterville Municipal Airport. There, it will assemble all-electric buses ranging from 30 to 40 feet, including a beautiful double-decker bus that can hold 100 passengers.
The company also plans to build school buses, a new product line its announced this year, and Atkinson said they are also rolling out a shuttle bus which will come in 30-foot and 36.5-foot lengths.
Officials have said the company, which already began limited operations in a hangar across the street from its plant side, will employ about 60 people once the first phase of the new plant is completed. It will employ more as it finishes phases 2 and 3.
On top of GreenPower, Atkinson said they hope as many of their overseas suppliers come to Porterville as well. City officials confirmed a few companies have already begun looking for sites.
Atkinson said Friday he knows one supplier is looking and that supplier would be “a huge help to them.”
Friday was a day of celebration in more ways than one. As part of the festivities, the California Air Resources Board presented the city with a ceremonial check for $9.5 million, which will pay for Porterville to become the first all-electric city transit system in the nation.
“The Air Resources Board is very excited to be presenting this check to Porterville,” said CARB board member Alex Sherriffs, a physican in Fowler who is also a member of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
He said the electric-power buses are “especially important” in the San Joaquin Valley, home to some of the worst air quality in the nation.
“Tens of thousands emergency room visits and hundreds of premature births,” are caused by bad air quality, he noted.
With the buses, and hundreds more to come throughout the Valley, Sheriffs said, “We’ll be breathing easier in the months to come.”
Seyed Sadredin, Valley Air District Air Pollution Control officer/executive director, said Porterville has become the example for green jobs in the Central Valley.
“What’s doable in Porterville sets an example of what can be done in the San Joaquin Valley,” he said, congratulating both the city and GreenPower.
The grant will pay for 10 40-foot electric buses, with GreenPower providing an 11th bus for backup. That first bus could be delivered as early as late fall, assembled in the hangar before the plant is completed.
“Today is the start of a brand new endeavor of GreenPower and the City of Porterville working together,” said Brendan Riley, company president.
Area Development Magazine named the Visalia-Porterville-Tulare MSA as one of the 100 leading locations for 2017, the only Central California county to make the list. Area Development ranks all 394 MSA’s across the US on 21 economic and workforce indicators. Each MSA earned a ranking within each indicator, which helped determined the overall ranking for the 100 leading locations.
The Visalia-Porterville-Tulare MSA ranked 64th overall nationally, and number 18 of mid-size communities (population between 160,000 and 600,000).
“The fact that our region is the only area in Central California to make the top 100 confirms the strong economic performance of our economy and let’s decision makers know that we understand what businesses need to be successful” stated Paul Saldana, President & CEO of the EDC.
What is the Census of Agriculture?
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land - whether rural or urban - growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.
The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity.
Frequently asked questions about the 2017 Census.
Why is the Census of Agriculture important?The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the Census of Agriculture, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census of Agriculture, producers are helping themselves, their communities, and all of U.S. agriculture.
Who uses Census of Agriculture data?
Census of Agriculture data are used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities — federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations and many others.
How can I participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture?
Where can I access information about previous Censuses?
Presidential Memorandum Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing
The President issued a directive to the Secretary of Commerce to “conduct outreach to stakeholders concerning the impact of Federal regulations on domestic manufacturing”. The EDC looks forward to opportunities that improved and streamlined manufactures will have on the growth of manufacturing within Tulare County.
Many people in the water community have been asking me the same question these past few weeks – What will a Trump Administration mean for California water? No one knows the answer for sure, but as we move forward, as always, ACWA will stick to its core values. And the template for those core values is the coequal goals of advancing a water policy that benefits both California’s economy and environment.
I have worked in California water under five governors and now – with the election of President Trump – six presidents. These transitions are just part of life for those who work on public policy. ACWA, as an organization founded in 1910, has worked with many governors and presidents and with each administration, we worked to deliver reliable, safe water while preserving the environment. Now, we adhere to the coequal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem health, and use the 2009 Delta Reform Act and Gov. Jerry Brown’s California Water Action Plan as our road map for achieving those goals.
We will continue this endeavor under the Trump Administration, and being an optimist, I see this change in Washington as a chance to open new dialog on critical water issues as outlined in the CWAP. Issues include adequate storage, functional Delta conveyance, protection of watersheds and making conservation a way of life. Using a broad brush, here are some of the key issues and opportunities that lie ahead:
On her way out the door, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a six-point secretarial order outlining “timely actions” federal officials must take to address the effects of drought and climate change on California’s water supply and wildlife. ACWA likes many of the order’s main themes, others we are wary of. But I can say unequivocally that I wish Jewell and the Obama Administration had issued this order for “timely actions” in a more timely manner. We have been waiting for years for some action on these issues. But again, as an optimist, it is a positive sign that the order appears to send a signal to the federal government to develop a meaningful partnership with the state of California in resolving these complex issues.
As we move into 2017 with a new administration in Washington, we have an opportunity for a new era of collaborative problem solving and constructive partnership. We have the road map to success with the coequal goals and the California Water Action Plan. That vision is our future.
source: Association of California Water Agencies
California added 13,600 payroll positions in November, building on the upwardly revised 34,400 jobs added in October, according to Beacon Economics’ analysis of the latest release from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
While November’s gains fall below the average monthly gains over the last year, the state continues to outpace the nation in terms of year-over-year jobs growth. California payrolls expanded by 2.4% from October 2015, compared to 1.6% in the nation overall.
“California’s labor market has see solid gains throughout the year, although the pace of growth is somewhat lower than last year,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics. “And while the monthly numbers are somewhat mixed across the regions of the state, nearly all have seen sustained increases in yearly terms. The fundamentals of the state economy are sound, and growth is expected to continue into the new year.”
California’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3% in November, down from 5.5% one month earlier. The last time the state saw a 5.3% rate was over 10 years ago in June 2007. The driving force behind this drop has been more local residents finding work, with household employment growing by 47,000, outpacing the 15,300 increase in the state’s labor force.
It's Official: California is Getting Water
Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on California water legislation being signed into law as part of S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act:
“This is a great moment for California. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the House, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and our constituents to deliver the largest reforms to California water policy in 25 years. This water deal has been years in the making and was achieved by an unwavering commitment to our communities and state. This new law will help our communities receive more water this wet season and will help move forward storage projects that will define California’s bright future. We have not solved all of California’s water challenges, but this legislation is an incredibly positive first step. I look forward to getting back to work to build on these results. But in the meantime, I am proud to have played a role in this pivotal moment for our state’s future.”
Majority Leader Press Office
H-107 | The Capitol
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, analyzed by SYNEVA Economics of North Carolina, reports that the Visalia-Porterville MSA posted a 2.6% employment growth rate from October 2015 to 2016, ranking it above Fresno, Kings and Kern Counties. In fact, Tulare County is ranks #70 among the 387 MSA’s nationally. Comparatively, Kings County is 378, Fresno is 222 and Kern is 196 nationally. Data shows that Tulare County employment growth has exceeded the national average 25 of the last 26 months.
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