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Milken Institute Global Conference 2013

The Milken Institute Global Conference is scheduled to be held April 28-May 1, 2013, in Los Angeles, California.

Milken Institute Global Conference

Milken Institute Global Conference (photo – milkeninstitute.org)

The 2013 Global Conference is the Milken Institute’s 16th annual forum, and will bring together more than 3,000 experts and leaders from diverse fields including academia and public policy, along with government officials, philanthropists and CEOs.

The program includes panels on a wide range of subjects from economic development to technology, education, energy and public policy.

The government panels include one on creating smarter cities, and another one which is a conversation with former Vice President Al Gore about the drivers of global change.

The education panels include one on the future of higher education in America, and another one about how technology can revamp the learning process.

The finance panels include one on development finance and another one that explores crowdfunding opportunities for small business and startups. The philanthropy section offers multiple panels on impact investing, and a panel on social change driven by a global community.

One of the regional panels examines the U.S. recovery and explores the possibility of an impending takeoff. Another panel will discuss California’s culture of creativity and innovation.

The list of speakers and panelists is a global Who’s Who list of people tackling the most serious problems facing the world, including Bill Gates, Tony Blair and Al Gore.

Past participants include Google’s Eric Schmidt, who said the inspirational advice and insight at the conference gave him a better appreciation about the future.

Former SEIU President Andy Stern, currently at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as a senior fellow, says the conference is a sophisticated process for finding real-life solutions, fueled by the convening power that brings together people who know how to get the job done.

What: Milken Institute Global Conference 2013

When: April 28-May 1, 2013

Where: Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California

SEIA Solar Market Insight Report – CA, AZ Top States for Solar Installations

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released its annual U.S. Solar Market Insight Review for 2012, which shows the U.S. installed 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2012.

SEIA report - California solar installations

SEIA report – California solar installations (photo – seia.org)

At the state level, California became the first state ever to rack up 1,000 MW worth of installations in a single year.

The market size of the U.S. solar industry grew 34 percent from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $11.5 billion in 2012.

As of the end of 2012, there were 7,221 MW of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) online in the U.S.  – enough to power 1.2 million homes.

“There were 16 million solar panels installed in the U.S. last year – more than 2 panels per second of the work day – and every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the U.S. workforce,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “We’ve brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined.

Resch noted that this sustained growth is enabling the solar industry to create thousands of good jobs and to provide clean, affordable energy for more families, businesses, utilities, and the military than ever before.

“This growth simply would not have occurred without consistent, long-term policies that have helped to ensure a stable business environment for this country’s 5,600 solar companies – many of them small businesses,” added Resch.

SEIA and GTM Research, which jointly produced this report, expect the growth to continue into 2013 and beyond. For this year, the report forecasts 4,300 MW of new PV installations, up 29 percent over 2012, and 946 MW of concentrating solar power.

At the state level, California became the first state to install over 1,000 MW in one year. Arizona came in as the second largest market, led by large-scale utility installations, while New Jersey experienced growth in the state’s non-residential market.

“One thing is for sure: Arizona has earned its title as our nation’s ‘Solar Capital,’” said AZ Governor Jan Brewer. “Thanks to our pro-business policies, year-round sunshine and highly-trained workforce, Arizona continues to climb as a national and global leader in solar manufacturing and technology.”

The top 10 largest state solar markets in 2012 were:-

Top 10 solar states

Top 10 solar states (photo – seia.org)

1. California – 1,033 MW

2. Arizona – 710 MW

3. New Jersey – 415 MW

4. Nevada – 198 MW

5. North Carolina – 132 MW

6. Massachusetts – 129 MW

7. Hawaii – 109 MW

8. Maryland – 74 MW

9. Texas – 64 MW

10. New York – 60 MW

Read the full Solar Market Insight Report at seia.org.

Study – UAS Industry to Create 70,000 Jobs in Three Years

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) unveiled a new study which finds that the unmanned aircraft industry is poised to create more than 70,000 new American jobs in the first three years following the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. national airspace system (NAS).

UAS economic impact study

UAS economic impact study (photo – auvsi.org)

Integration is scheduled to take place in 2015. Beyond the first three years, the study projects that more than 100,000 new jobs will be created by 2025.

Highlights from the study:-

1. Economic impact of UAS-NAS integration will total more than $13.6 billion in the first three years, and will cumulatively add up into $82.1 billion for the decade from 2015 to 2025.

2. Out of the more than 70,000 jobs created in the first three years, 34,000 or more will be manufacturing jobs. The industry will support 103,776 jobs by 2025.

3. Tax revenue to the states will total more than $482 million in the first 11 years.

4. Every year the UAS-NAS integration is put off results in a loss of $10 billion in economic impact, or $27.6 million per day.

The economic impact and benefits are skewed heavily in favor of a handful of states. The top five are California, Washington, Texas, Florida and Arizona.

California has the biggest slice of the pie, with an economic impact of $2.39 billion and 12,292 jobs by 2017. Washington gets $1.312 billion and 6746 jobs, while Texas is the last member of the billion-dollar impact club with $1.087 billion in economic impact and 5588 jobs.

You can see an interactive map of the state-by-state economic impact here.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for an industry developing technology that will benefit society, as well as the economy,” said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of AUVSI. “Integrating UAS into the national airspace will lead to new and expanded uses, which means the creation of quality, high-paying American jobs.”

The study notes that future events – such as the establishment of FAA Test Sites – will ultimately determine where many of the tens of thousands of new jobs will flow.

“While we project more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, states that create favorable regulatory and business environments for the industry and the technology will likely siphon jobs away from states that do not,” wrote the report’s author, Darryl Jenkins, a former professor at George Washington University and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Read the full UAS economic impact report from AUVSI.

CA Cities Employ Innovative Tactics to Retain Redevelopment Funds

Back in Jan 2011, California Gov. Jerry brown proposed to eliminate the state’s 400 redevelopment agencies (RDAs). The state legislature approved it in June 2011, and the California Supreme Court dismissed legal challenges just before the bill was enacted into law on Feb 1, 2012.

San Bernardino

Photo – City of San Bernardino

More than a year down the road, a hearing on the matter was held at the State Capitol, where it came to light that the state’s finance department has managed to complete the closure of only 17 redevelopment agencies so far.

State Controller John Chiang is completing asset reviews to ascertain proper transfer of assets to successor agencies by the RDAs prior to their dissolution. These reviews tell a whole new story.

One of the most interesting cases is the City of San Bernardino, which stands accused of squirreling away $529 million in RDA assets instead of retiring the agency’s debt and transferring the rest for local services such as school districts.

San Bernardino apparently moved $108.4 million worth of cash and property from its RDA to the San Bernardino Economic Development Corporation (SBEDC). Another $420.5 million of assets are still being held by the City.

The Comptroller’s office says the transfer to the SBEDC was illegal. City officials disagree, and claim the transfer was accomplished in March 2011, back when the state legislature had not changed the law to retroactively ban such transfers from the soon-to-be eliminated redevelopment agencies.

San Bernardino officials say that even if they wanted to, they cannot seek to recover funds from the SBEDC, which is a private non-profit over which the city has no authority to order the return of the assets. The six-member SBEDC board includes the mayor and two city council members.

The City of Santa Ana has similarly stymied efforts to recover $54.2 million in RDA funds by cooking up a lawsuit – against themselves. After their RDA was dissolved, the city council directed staffers to continue paying affordable housing developers, until the state threatened clawback measures to recover the funds.

At this point, Santa Ana discontinued payments to the developers, leaving the city open to lawsuits. One of these developers – Related Companies of California, has already filed a lawsuit against the city and state, and secured a judicial restraining order which bars the state from seizing the housing funds.

The state is facing a total of 53 such lawsuits from municipalities and other parties affected by the shuttering of the 400 redevelopment agencies.

HOPE Report – Economic Status of Latinas

Los Angeles, California-based Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) has released a report on the “Economic Status of Latinas” in California and the U.S.

HOPE Report - Economic Status of Latinas

HOPE Report – Economic Status of Latinas (photo – latinas.org)

The report, funded by a grant from Wells Fargo, was unveiled at HOPE’s 22nd¬†Annual Latina History Day Conference in Los Angeles.

A panel of experts and academics at the event discussed key indicators that determine economic success and the public policies that will help Latinas reach economic parity.

Apart from funding the survey that provided data for the report, the grant also helped train over 400 Latinas across California on how to advance their personal finances.

The study highlights critical factors affecting Latinas’ economic status after the Great Recession and provides a set of policy recommendations for the creation of an economic policy agenda that will support the achievement of economic parity for Latinas in the United States.

One in every three women in the state is a Latina. California’s Latino population reached over 14 million in 2010, with just under half, or 6.95 million, being Latinas. By 2020, Hispanics will be 40.8 percent of the state population. Hispanics wielded $265 billion of buying power in California in 2012, and this is expected to increase to $363 billion by 2015.

As per the report’s recession impact, the percentage of Latinas earning more than $100,000 in California decreased from 1.2 percent to 0.9 percent. The percentage of Latinas whose source of income was from their own business suffered a 50 percent decline during the recession.

Latinas in California earned only 42 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic man in 2010, compared to white, non-Hispanic women who earned 76 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic man.

In order to improve their finances, 46.2 percent of HOPE survey respondents indicated they needed financial planning or financial literacy support. The policy recommendations in the report (pg 14) also stress on education and job preparedness.

The report authors call for support for policies that promote both access to and completion of higher education for Latinas, and also funding for job development training programs for low-income wage earners.

Another recommendation is to encourage financial institutions to provide low interest rate loan programs for Latina-owned small businesses that are currently struggling but that have a record of success before the recession.

Read the full “Economic Status of Latinas” report from HOPE – Download (pdf)

Northrop Grumman Designates Centers of Excellence in FL, CA, NY

Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), one of the largest defense contractors in the world, announced today it is designating five centers of design and integration excellence in Florida, California and New York.

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman (photo – northropgrumman.com)

Specific programs and the associated jobs will be consolidated into these five centers. Florida is expected to gain more than 1,000 net new jobs out of the consolidation process.

The two designated Northrop Grumman Centers of Excellence in Melbourne and St. Augustine in Florida are expected to add 920 and 80 new jobs respectively.

“We are grateful for Northrop Grumman’s existing presence in our state and that they have chosen to establish two new centers of excellence here – one in St. Augustine and one in Melbourne,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “More companies continue to move here from other states like New York and California because Florida is committed to cutting taxes and eliminating regulations to help job creators succeed at creating more jobs.”

The Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence will be located in Melbourne, Fla., and will include aircraft design work currently being performed at the company’s Bethpage, NY facility in Long Island.

The company said it would be moving 850 jobs out of Long island by next year. Some of the displaced workers at Bethpage will be offered transfers to Florida or California.

“Northrop Grumman’s continued investment in the state is a testament to Florida’s competitiveness and supportive business climate,” said Gray Swoope, FL Secretary of Commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “The importance of having strong strategic partners cannot be overstated: Governor Scott, Enterprise Florida and the professional economic development teams in both communities and the region made it possible to move quickly and to put together a competitive case for Northrop Grumman to grow its presence in Florida.”

The company has additionally designated two Aircraft Integration Centers of Excellence, one in Palmdale, CA, and the other in St. Augustine, FL. The Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence will be located at the company’s Rancho Bernardo facility in San Diego, CA. The last one is an Electronic Attack Center of Excellence in Bethpage, NY.

“Consolidating these centers of excellence will improve our strategic alignment with our customers’ need for increasingly innovative and affordable products, services and solutions,” said Wes Bush, chairman, CEO and president of Northrop Grumman. “We continuously examine our operational capacity to determine how we can leverage it in the most efficient and cost-competitive manner. Given the current budget environment, it is imperative that we act to enhance future performance, innovation and affordability for our customers.”

As part of the austerity measures being taken, Northrop Grumman announced plans to close an Information Systems sector facility in Dominguez Hills, California. Work being done there will be transitioned in phases to other company facilities beginning in 2013. Northrop Grumman also announced plans to complete the closure of an electronic systems facility in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Pacific Institute Study – Sustainable Water Jobs

The Oakland, California-based Pacific Institute has released a study that analyzes the jobs created through sustainable water management and the potential for increasing opportunities for disadvantaged communities.

Sustainable Water Jobs - Pacific Institute

Sustainable Water Jobs – Pacific Institute (photo – pacinst.org)

The study, titled, “Sustainable Water Jobs: A National Assessment of Water-Related Green Job Opportunities,” identifies 136 different kinds of jobs involved in implementing sustainable water strategies, from plumbers to landscapers, engineers to irrigation specialists.

Thirty-seven of these job types are also projected to have high growth in the overall economy, with each projected to have more than 100,000 job openings across industries by 2020.

Jobs in 27 of the 37 occupations with 100,000 job openings by 2020 do not require bachelor’s or graduate degrees. They can be obtained with on-the-job training, associate’s degrees or technical training.

“This research indicates that water policy can expand demand for workers without bachelors or advanced degrees if occupational training programs and pathways to jobs are created,” said Eli Moore of the Pacific Institute. “However, the occupations with median wages below the national median demonstrate that measures to improve job quality must also be a priority.”

The study also found that an investment of $1 million in alternative water supply projects yields 10-15 jobs; in storm water management, 5-20 jobs; in urban conservation and efficiency, 12-22 jobs; in agricultural efficiency and quality, 14.6 jobs; and in restoration and remediation, 10-72 jobs.

The report is accompanied by six case studies including Groundwork Portland in Portland, Oregon, and Sustainable South Bronx in the Bronx, New York.

The BEST Academy at Sustainable South Bronx has trained people to work in river restoration, construction of rain gardens, and other water related fields. “Preparing people who need work to install and maintain water-saving devices and projects can heal our communities environmentally and economically,” said Annette Williams, director of BEST Academy.

The report also provides some interesting data on the demographics of the water jobs workforce. The racial make-up ranges from the predominantly white agricultural managers to the disproportionately Latino and African American laborers and truck drivers. Women are underrepresented in all but four of the 15 occupations for which data was available.

The study conclusion says that “the existing training and education programs preparing workers with the skills needed in sustainable water fields appear nascent and small-scale.”

One of their recommendations is that water utilities, state water agencies, planning departments and other public entities funding and managing sustainable water projects should implement “high-road” strategies that consider job quality, training, and targeted hiring as an integral component of project design and implementation.

This should include local hiring and minority hiring requirements and incentives that increase contracting and hiring with individuals from local and disadvantaged communities.

Read the full Sustainable Water Jobs study or the executive summary.

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.

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