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This week: Harnessing the sun, growing innovation, and another AgTech Summit in the future?
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 A Weekly Newsletter Promoting Monterey County:
Open for Business

Business Council members identified as (BCM)

Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

Edition 667

Forbes AgTech Summit confirmed for 2017
A third Forbes AgTech Summit is coming back to Salinas (BCM) next year. The third annual event will return to the city June 28-29, 2017, confirmed Andy Myrick, economic manager for the city of Salinas, during the annual Greater Vision event last week at California State Monterey Bay’s (BCM) College of Business. Greater Vision is a free annual educational program that addresses timely issues facing the agricultural industry, and this year’s theme was “Labor in Agriculture & the Role of Technology.”

"We are excited to once again be able to host this great event that places Salinas at the center of the AgTech world," said Myrick. "We expect that this will again benefit our region by allowing us to attract more new startup companies and provide our local businesses with access to some of the latest technologies available, allowing them to continue to prosper in the global economy."  Read more
Source: The Salinas Califorian
Ross Merrill, president of Merrill Farms, next to his new solar panels off Reservation Road in Salinas. Photo by Vern Fisher/Monterey Herald.
'Harvesting sun for profit, sustainabilty'
Fourth-generation family grower Merrill Farms is now harvesting sunlight as well as raspberries. The company has teamed with Alta Energy, an independent renewable energy analytics and procurement company out of San Mateo, to erect two solar projects that will help Merrill “harvest the sun for profit and sustainability,” said Sam Lee, Alta Energy CEO.

“We’re always looking at efficiencies,” said Ross Merrill, president of Merrill Farms, who took a 1.4-acre patch of low-production Merrill Farms land and planted something on it that he anticipates will surpass the high return on the revenue the berries provide. Electricity generated by the two projects will power the irrigation well pumps needed to water portions of the roughly 6,000 acres of Merrill land under tillage, including the raspberry operation near the smaller solar project. “About 95 percent will be used for irrigation, the rest will be used for the office building” and ancillary structures on the properties, said  Merrill. Read more
Source: Monterey County Herald
Dennis Donohue to lead Western Growers' Center for Innovation and Technology
Former Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue has been named to leadership post at the Western Growers’ Center for Innovation and Technology, where he will drive agtech initiatives, bolster innovation programming, further facilitate relationships between start-up companies and growers and spearhead business development at the Center, according to Hank Giclas, Western Growers’ senior vice president for strategic planning, science & technology. The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology in the Taylor Farms building in downtown Salinas opened its doors 11 months ago and currently houses 23 start-up companies specializing in a range of technologies including farm management software and aerial imagery for agricultural management to energy efficiency and advancements in soil science and nutrients. Read more
New text alert system available to Monterey County residents 
The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services is rolling out a text message alert service for residents of Monterey County that will allow people to receive critical information and updates directly on their cell phone or electronic device. The Community Engagement notification system ties into Facebook and Twitter and can be used by local cities or agencies to send out local information about events or emergencies. Alerts may include public safety threats, dangerous weather and traffic advisories.

Sign up to receive text message alerts from Monterey County Office of Emergency Services by texting MoCoOES to 888777.
Graniterock Construction Academy students take a tour of Graniterock's shop. Photo by Erika Mahoney.
Graniterock: Building a future workforce
Construction is booming in the Monterey Bay area, but if you’re looking for skilled workers, it’s tough. Some homeowners find themselves waiting weeks, or even months, for electricians, painters and other contractors to handle home repair jobs, and even big construction companies struggle to fill jobs. Many construction workers who were forced out of work in the economic downturn never returned, and high schools these days may also place less emphasis on trades.

Two-thirds of construction firms are having a hard time finding skilled workers, according to a recent study by the Associated General Contractors of America, which represents more than 26,000 firms across the United States. One of those, Watsonville-based Graniterock (BCM), is investing in solutions. “Our whole industry is struggling to find enough young people to work in the skilled trades,” Graniterock Vice President Kevin Jeffery says. So Graniterock started the Construction Academy for local high school students. Now in its second year, 24 students from six high schools are participating. The teens get to tour Graniterock, visit construction sites and even operate machinery at the end of the academy. The goal is to expose them to the different career opportunities in the industry. “And so far so good. We’ve been able to hire a handful of these students in our Construction Academy as summer interns and we’re looking forward to building those internships into full-time careers at Graniterock,” Jeffery says. Read more
Source: KAZU
TAMC seeks nominations for annual Transportation Excellence Awards
The Transportation Agency of Monterey County (BCM) is looking for nominations for its 16th Annual Transportation Excellence Awards. The award honors individuals, businesses, groups or projects for their efforts to improve transportation in Monterey County.

Examples of potential awards include but are not limited to:
  • Citizens or organizations that have made significant efforts to inform and educate the public about transportation issues.
  • Transportation professionals who excel at their jobs and go the extra mile to improve our transportation system.
  • Innovative activities that promote more efficient use of the local transportation network.
  • Successful efforts to improve transit services and encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone. 
The one-page nomination form is available at the TAMC office, 55-B Plaza Circle, Salinas or online. The nomination form can be mailed back to TAMC or faxed to the attention of Theresa Wright at (831) 775-0897. Submit nominations by noon, Dec. 2. The awards ceremony will take place during the January 2017 Transportation Agency for Monterey County Board meeting.
Tickets on sale for Monterey Bay Economic Partnership State of the Region 2016 
Act now to get tickets for the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership's State of the Region 2016, to take place at the Embassy Suites in Seaside on Dec. 1, 2016.  The second annual conference will explore and showcase elements that contribute to community well-being, including safe, affordable and accessible housing; well-being beyond traditional health care; education as the engine of well-being; activating our rivers as a key part in our community well-being; and transportation system needed to optimize our health and community. Get your tickets now!
Make sure your news gets noticed!

If you are a voting MCBC member, you can submit news items of general interest about your organization or upcoming events for consideration for free inclusion in Friday Facts, our  weekly MCBC e-newsletter that reaches a vast audience of key decision-makers, industry leaders, movers and shakers in Monterey County and the greater region. It's just one more valuable perk of being a member of an organization that's helping to shape the future of Monterey County for the better. 

Non-voting members can contact MCBC Projects Manager Melody Burgess or (831) 216-3000 for rate information.

And if you aren't yet a member, join us now.  Download the membership application or call 216-3000.

EVENTS CALENDAR

Friday, Nov. 11 – MCBC Membership  Luncheon: Please note that MCBC will NOT host a Monthly Membership Luncheon today due to Veterans Day. For details, call 216-3000.

Founded in 1995, the Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) is a 501(c)(6) organization comprised of a diverse group of members representing all industries and geographic areas of Monterey County. It remains the only countywide organization focused on business advocacy, economic development and workforce readiness.

Please support our efforts, by becoming a member today: Membership Application
 
If you are a current MCBC member, please help us grow our membership by forwarding this email to businesses who will benefit from our services.


 
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