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Spring 2012 Newsletter

EDC Strategic Planning Session

The EDC Board of Directors and Staff will be meeting at the 2012 Strategic Planning Session to review the accomplishments and activity of the organization over the last year and discuss the focus of the organization for the upcoming year. This is an exciting time for the EDC to reflect on previous activity and become refreshed for the upcoming year.

Want to know what we've been up to? Quarterly EDC Activity Reports are available upon request.

JOB OPENING: Investor Relations Manager

Click here for the job description. Send resumes to Kristen Kawaguchi 559.476.2505.

California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation (CCVEDC) Visits Assembly Floor

The CCVEDC was formed in the late 1980s by the professional Economic Development organizations serving the counties of California’s Central Valley. Together with their partners like Pacific Gas and Electric, they have cooperated and collaborated to present the Central California as a highly desirable location for expanding companies seeking the advantages of a rapidly growing and resource rich environment.

Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, along with fellow Valley lawmakers, welcomes a team of job creators from the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation to the Assembly floor. *EDC President/CEO Lee Ann Eager is pictured the third from the left.

To watch video of Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway introducing the CCVEDC team members, click here.

Workshop Helps Rural Community Businesses Save Energy and Money

The City of Orange Cove, the Orange Cove Chamber of Commerce, the Fresno Energy Watch and the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County held an informational workshop for businesses on the east side of the County to learn about lowering the cost of doing business, upcoming changes to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) billing rates, and low or no cost lighting upgrades for eligible businesses.
A group of local businesses from Orange Cove, Reedley, and Fresno spent time at the Orange Cove Community Center learning about Time Varying Pricing, the New Employment Opportunity program, and lighting upgrades for businesses.

Richard Heath and Associates, through the Fresno Energy Watch, helps small and medium businesses, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations become more energy efficient by installing low or no cost lighting upgrades. By increasing their energy efficiency, program customers can save money on their utility bill. RHA starts by providing a no-cost energy assessment of the customer’s facility and then offers the installation of several energy-efficient lighting measures to qualified customers.

In an effort to spread information about the business benefits of energy efficiency and utilization of State and Federal tax credits, the group of presenters at the business workshop offered an array of information to try to help local small businesses save money and energy.

PG&E offered information on their Energy Efficiency Retrofit Loan Program, also known as On-Bill Financing. On-Bill Financing provides zero-interest financing for qualified business customers and government agencies for energy efficiency improvements. Through OBF, PG&E will finance the project, while the business will pay the loan – interest-free – through their monthly utility bills.

The County of Fresno Department of Social Services also shared information on the New Employment Opportunity, or NEO, program.  NEO gives employers a reimbursement of up to $600 per month in exchange for providing on-the-job training to new hires who are participating in DSS programs.

Some of the businesses that participated in the workshop included local restaurants, packers, furniture stores, and landscapers. After the presentations, participants had an opportunity to meet one on one with representatives from each program and get more detailed information on the impacts each program will have on their specific business.


Wells FargoSupporting economic development and environmental sustainability

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,198 ATMs, and the Internet ( across North America and internationally.

Wells Fargo promotes economic development and self-sufficiency through community development and environmental stewardship. The company even has environmental grant programs which aim to give $100 million in grants and increase volunteerism by 2020 to support the environmental work of nonprofits and provide the opportunity for Wells Fargo team members to improve their communities.

Wells Fargo seeks to ensure that as they do business, natural resources are protected and environmental, social and economic needs are part of their everyday decisions. In April 2012, a team of Wells Fargo employees volunteered with GRID Alternatives at the 2012 Central Valley Solarthon:

Sandy Cha, Foundation Manager at Wells Fargo Central/Northern California was part of the team of Wells Fargo volunteers that volunteered last month to help install solar panels for the Martinez family. Migrant farm workers with two children, the Martinez family is one of nine families—all new homeowners who built the neighborhood themselves—that received solar systems through GRID Alternatives during the Solarthon event.

Over the past five years, Wells Fargo volunteers have logged more than 1200 hours to help GRID Alternatives to make solar power a reality for families around the state, saving them an average of 75% off their electricity bills and diverting thousands of tons of carbon emissions.

Wells Fargo has been a member and supporter of the Economic Development Corporation since 2000. We are so grateful to have the support of Wells Fargo over the last 12 years. Thanks Wells Fargo!

Downtown Fresno PartnershipInvesting in the historic core of Downtown Fresno

The Downtown Fresno Partnership is a private, nonprofit membership organization formed in January 2011 and is dedicated to the revitalization of the historic Central Business District in Downtown Fresno. 

The Downtown Fresno Partnership is leading downtown Fresno toward its future as a vibrant hub of business activity by promoting downtown's image, supporting physical improvements and development, advocating for merchants, and hosting special events that bring new life to the historic core of downtown Fresno.

The Partnership serves the City of Fresno, the business community, Fulton Mall and other Downtown merchants, public and private agencies, and the community at large through leadership, partnership and advocacy.  The board of Directors for the Downtown Fresno Partnership represents a diverse selection of community members, united in their passion for a revitalized Downtown Fresno.

Much, though not all, of the organization's activity is focused in and around the Central Business District (CBD) and the historic Fulton Mall, a six-block pedestrian mall. Every year the Partnership produces a dozen major events, such as Cinco de Mayo and Sudz in the City, drawing hundreds of thousands of participants from across the state to enjoy everything that Downtown Fresno has to offer.

The Partnership recently unveiled a new branding campaign that aims to deliver a clear message: downtown is reborn.  Kate Borders, the non-profit’s CEO, says the new campaign “…gives us an opportunity to highlight what we have as well as keep the door open for what's to come."

Downtown Fresno Partnership (formerly known as PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno) has been a member of the EDC since 2011. Thanks for your support Downtown Fresno Partnership!


AP AlternativesAn innovative solar racking support industry

AP Alternatives is a manufacturer of Modular Solar Racking Systems.  Their innovative modular racking design allows installers to streamline the installation process by having the project pre-assembled before shipping.  By utilizing high teach automation, AP Alternatives can pre-panelize an entire ground mount project. 

Originally based out of Ohio, AP Alternatives started providing pre-assembled ground and roof mounted solar racks in 2007.  Seeing a demand for their product on the West Coast, they strategically explored options to open a new branch to better serve their customer base.

AP Alternatives made Fresno County home of their West Coast operations in early 2012 with a 30,000 square feet assembly factory at Central and Willow Avenues.  With projects completed in Malaga and Fowler, they plan to grow and expand their business in 2013, serving customs in California, Arizona, and Nevada.  They will eventually employ up to 20 full-time employees.

With many pipeline projects in the works, AP’s innovative product is changing the way the solar industry approaches modular racking.

AP Alternatives joined the Economic Development Corporation as an investor in 2012.  We’d like to welcome AP Alternatives as the newest member of the EDC Family!

For more information on the EDC, visit


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