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California, a Chameleon that Stands Out


The Golden State has a proven ability to adapt. The difference is that California tends to change before its background, causing the state to stand out and lead rather than follow unnoticed.

Home to eight of the nation’s fifty largest cities and with an area of 160,000 square miles, California is the third largest state in the United States. And with more than 36.5 million residents, it is the  most populous. California’s climate and geography is so varied that it’s almost impossible not to find a location to suit. From the mountain ranges of the east, the desert areas of the southeast, and the fir forests of the northwest to the Pacific Coast, California is one of the most diverse parts of the world—it also is one of the richest.

The state is responsible for 13 percent of the U.S. Gross domestic product (GDP). It has one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world; is the number one state for attracting foreign direct investments; leads in technological innovation; and leads in research and development (R&D), receiving almost half of the nation’s venture capital (VC). The “Golden State” is also the center of the entertainment industry and has a great tourism sector (more than $97 billion in revenue). Significant economic regions include Hollywood (entertainment), Southern California (aerospace), the Central Valley (agriculture), Silicon Valley (computers and high tech), and wine producing regions such as the Carmel Valley and Paso Robles areas.
Whether transporting tourists, commuters, residents, or cargo, the vast terrain and robust economy of California is globally connected with world-class infrastructure. There is an extensive system of freeways, expressways, and highways; rail networks and bus lines; several significant seaports; and major airport hubs that include the Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) International Airports. Some avenues of transportation have even become landmarks and tourist hotspots. Be it biking, jogging, walking, or driving, it is estimated that nearly 16 million people from around the world visit San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge each year, all year long.

California is home to hundreds of colleges and universities—including Stanford University, University of Southern California (USC), and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)—nine of which are in the top 100 of Forbes’ List of America’s Best Colleges. Residents of the state have the highest life expectancy in the country and its cities are ranked among 2009’s U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to Live”, CNN Money Magazine’s “America’s Best Small Towns” and Relocate-America’s™ “Top 100 Places to Live.” Whether it’s to attend the schools, advance the technology, ride the cable cars, drive the coast, surf the waves, climb the mountains, swim the shores, see the stars, or taste the wine, California has something for everyone.

Golden State Turns Green

The total GDP per unit of energy is 68 percent higher in California than in the rest of the nation, generating billions of dollars for the local economy. Efforts toward energy efficiency and green technology have been one of the state’s most important economic development programs. And, as the recession starts to fade and companies make decisions about where to locate and expand, California is well positioned for those that want to realize operational cost savings and tap into one of the greatest consumer bases in the country, with some of the strongest workforce talent.

As one of the best sites for lots of uninterrupted sunlight, California is a prime place for solar and geothermal power. “Solar is an emerging economic engine, creating thousands of jobs, unleashing billions in investments, and building new factories nationwide,” says SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) President and CEO Rhone Resch. “With the right policies, solar deployment will continue growing and create thousands of new green-collar manufacturing jobs.”

California has been working to support existing industries and foster new ideas. Its history of innovation shows a proven past that will lead to a sustainable future. California’s resources and record for coming out on top can only lead us to believe that the best is yet to come and this state will help build it.

Rancho Cucamonga: Southern California Standout

The City of Rancho Cucamonga has continued its forward momentum over the past year, further solidifying its robust rebound-ready status. Historically, the City has had a reputation as a community with a well-rounded general plan and the results of that plan are clearly visible today. While there has been a general slowing of the local economy, there are several ongoing activities that support the fact that the City is definitely ready for the upcoming economic rebound.

Rancho Cucamonga has numerous Class “A” office locations ready for occupancy, including:
• Vintner’s Grove: a 138,000-sq. ft., master-planned office and medical   campus, including a 100,000-sq. ft. building and smaller buildings ranging   in size from 4,276 to 4,690 square feet.
• One Town Square: a planned four-story 90,673-sq. ft. building. This   mixed-use project features upscale apartment homes and work-live units,   as well as a full compliment of restaurants and services. Each floor   includes a 22,668-sq. ft. environment.
• Rochester Park: a medical/office campus that consists of 14 freestanding   one-story buildings ranging in size from 3,927 to 8,833 square feet that are   for sale or lease.
• RockHaven Professional Center: features eight freestanding buildings that   include two 7,500 square foot one-story buildings. The development also   includes six two-story buildings, ranging in size from 11,000 to  14,000   square feet. These buildings are for sale.

Companies such as CO-OP Financial Services, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Corvel Associates and Wachovia Corp fully understand the benefits of having a Rancho Cucamonga address.

Rancho Cucamonga is proud of its long-standing reputation of being a major hub for distribution, logistics, manufacturing and R&D operations in the Southern California region. The City’s advantageous centralized location provides easy access to several major interstate highways, railways, an international airport and the busiest shipping container port in the United States. Rancho Cucamonga’s prime location makes it cost-effective for businesses of all types to connect with the world. Over the years, major companies including Big Lots, Kumho Tire USA, General Motors, Bradshaw International (Good Cook brand), Sunwize Technologies and Beauty 21 Cosmetics (LA Girl brand) have selected Rancho Cucamonga as the ideal location for their headquarters, sales and distribution centers.

Currently, an unusual and notable opportunity exists in the City. The largest distribution building in Rancho Cucamonga is available for lease. This structure is 573,000 square feet in size and features main and warehouse office spaces, an ESFR sprinkler system, 4,000 Amp electrical service, T5 warehouse lighting, 86 dock high doors, a 183-foot secured concrete truck court, and 75 trailer parking stalls. An opportunity of this size and with these features is rare, and the fact that this building is ideally located in Rancho Cucamonga makes it an even more desirable opportunity.

Working diligently to make certain that businesses of all types have a well-matched local workforce from which to draw, Rancho Cucamonga has seen the addition of several educational resources. These include a community college and two university satellite campuses along with the internationally recognized Universal Technical Institute (which provides automotive training). Surrounded by well-known research-oriented universities and colleges, including the University of California Riverside and the Claremont Colleges, the overall interest in advanced training and education of the people who live and work in Rancho Cucamonga is further heightened.

During the past decade, a wide-variety of economic and quality-of-life factors have had a positive impact on the face of the workforce in the City. Rancho Cucamonga has seen a steady growth in the number of highly educated and highly-skilled managerial, technical and executive level professionals who have become residents. Recent research shows that more than 30% of Rancho Cucamonga’s residents hold advanced degrees in a variety of disciplines and they also have a strong desire to work closer to home. This desire is so strong in fact, it is supported by City research that shows, in many cases, these resident/employees may be willing to work for up to 8 percent less than employees in other regions in order to work closer to where they live.

Businesses that have chosen to locate in Rancho Cucamonga are able to take advantage of many programs to grow their company’s workforce and improve their bottom line. For example, the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency, in conjunction with its resource partners, can offer companies financial assistance in the form of training support for both new and existing employees. The Agency can help provide access to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for local companies seeking training dollars to upgrade the skills of new or existing employees. Training programs can also be designed to fit specific company needs.

If a prestigious address and a diverse and highly skilled workforce are important to the success of your company, contact the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency at [email protected] or call (909) 477-2700. To learn more you can also visit the Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency site at www.RCRDA.us for comprehensive business and community data.

Riverside Embraces a Clean, Green Model

The City of Riverside has been pleased to welcome and support the local establishment Wild Rocket Foods, one of the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient food processing and distribution plants in the world. The company operates a 130,000-square-foot facility in Riverside, with over 300 employees, most of whom have full-time benefited positions. Wild Rocket Foods specializes in produce-related products including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pre-packaged convenience foods such as ready-made salsas, juices and salads.

As the first Emerald City designated in California by the Department of Conservation, Wild Rocket Foods was a perfect fit for Riverside, with a business model that embraces a philosophy of sustainable, environmentally conscientious practices and a bold commitment to reducing the use of limited natural resources and lessening negative impacts on the environment. Eighty percent of both Wild Rocket waste and the containers used for storing and shipping are recycled.

The City of Riverside’s business-friendly plan review and permitting system played a vital role in getting Wild Rocket Foods up and running quickly. Riverside offers conveniences such as a single point-of-contact through our Economic Development team and Fast Track permitting to qualified projects. Working with this umbrella of City staff cooperation and assistance, Wild Rocket Foods got off to a great start, meeting aggressive deadlines and taking their project from permitting through equipment testing and employee training to a grand opening only 7 months after the first pre-development meeting.

The success of Wild Rocket Foods in Riverside, from development and construction to day-to-day delivery of quality produce in neighborhoods throughout the city, is a clear example of Riverside California’s commitment to encouraging the best business practices and shaping our future in positive, proactive ways.

Moreno Valley has Business on its Mind

Ideally situated at the junction of State Route 60 and I-215, Moreno Valley is one of the Inland Empire’s best locations for a new business or development. Moreno Valley is the fourth largest city in the Inland Empire with an ample job-ready workforce, and continues to be a leader with a wide array of business or development opportunities.

The City’s location in the Inland Empire market is strategic with excellent access to logistics hubs for air, land and sea transportation; proximity to designated trade routes; and millions of square feet in available, entitled build-to-suit, or planned industrial or business park opportunities.

Ontario International Airport can be reached in 30 minutes, fulfilling both cargo and passenger service needs. An inter-modal rail facility is just 18 miles away and the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are in close proximity. The transportation network also includes easy access to major highway corridors connecting California to the rest of the West.

Moreno Valley anchors the “I-215 Corridor” that stretches from State Route 60 to Interstate 15. Office and industrial developments in cities along this corridor are destined for success as international trade expands, industrial space in the coastal counties grows scarce and our well-educated workforce becomes ever more eager to work close to home.

A variety of nationally recognized development firms currently have 23 million square feet of state-of-the-art office and industrial projects under development, many with campus-like amenities. For example:
• Ridge Property Trust- Centerpointe is a 9-builiding development on 125 acres with available building sizes ranging from   80,000 to 780,000 square feet.
• First Industrial Realty Trust is developing six buildings with sizes ranging from 191,000 to 1.5 million square feet.
• Prologis has 2.3 million square feet in 5 buildings proposed along State Route 60
• Skechers USA and Highland Fairview Properties have a planned 1.6 million-square-foot development for an upscale   business park.

Moreno Valley’s expanding medical office market stems from successful RCC/ Moreno Valley Community College’s Allied Health sciences programs, the City’s two major hospitals and nearby University of California, Riverside’s School of Medicine, scheduled to open in 2012.

With a growing population of nearly 200,000 and an eager workforce, the City’s can-do attitude has inspired a number of Fortune 500 companies to choose Moreno Valley for business facilities. Harmon Kardon, Lowes, Minka Lighting, O’Reilly Automotive, Philips Electronics, ResMed, Ross Dress For Less, Serta Mattress, Supreme Industries, U.S Postal Service, United Natural Foods and Walgreens have selected Moreno Valley as a place to do business.

The City of Moreno Valley partners with Riverside County’s Workforce Development Center to provide employee recruitment and training services and incentives that save time and money.

Moreno Valley boasts a lifestyle that includes a full range of outdoor and recreational amenities as residents enjoy a variety of quality places to dine, shop, play and relax in lifestyle and neighborhood centers. A Moreno Valley address also provides residents and businesses access to public and private universities and colleges; access to world-class healthcare facilities; and has a variety of quality housing options in a wide array of product types and pricing.

Firms looking for an exciting business opportunity should contact Moreno Valley’s Economic Development team at (951)413-3460 or [email protected]

Alternative Energy Powers Jobs in San Joaquin

The San Joaquin Valley is strategically positioned in the nation’s biggest market for alternative fuel vehicles.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) pioneer Electric Vehicles International (EVI) recently announced its upcoming move to the city of Stockton in San Joaquin Valley, as EVI’s worldwide headquarters and primary U.S. manufacturing facility. The new plant will create more than 100 local jobs.

Founded in 1989, the company had since been headquartered in Toluca, Mexico, with a sales and marketing office in Austin, TX. To date, EVI, a veteran in the alternative fuel vehicle sector, has sold more than 1000 electric vehicles. EVI provides its customer base with a vertically integrated approach to their needs.

The company’s flexible and scalable in-house powertrains are matched to leading industry standard chassis and cabs. EVI, which provides its own motors and controllers, also has a strategic alliance in place with Valence Technology for lithium phosphate batteries. Using industry standard chassis and cabs gives our customers the nationwide support and service that they demand.

EVI has made investing in a new technology low risk and desirable by combining state-of-the-art-technology with existing infrastructures. The President and CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership, Michael Locke, says: “The commitment by EVI to a new facility in Stockton, California, is a major step forward in reaching California’s Green initiative. The San Joaquin Partnership is pleased to have been a part of the project team to support EVI’s investment in Stockton.”

EVI has developed, tested and matured its technology in Mexico for years, as the U.S. truck market prepared for the most recent wave of alternative fuel cars and trucks.

“This is the time,” says CEO Ricky Hanna, “for us to make the move into the world’s single biggest and most important market for electric commercial vehicles. We have the tried and tested technology the USA has been waiting for. Stockton’s location, its logistics capabilities and its pro-business environment mean we will have better and faster access to all key markets and more space and freedom in which to grow.”

By the end of 2010, Hanna envisages the local workforce at EVI to grow to well over 100 people, sourced from local San Joaquin County.

Manufacturing of new models is expected to begin in early 2010. More news on EVI can be found on EVI’s website at www.evi-usa.com. Media contact Axel E.

Sacramento: Capital of the Eighth Largest Economy

The Sacramento region, long known as the capital of the largest state in the Union, is also becoming known as the capital of the eighth largest economy in the world. The six-county Sacramento region boasts 2.3 million residents, two major research universities and multiple community colleges and training schools, hundreds of growing companies and an educated workforce.

Once known primarily for being the capital of California, Sacramento has now come into its own as a thriving metropolitan area. Home to companies like Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Aerojet, NEC Electronics America Inc., Siemens Transportation Systems and Agilent Technologies, the Sacramento Region is growing its private and technology sectors to match its public sector.

Two recent company announcements best illustrate Sacramento’s business friendly climate. During the summer, Nestlé Waters North America announced that it is locating a bottling plant in Sacramento. Based in Switzerland, the company will make the Sacramento plant its North American headquarters. Nestlé Waters distributes 15 of the nation’s best-known bottled water brands, including Perrier, Calistoga and San Pellegrino. The company now joins other product giants already located in Sacramento: Campbell Soup, Blue Diamond Growers and Proctor & Gamble.

Another recent announcement came from Numonyx B.V., a flash memory supplier founded last year as a joint venture between Intel Corporation and STMicroelectronics. The company announced that it was leasing 96,000 square feet and moving 450 employees from their temporary space at Intel into the Folsom Corporate Center, located in a suburb of Sacramento. This is a prime example of a new company spinning off an existing company—and deciding to stay in the area.
One of the factors that helped keep Numonyx in the Sacramento area was their relationship with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Sacramento’s local customer-owned electricity provider. In addition to offering competitive rates and reliable service, SMUD offered a healthy menu of energy efficiency incentives. As part of its “Savings By Design” program, SMUD was able to incentivize energy efficiency in the company’s new building, a “build-to-suit building” leased to them by the Evergreen Company. When completed, Numonyx will realize electricity savings from water cooled equipment, oversized cooling towers and “economizer” cooling alternatives, cooling more efficiently than the standard mechanical system that builders would normally provide. The 24-hour facility will have very high cooling demands due to high internal equipment loads.

Recent California legislation creates a fertile environment for growth of the clean tech industry sector. Senate Bill 1—Governor  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous “Million Solar Roofs” legislation—provides healthy incentives to growth of the solar industry. The State’s requirement of all utilities to have a “Renewables Portfolio Standard” (RPS)—requiring that a set portion of each utility’s energy mix come from renewable sources—gives a strong boost to renewable energy supply companies. And a recent bill, Assembly Bill 32, requires individual businesses to adopt energy efficient standards, again, giving a strong boost to companies which offer efficiency and conservation products and services.

In addition to the many technology and product companies already located in Sacramento, local, national and international clean energy-related companies are now flocking to the region. Technologies range from solar and wind power to fuel cells and biofuels. Recent national headquarter locations include Dutch-based Ecostream and SunTechnics Energy Systems, Inc. from Germany. Companies like Solar Power, Siemens Mobility, SMA America and Enfinity Corporation have all chosen to locate the national headquarters in Sacramento. Sacramento has clearly become a “hot spot” for emerging businesses in the clean technology business sector. Nearly 100 clean tech companies have emerged in the Sacramento region and are actively doing business there.

Community leaders in the Sacramento Region are taking advantage of the region’s assets by developing innovative policies for clean energy; they are, in fact, early adopters of a wide range of new technologies. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), comprised of City Council and County Board representatives from every jurisdiction in the six-county Sacramento Region, has taken a groundbreaking stand to support clean energy business development in the area. Many of those same representatives then came together to form the Green Capital Alliance, working with local jurisdictions to streamline regulations, fees and requirements, to recruit clean tech companies and to create a clean energy-friendly business climate in the region.

An important player in any community is the utility provider. SMUD, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, serves the 1.4 million residents of Sacramento County for their electricity needs. SMUD actively works, together with other local utilities, to create a friendly business environment, participating in the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO) to recruit new businesses to the region.

SMUD generates and delivers energy in the 900 square mile area that includes California’s capital city and Sacramento County. From Washington D.C. to Seattle, SMUD is respected as one of the most progressive utilities in the nation. SMUD’s core mission is to deliver energy reliably and affordably, and at the same time, the utility demonstrates that it’s possible to deliver non-polluting renewable energy. SMUD plans to exceed California’s energy efficiency mandates by 50 percent over the next 10 years. And in 2008, SMUD ranked first among California electric utilities for the seventh straight year in a survey of residential customers.

Sacramento does well in the rankings game. Sacramento has been ranked 3rd on the Top 10 list of “Digitally Savvy Cities in the U.S.” (Scarborough Research Study 2008). It has been ranked 15th on Inc. Magazine’s list of “Best Cities for doing Business” (2007), among the “Top 10 Underrated U.S. Cities” by MSNBC.com (2007), and among the “Top 10 Fast Cities” (emerging hubs for creative talent) by Fast Company (2005).

So why would a company want to locate in the Sacramento Region? Being located in the capital of the nation’s biggest and most progressive state—and the eighth largest economy in the world—provides access to markets, access to an educated workforce, access to affordable real estate, and access to state legislators on decisions that often affect the way our nation does its business. Location, location, location—and it’s all about Sacramento.

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