California

Facebook to Add 100 Jobs in Dublin, Ireland

Richard Bruton, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced that Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is creating more than 100 new roles at its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.

Minister Richard Bruton with Facebook Ireland's Gareth Lambe

Minister Richard Bruton with Facebook Ireland’s Gareth Lambe (photo – idaireland.com)

Facebook’s Dublin office currently has 400 employees in a broad range of roles including user operations, advertising, sales, policy and safety.

“Today’s announcement of a significant expansion by one of the biggest companies on the internet, with the creation of 100 high-end jobs, is a major endorsement of the tech environment in Dublin and further confirmation of our city’s status as the internet capital of Europe,” said Minister Bruton. “This represents a significant economic commitment to Ireland by Facebook and I wish them every success with their operations here.”

Minister Bruton had met senior executives from Facebook in their California headquarters, and Facebook’s Dublin operation has been workings closely with IDA Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“Ireland is a great hub of international tech talent which is one reason why Facebook has its international HQ in Dublin,” said Gareth Lambe, acting head of office for Facebook Ireland. “Today’s announcement means we will be expanding our workforce across multiple disciplines such as user operations, safety and advertising. These jobs, which reflect growth in markets across Europe but also the Middle East and Africa, mean we will not only be recruiting from the local economy but supporting local businesses by increasing our footprint.”

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook established its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland in Oct 2008.

At that, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explained why they chose Dublin. “After exploring various locations throughout the region, we decided Ireland was the best place to establish our new headquarters,” said Sandberg. “The talent pool in Dublin is world-class and recruiting local talent will help us better understand the needs of local users and the regional dynamics that, in turn, can give us better insight into what features matter most.”

Barry O’Leary, chief executive of IDA Ireland, said that social media was a key strategic industry for Ireland in terms of job creation, and that no brand name better represents that sector’s thriving growth than Facebook.

“Employment intensive services are a key focus of IDA’s Horizon 2020 strategy. The latest expansion and the nature of the employment being created illustrate how important the company is to the digital media cluster Ireland has developed over recent years,” added O’Leary.

Facebook has already kicked off the hiring process for these 100 new jobs by advertising the positions on their careers page at www.facebook.com/jobs.

California Calls Summit to Compete for Institute of Manufacturing

The California Governor’s Office for Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) will hold an Advanced Manufacturing Summit at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 27th, 2013.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (photo – energy.gov)

The summit is a response to President Obama’s State of the Union call for the opening of three new Institutes of Manufacturing (IMI) in 2013 as an expansion of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

The $1 billion proposal for an NNMI with 15 IMIs was first announced last year in March 2012, intended for “closing the gap between research and development activities and the deployment of technological innovations in domestic production of goods.”

The one-time billion dollar appropriation requires Congressional approval and that may take some time. However, a pilot IMI focused on additive manufacturing was launched in Youngstown, Ohio last year with $30 million in funding from federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce and the National Science Foundation.

Commerce’s NIST is pitching in with another $5 million, and the winning consortium is coming up with a matching $40 million. The first pilot National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) went to a consortium of 40 companies, 11 non-profits, nine research universities and five community colleges from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This was one of twelve teams that had applied.

Now, there are three such IMIs up for grabs in 2013, and California wants one. The summit called by GO-Biz will be a coordination of stakeholders to craft California’s proposal to compete for these new manufacturing institutes.

It will be led by Governor Brown’s senior jobs advisor Mike Rossi, and will convene key stakeholders from education, industry, research and the state’s iHub innovation network.

“As the number one state for manufacturing jobs and output in the nation, California will lead the next generation of advanced manufacturing in America,” said Rossi. “We heard the President’s call and California will respond.”

More than 35 organizations have already been called for the summit, including the California Manufacturers &Technology Association, Stanford University,UC Berkeley, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, East Bay Economic Development Alliance and the Bay Area Council, among others.

SJC Approves $82M Private Airport Project for Google

Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) announced that it intends to recommend that Signature Flight Support be awarded a 50-year lease on the Airport’s West Side to develop and operate a facility for the personal aircraft of the principals at Google, which is based in Mountain View, California.

Rendering of proposed SJC West Side airport for Google

Rendering of proposed SJC West Side airport for Google (photo – flysanjose.com)

Signature proposes to construct a full service fixed base operation (FBO) in partnership with Blue City Holdings, San Jose, LLC, a corporation representing the personal aircraft of the principals at Google.

Signature wishes to invest $82 million in developing over 270,000 square feet of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified facilities on approximately 29 acres.

The facility will include an executive terminal, hangars, ramp space accommodating large business jets, and aircraft servicing facilities.

“We’re pleased that the evaluation process for the development of Mineta San José International Airport’s West Side is now complete, and the recommended outcome will prove to be incredibly prosperous for SJC, the City of San José, and Silicon Valley,” said director of Aviation Bill Sherry.

Sherry added that having completed a $1.4 billion terminal upgrade in 2010, their focus will now be on the $82 million West Side project, and on providing support for the private aviation needs of local high-tech and other companies, including the personal aircraft of the principals at Google.

Proposals submitted by Signature Flight Support and others for development of Silicon Valley Airport’s West Side were reviewed by an evaluation panel comprised of SJC staff and city employees, a former FBO executive, and a real estate expert with prior experience working on a similar commercial service airport.

Signature’s proposal scored a total of 991 out of a possible 1,000 points, and the panel found the proposal to be both thorough and of very high quality, offering excellent opportunities for corporate aviation services to SJC’s general aviation customers.

“Signature Flight Support is proud to be chosen as the successful bidder for the West Side Development project at Mineta San Jose International Airport, to build a state-of-the art, world class FBO to serve as a key location in Signature’s global network,” said Maria Sastre, president and COO of Signature Flight Support. “We’re proud to bring all of the resources that Signature can offer to further business and general aviation as well as our long-standing track record of good corporate citizenship to the San Jose and Silicon Valley communities.”

The Orlando, Florida-based Signature Flight Support is a part of BBA Aviation Corporation, a British company. Signature Flight currently operates at more than 100 locations in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.

Texas Governor Heads to California for Economic Development

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is leaving on Sunday for a four-day trip to California to meet with business leaders in the high tech, biotechnology, financial, insurance and film industries. He will be visiting San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County.

texaswideopenforbusiness.com

photo – texaswideopenforbusiness.com

This business recruitment trip follows a week-long radio ad buy in the Golden State promoting Texas’ job creation climate through TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com.¬†The 30-second spot has been running on six radio stations in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego media markets.

Gov. Perry is accompanied by Texas Economic Development Corp. chair Bruce Bugg, along with several local economic development officials and business representatives, including Oncor, BNSF Railway, and the cities of Allen, Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville, Conroe, DeSoto, Frisco, Houston, Lubbock, Midland, McKinney, Pflugerville, San Antonio and Schertz.

Both the $24,000 ad buy and the Governor’s trip to California are being paid for by TexasOne, a public-private partnership that markets Texas nationally and internationally as a prime business destination.

The reaction to the ad campaign and Gov. Perry’s planned trip has been predictable, but interesting nonetheless.

“It’s a publicity stunt. No state has ever poached its way to prosperity. You can’t grow an economy appreciably, you can’t grow it all by trying to go and poach this business from other states.” – Kish Rajan, director of GO-Biz (California Governor’s Office of Business and Development)

“Do you think a few tricks from a politician is going to make any difference? People invest their money where these big things have occurred. The ideas, the structures, the climate, the opportunity is right here on the Pacific Rim.” ‚Äì California Governor Jerry Brown, responding to questions about the radio ads.

“Of course they’re coming here. So are the British coming here, so are the French, so are the Russians, so are the Chinese. Everybody with half a brain is coming to California. So Texas, come on over!” – California Governor Jerry Brown, responding to a question about poaching by Texas.

‚ÄúIf Gov. Perry really cared about investing in Texas and creating high-wage jobs here, he’d fight to restore public education funding. Instead, our governor is taking a junket to California ‚Äî really, I think, for political drama rather than for any economic impact.‚Äù Sen. Wendy Davis, a member of the Texas Senate Committee on Economic Development.

But Gov. Rick Perry may just end up having the last word. The statement issued by the Governor‚Äôs Office specifically notes that during his visit to California, the Governor will be hosting a reception for business leaders who have contacted the Governor’s Office through TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com since the ad began running.

Samsung Investing $1.1B for Innovation and New Business Creation

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced that it was setting up a new Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) in Menlo Park, California, along with a $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, and the $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund.

Samsung

Samsung (photo – samsung.com)

Samsung Electronics will leverage the SSIC and the Funds in global innovation hotspots to create new businesses and build open ecosystems through research and development, investments, strategic alliances, and M&A.

The new SSIC headquarters on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park will be led by Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

“We see tremendous opportunities and transformations over the next five years driven by Big Data centered around mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Things, and Samsung will be a significant part of this revolution,‚Äù said Sohn. ‚ÄúThis is an exciting opportunity for us to engage with entrepreneurs and innovators and empower them to leverage Samsung‚Äôs technology and global brand presence to bring our collective visions to market.‚Äù

Entrepreneurs and innovators will gain access to Samsung’s unique ecosystem and resources. They will get opportunities to partner with Samsung’s Device Solutions business units and Samsung’s international R&D centers for product development, go-to-market strategies, and channel development.

To jumpstart the $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund, SSIC is holding a competition, SamsungCreate Challenge, launching later in 2013.

The program will encourage artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and other innovators to leverage Samsung’s Device Solutions Architecture Platform. Winners will get $10 million in seed investments and will also include incubation and support from SSIC’s Innovation and Technology Fellows and partnerships with Samsung R&D technologists.

Apart from its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, SSIC will also have offices in Korea and Israel. The $1 billion Samsung Ventures America Fund provides funding for more mature companies that have gone beyond the startup phase.

SSIC and Samsung Ventures America Fund, combined with startup support from SSIC, will fuel innovative technologies and business models through all stages of business. Initial focus areas include cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, Internet of Things, human interface, and mobile health.

Samsung employs 227,000 people across 75 countries with annual sales exceeding $143 billion.

Texas Launches Campaign Targeting California Companies

Texas this week launched a campaign specifically targeting California companies, enticing them to relocate to the Lone Star State. The tag line – “California REGULATES… Texas INNOVATES.”

Texas campaign to attract California companies

Texas campaign to attract California companies (photo – texaswideopenforbusiness.com)

Radio listeners across California are hearing a new pitch from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, inviting California companies to “come check out Texas.”

The 30-second spot is running on six radio stations in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego media markets.

Transcript of the radio ad (.mp3 file) – “Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: come check out Texas. There are plenty of reasons Texas has been named the best state for doing business for eight years running. Visit texaswideopenforbusiness.com, and see why our low taxes, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the thing to get your business moving to Texas.”

The one-week ad buy is being paid for by TexasOne, a public-private partnership that markets Texas nationally and internationally as a prime business destination.

The ad campaign coincides with the unveiling of a new California-targeted section on TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com. This microsite includes a more detailed pitch listing the reasons to leave California and move to Texas.

Excerpt Р“Now with the passage of prop 30, which increases California’s already excessive income and sales tax, while Texas maintains no state income tax and a low business tax burden – businesses are moving to Texas.

Being named the Best State for Doing Business eight years running isn’t easy, but when you provide an economic climate that stimulates innovation and not a crippling regulatory environment that stifles business, people notice.

Zero state income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the things Texas offers to get your business moving. So come to Texas – where Business Moves.”

Interactive site features enable you to actually “start my move” if interested.

The site also offers a head-to-head comparison for the 10 largest states, with Texas topping the charts for post-recession recovery and job growth (670,200 jobs for TX vs. 517,200 for CA), lower unemployment, and lower natural gas prices.

National Governors Association Report on Advanced Manufacturing

A new report published by the National Governors Association (NGA) chronicles the progress of eight states in preparing new strategies intended to build a foundation for success in advanced manufacturing.

NGA advanced manufacturing report - Making Our Future

NGA advanced manufacturing report – Making Our Future (photo – nga.org)

The report is titled “Making” Our Future: What States Are Doing to Encourage Growth in Manufacturing through Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investment.

It was prepared by the NGA Center for Best Practices, with support and collaboration from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program.

“We are committed to supporting American businesses and workers in advanced manufacturing, which will help create jobs and strengthen our economy while boosting our global competitiveness,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. “The Commerce Department is proud to have partnered with the National Governors Association to produce a report that will undoubtedly prove valuable in helping our nation’s governors grow their local economies.”

The eight states whose strategies are outlined in the report include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Together, these states represent 30 percent of total manufacturing gross domestic product, one-third of U.S. manufacturing jobs and more than 25 percent of U.S. exports of manufactured goods.

Teams from these states participated in an intensive, year-long strategic planning process under the NGA Policy Academy to support advanced manufacturing. The interesting policy aspects developed by each state, and how it fits into an overall pattern of best practices for other states, are described in detail starting from page 21 in the report.

Excerpts below:-

Although the eight states arrived at their agendas independently of one another, their agendas are remarkably similar in key issues and priorities… Four objectives rose to the top across all states as the focus for their strategies:

- Pursue an integrated approach to developing an advanced manufacturing strategy, connecting large and small manufacturers, as well as state, federal, and regional partners;

- Develop and implement industry-driven priorities and partnerships;

- Boost the innovation and commercialization capacities of manufacturers, particularly small and midsized firms, by connecting them to partners, consortia, and a whole system of supports; and

- Provide talent both to fill the immediate specialized needs of employers and to deliver lifelong, industry relevant training for workers at all levels.

Broadly, there were three approaches to strategy development:

- Using statewide councils comprising large, midsized, and small manufacturers(Pennsylvania and Massachusetts);

- Emphasizing a regional, bottom-up process, involving a series of meetings of local public and private stakeholders (Colorado, New York, and California); or

- Assembling, improving, and coordinating activities that are already in progress (Kansas and Connecticut).

“Manufacturing in the U.S. is changing,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. “It is important that governors continue to learn so they are able to determine the best way forward, ensuring good businesses and jobs for our citizens.”

Read the full “Making” Our Future report – Download (pdf)

Sacramento Launches $100M Clean Energy Fund

Ygrene Energy Fund and the City of Sacramento, California announced the launch of Clean Energy Sacramento, a $100 million fund that will provide funding to local property owners for renewable energy and energy efficiency retrofits.

Clean Energy Sacramento

Clean Energy Sacramento (photo – ygrene.us)

Clean Energy Sacramento is the first privately funded clean energy financing model in the nation for both commercial and residential buildings, providing 100 percent private funding for energy retrofits with no public money.

Property owners repay capital costs for clean energy upgrades and retrofits via property taxes over a period of up to 20 years. All commercial properties are projected to deliver financial benefits that exceed additional property taxes associated with the retrofits.

The funding program is projected to create thousands of jobs, boost property values and help achieve Sacramento’s goal of reducing energy use 15 percent by 2020. According to independent research conducted by ECONorthwest, every $100 million invested via Clean Energy Sacramento is projected to create 1,500 jobs, $250 million in economic activity and $25 million in tax revenue.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that the launch of Clean Energy Sacramento was a major milestone in establishing the city as a national leader in the green economy.

“Not only are we making Sacramento a cleaner and healthier place to live, we’re also putting Sacramento’s hard-hit construction business back to work and revitalizing our economy at zero cost to taxpayers,” said Mayor Johnson. “Clean Energy Sacramento is a win for the city in every way, and I encourage all property owners to join this innovative program as we transform the Sacramento region into the Emerald Valley.”

Clean Energy Sacramento launches with $22 million of prequalified projects in the pipeline, with more than 150 trained local contractors ready to begin work across the City.

One of these projects is an upgrade to a more efficient chiller at 520 Capitol Mall. This $513,000 project is projected to reduce costs by $47,000 a year for 25 years, while improving the property value in excess of the project cost.

“We are thrilled to open the doors of our Energy Center and start funding projects immediately,” said Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene. “At a time when owners are seeking to improve the comfort and efficiency of their properties, and cities are searching for ways to kickstart their economies and reduce energy consumption, Clean Energy Sacramento offers tremendous opportunity. We look forward to working closely with the city and our partners to make Sacramento a national leader in energy efficiency.”

Ygrene is launching this privately funded model to other states across the nation later this year, establishing the Clean Energy Green Corridor in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and the Clean Energy Atlanta program in Georgia.

USGBC Report – Advancing Green Building Policy in the States

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual state activity report which provides a high level summary of green building policy activity by state policymakers in 2012.

USGBC guide for local green building policies

Green buildings for cool cities – USGBC guide for local green building policies (photo – usgbc.org)

The USGBC tracked more than 300 bills that had the potential to further the green building agenda.

USGBC says that at least 88 new public policies have been enacted since the 2011 state activity report was released by them.

They count 68 wins for green building across 33 states, including the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

In 2012, several states committed (or expanded their commitments) to build better, greener buildings, including California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

Other states focused specifically on energy efficiency in public buildings, including Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon and Vermont.

Several states enacted laws that intend to unlock critical financing mechanisms and offer a boost to propel energy efficiency forward, including Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

California enacted two such laws, and two additional laws that drive investments in renewable energy. Arizona, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island also unleashed investments in renewable energy through various laws and initiatives.

LEED was referenced in more than 200 bills in 2012, and also incorporated in several of the other laws referenced above. In addition, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York (two laws), and Oregon enacted specific measures that leverage LEED in the pursuit of green building outcomes.

Illinois was named among a January, 2012 list of the top ten states with LEED buildings on a per capita basis. Illinois certified 156 LEED projects in 2012. The new Illinois Energy Conservation Code offers a 15 percent improvement off the previously adopted version and took effect on Jan 1, 2013.

“We are so proud of our state’s achievements in green building,” Katie Kaluzny, interim executive director, USGBC Illinois Chapter said. “We look forward to continued partnerships with state and local leaders to advance sustainable building and communities across Illinois.”

In a blog post, Jeremy Sigmon, USGBC director of Technical Policy, listed his top 10 list of new state laws that advance green building.

Read the full 2012 state activity report by USGBC – Download (pdf) 

Amazon to Open Hi-Tech Fulfillment Center in Tracy, CA

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it plans to open a new and hi-tech one million-square-foot fulfillment center in Tracy, California.

Amazon fulfillment center in California

Amazon fulfillment center in California (photo – ca.gov)

The company said it will create hundreds of full-time jobs with benefits at the site.

“This latest development in Tracy not only represents good jobs coming to the region but California’s strong partnership with Amazon,” said Kish Rajan, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “This third new distribution center marks a commitment by Amazon of over 1,000 California jobs in the last year alone. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this world leading brand and hope to build more opportunities for Californians in the future.”

This is Amazon’s third fulfillment center in California after earlier announcements for San Bernardino and Patterson. The State of California agreed to defer collecting sales tax for online sales by Amazon for a year, if the company in return agreed to open distribution centers in California.

The San Bernardino fulfillment center is already open and has created 700 jobs, while the Patterson fulfillment center is expected to open later this summer. The Tracy fulfillment center will open after that in the fall.

“We are grateful to be members of the California business community and to employ so many hardworking and skilled Californians,” said Mike Roth, vice president of Amazon’s North American operations. “We are excited to be growing in the state and to be creating hundreds of full-time positions in Tracy.”

This latest California facility in Tracy is slightly different because Amazon is planning to use technology that will create a robotics-controlled warehouse for fulfilling customer orders. It is hard to say how this will affect the number of jobs on-site, but Amazon has reportedly agreed to create at least 1,000 new jobs at the Tracy fulfillment center in return for incentives from the city.

Last month, the City of Tracy approved the use of sales tax rebates as an incentive to attract companies, and Tracy Mayor Brent H. Ives claims they have been working on the Amazon project for at least a year and a half, and preparing industrial/commercial sites with the help of San Joaquin County officials.

“We are jubilant with the announcement that Amazon has chosen Tracy in San Joaquin County for the location of a major investment in a state of the art automated technology fulfillment center,” said Mike Ammann, CEO of San Joaquin Partnership.

Amazon is the first company to take up Tracy’s sales tax rebate incentives, which have been made available only for companies which generate $100 million in sales and create at least 1,000 jobs. The Amazon fulfillment center is expected to add $1 million in new tax revenue for the city.

“I am honored and pleased that Amazon recognizes our streamlined business development efforts, prime location and resources available to meet the demands of their fulfillment center,” said Mayor Ives. “Amazon is a wonderful addition to our economic base and will provide hundreds of jobs for residents of Tracy.”

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