News Blog

  • Thu, January 31, 2019 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership joins fellow California business organizations in advocating for more housing, improved education in 2019

    Irwindale, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership joined business organizations throughout the state in prioritizing housing, education, transportation and water as key objectives in the coming year, both locally and at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    "Housing is by far the single most important economic issue in California at the moment," said Bill Manis, Partnership President and CEO. "Governor Newsom has announced some bold housing and homelessness initiatives in his 2019 budget and there appears to be support for them in the State Legislature. We will work diligently this year to improve the housing supply and support new construction here in the San Gabriel Valley."

    With a new governor, several new statewide officers, and a revamped super-majority in both chambers of the State Legislature, the table is set for several major new policy initiatives at the state level. Governor Newsom has announced his intention to prioritize debt reduction by paying down outstanding obligations while also contributing substantial funding to the state retirement systems of CalPERS and CalSTRS, easing the financial burdens on cities and school districts. Major new funding has also been announced to jump start housing in the state, especially affordable housing for low-income families as well as workforce housing for middle income earners.

    Education will continue to be a major issue throughout the state in the wake of the LA Unified School District teachers strike, which led many advocates to call for a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools, which some say is diverting vital funding for public schools. Governor Newsom also intends to launch a major reform of the state student financial aid system - an endeavor with many stakeholders that could take at least a year to complete, if not more.

    Transportation funding at the state and local level is much improved due to the voters' rejection of a 2018 ballot measure to repeal the gas tax increases passed by the State Legislature in 2017. That funding should provide some $600 million a year to the state for highway maintenance and repairs as well as funding to local governments to do their own important maintenance on streets and roads. Water remains a critical issue moving forward for the state as many agree that the current system of moving large quantities of water through the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta is simply not sustainable given the precarious state of conveyance infrastructure in that part of the state.

    The Partnership discussed these items with our partners in the REAL Coalition in early January, which includes the LA Area Chamber, Orange County Business Council, San Francisco Chamber, Oakland Chamber, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, San Diego Chamber, Sacramento Chamber, Fresno Chamber, and many others. We plan to continue to work with our strategic allies on major legislation and regulatory initiatives in the coming year.


  • Thu, January 31, 2019 2:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership backs Gold Line extension to Pomona

    Irwindale, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership was pleased to support the build out of the Gold Line to Pomona as part of the first phase of construction of the new extension from Azusa to Montclair.

    "The Foothill Gold Line is the most important transportation project in the San Gabriel Valley," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "Getting the line out to Pomona in the first phase of construction is critical because of the immense development opportunities and incentives that line provides to the east side of the region. It's a game-changer."

    Funding to complete the full extension of the Gold Line became a major issue when the Construction Authority received bids back last fall that put construction estimates hundreds of millions of dollars higher than anticipated. The cost increases are due to extremely high demand in the broader economy for steel, material, and labor plus uncertainty due to the new tariffs on foreign goods that went into effect January 1st.

    The Partnership joined several of our members, including representatives from the City of Pomona, the LA County Fairplex, Cal Poly Pomona, Citrus Valley Association of Realtors, and many more, to speak at the Metro Board hearing on January 24th in favor of finding additional funding to get the Gold Line to Pomona. The Metro Board voted in favor of that funding and of including the Pomona section in the first phase of construction.

    "The additional funding is a vital step forward for finishing the Gold Line," said Bill Manis. "We will continue to advocate for the full completion of this light rail extension out to Montclair and will work with our partners in the region to see the project through to the end."


  • Wed, January 30, 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership urges AQMD Board to work with South Bay refineries, avoid MHF ban

    Irwindale, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership has asked the Board of the South Coast Air Quality District to continue to work with refineries in the South Bay on refined safety features and avoid a ban of modified hydrofluoric acid (MHF), a key chemical used in the alkylation process.

    "The South Bay refineries in question under Rule 1410 are major players in the state's economy," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "Moving forward with a Memorandum of Understanding with the refineries will implement substantial safety enhancements while allowing these critical economic engines to continue to support our critical freight industry."

    According to the California Energy Commission, a ban of MHF would cause two Southern California refineries to cease operations. If this were to happen, the state would lose thousands of good-paying jobs and California residents, businesses, and governments would see significantly higher gasoline prices. Readily available, affordable fuel is vital for the state's broader economy.

    Adding new safety measures to the refineries will address public concerns over the use of MHF while keeping these facilities open and thriving. The Partnership hopes the AQMD Board will support an Memorandum of Understanding rather than backing a ban on MHF.


  • Thu, January 10, 2019 3:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership hosts special tax incentives workshop for SGV businesses

    South El Monte - The Partnership hosted a special workshop on the California Competes Tax Credits today, a unique state incentive program designed to give companies adding employees or expanding their operations a major tax break. The workshop was sponsored by Bank of America and co-hosted by the Office of Asm. Blanca Rubio and the El Monte / South El Monte Chamber of Commerce. Over 50 SGV companies attended the presentation by Annette Fago, West Region Credits and Incentives Leader for RSM, a noted expert in the process of applying for state business incentives. 

    The workshop was generously hosted by the City of South El Monte, the home of several important manufacturing companies in the region.

    "These tax credits are an incredible opportunity for local SGV companies who are planning to hire or expand in the coming year," said Partnership President and CEO Bill Manis. "It's certainly worth the effort to apply for these incentives given the huge tax break your company could receive."

    Ms. Fago noted in her presentation that all states compete for companies that can make a significant contribution to their local economies and add additional high-wage jobs. This is especially true in California, where a high cost of living, high taxes, and difficult regulation make for a challenging business climate for companies looking to grow and expand. Competitor states like Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Texas will frequently court Golden State companies and offer lucrative incentive packages to lure these companies into relocating.

    The California Competes Tax Credits, for companies who are awarded these credits, are added to the state income tax bill each year for up to six years. Winners of the credits get a major tax break but are required to meet very specific hiring and investment goals. $180 million in tax incentives are available each fiscal year through 2023.

    The current application period began January 2nd and runs through January 21st at midnight.

    Click here to download the full RSM presentation in PowerPoint.


  • Thu, January 10, 2019 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New Partnership CEO interviewed by ABC 7 Eyewitness News on potential bankruptcy and closing of Sears

    IRWINDALE, CA - New Partnership CEO Bill Manis was interviewed by ABC 7 Eyewitness News this week on the potential closing of iconic department store Sears. An 11th hour deal was negotiated late Tuesday night to keep Sears open.

    ABC 7 News wanted the perspective of the Partnership of how a potential closing of Sears would affect the local economy of the San Gabriel Valley.

    "Every city with a Sears has worried these past few years about whether the company could keep its doors open," Manis said. "Sears is usually one of the anchors of a local shopping plaza. A Sears store closing means many smaller businesses in the area lose those Sears customers and businesses in the city suffer for lack of traffic."

    Sears is famous for its legendary catalogs which were a shopping essential for millions of Americans in the 20th century whose access to quality goods required them to order it through the catalog. The department store more recently has struggled to find its footing with sharp competition from retail giants Walmart and Target as well as online competitors like Amazon.


  • Tue, December 11, 2018 10:21 AM | Deleted user

    We have had three cohorts of bioscience entrepreneurs boot camp since summer of 2017 and they have been hugely successful. (

    Some activities of the boot camp can be found on our website (

    We are accepting applications for Winter 2019 boot camp, which will run from Jan 15 through Feb 13, 2019. The deadline for application is December 28, 2018. Please check out the website (

    The main elements of the boot camp include:

    o Five weeks, intimate, intensive training/mentoring program (12 teams/cohort; a team may include up to four partners);

    o No cost to attend with complimentary food and parking for all participants;

    o We encourage all applicants: early-stage entrepreneurs, emerging entrepreneurs (scientists, physician-scientists, faculty, engineers, postdoc fellows, undergraduate and graduate students);

    o Applications accepted from individuals or teams of partners;

    o 4th cohort of Boot Camp: Jan 15 – Feb 13, 2019;

    o Six full-day modules; the rest are mostly half-day sessions on some weekdays and Saturdays;

    o An exceptional line-up of bioscience CEO, executives and experts who have confirmed to work with boot camp participants;

  • Tue, December 11, 2018 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Azusa Pacific University is reimagining the career fair experience in order to better serve students and the needs of local San Gabriel Valley Companies. This annual event is designed for companies & organizations to meet top alumni & student talent from Azusa Pacific University.

    Our Career Center team is pleased to introduce you to the nearly 10,000 undergraduate, graduate & professional students from APU campuses across the Southern California region. With our growing network of alumni talent, we offer a broad spectrum of candidate profiles from more than 100 academic programs and professional work experience from countless industries & sectors.

    Whether you are recruiting undergraduate students for summer internships at your organization or sourcing candidates for hard-to-fill technical positions at your company, we are ready to welcome you to APU Talent Connect! Learn more

    Join us Tuesday, February 12th 2019, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm (901 East Alosta -Azusa, CA 91702)

    Employer registration

  • Tue, December 11, 2018 9:33 AM | Deleted user

    Foothill Consortium Duarte representatives: Economic Development Commissioner Brian Quandt; DUSD Director Kevin Morris; DUSD Michelle Trail; SGVEP Director of Education Pathways Michelle Yanez and Chamber President Sheryl Lefmann.

    (Reprinted with permission from the Duarte Chamber of Commerce)

    The last few years, the Duarte Chamber of Commerce has been working with educators and our members on workforce development Workforce development is critical to economic development and helps create and retain a viable workforce for today and the future.

    This year, the Duarte Chamber Board of Directors made an expanded commitment to this process. Participants of the Chamber’s newly expanded Workforce Development and Education Committee represent K-12 schools, continuing education colleges and universities, businesses, government partners, organizations, and Chamber staff. This cross section allows us to proceed without duplicating efforts with existing regional workforce development coalitions and strengthening our resources.

    One of our workforce development partners is the Foothill Consortium. The Consortium prepares students for college and career. This organization is a joint effort with the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, NAF, chambers, businesses, and the Azusa, Charter Oak, Monrovia and Duarte school districts. At the November quarterly meeting, the Consortium started development of a career showcase which would have a target audience of regional businesses.

    After all, it is the businesses that know what types of employees they need now and, in the future, to ensure their success. These businesses will gain exposure of what students are currently learning, upcoming education development, and how they can be a part of career development. The consortium will also have a question and answer session featuring a panel of experts in workforce development.

    Additionally, there will be opportunities for businesses to be involved in internships. Career themes of the Foothill Consortium academies include finance, engineering, health sciences, hospitality and tourism, and information technology. In the four represented school districts of the Consortium, there are nearly 700 students currently enrolled in these programs, with a goal of 2,000 students enrolled in the program when fully operational. If you, your business or your employer would like to be a part of this exciting opportunity, reach out to Sheryl Lefmann at the Duarte Chamber (626-357-3333) for more information.

  • Sun, December 09, 2018 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    San Gabriel Valley Tribune: In lieu of dead 710 freeway extension, LA Metro Board awards cities $515 million for road projects

    In an historic vote, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board Thursday approved $515 million in local roadway projects in lieu of a north 710 Freeway extension, ending nearly 60 years of debate.

    A list of 34 projects include removal of the southern 710 stub at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, construction of a train overpass at California Boulevard in Pasadena, and three parking structures in Monterey Park.

    The LA Metro board voted 8-0 to spend more than half a billion dollars in projects. Most of the funding comes from the $780 million set aside in Measure R, a half-cent sales tax adopted by Los Angeles County voters in 2008 earmarked for the 4.3-mile 710 Freeway gap closure tunnel.

    Both LA Metro and Caltrans killed the 710 Freeway extension first offered in the 1950s that more recently was proposed as a tunnel from the terminus at Valley Boulevard through South Pasadena and Pasadena to the 210 Freeway.

    San Gabriel Valley Tribune: More than 100K acres would be added to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument with this sweeping conservation bill

    A sweeping conservation bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris would expand the boundaries of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include popular hiking trails north of Pasadena and create a federally designated recreation area along the San Gabriel River, including the western portion of the Puente-Chino Hills.

    Harris’ San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act mimics two bills by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena reintroduced in May 2017 after they languished for two years in a previous Congress without being discussed in committee.

    Today, conservation bills, once seen as dead on arrival in a Republican-majority Congress, are viewed by watchdogs as receiving a green light in a Democratic-majority House of Representatives.

    Many see Harris’ companion bills as laying the groundwork for merged House-Senate legislation that will require approval by the Senate, in which Republicans hold a slim majority.

    OC Register: Joel Kotkin: The Soul of the New Machine

    Thirty-five years ago Tracy Kidder electrified readers with his “Soul of a New Machine,” which detailed the development of a minicomputer. Today we may be seeing the emergence of another machine, a political variety that could turn the country toward a permanent one-party state.

    This evolution has its roots in California, where a combination of Silicon Valley technology, changing demographics, control of media, culture and academia have worked to all but eliminate the once-fearsome state GOP.  For all intents and purposes, the California Republican Party has ceased to exist.

    But this is not, as some conservatives contend, a case simply of California lunacy. Several once historically conservative states — Colorado, Arizona, Nevada — have been turning ever-bluer in recent elections. The party now barely is able to hold onto seats in places such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida, while the  Midwest, the region that elected Donald Trump, seems to be shifting back to its bluer past.

    Just two years ago, the Republican Party was at its apex at the state level, while controlling both the House and the Senate. Yet Trump’s histrionics and narcissistic persona have undermined his own party, as Utah’s defeated Rep. Mia Love recently suggested. “It’s all the Donald that’s killed us,” says Kevin Shuvalov, recounting the beating Republicans suffered in most Texas metro areas, and where Beto O’Rourke almost dethroned Senator Ted Cruz.

    Trump’s antics, particularly on immigration, have brought the fabulously rich Brahmin elite — Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, the Silicon Valley billionaires — out in force, continuing a trend that has been building for at least a decade. But they also built a very impressive grassroots funding base. Together these two efforts allowed the Democrats to garner effort for two-thirds of spending on critical congressional races.

    Money, as the late Jesse Unruh put it, is “the mother’s milk of politics” and the Democrats employed it in part to finance a first-rate get out the vote effort. This helped raise the midterm turnout to its highest rate since 1914. Numerous well-targeted campaigns in fairly affluent suburban districts saw GOP candidates, notably in Congress, chopped up like unwelcome crabgrass.

    CALMatters: Jerry Brown's last stand on pension reform

    Six years ago, as California strained to emerge from the Great Recession, Gov. Jerry Brown worked a minor political miracle—a rebalancing of the massive state pension systems for public employees.

    Shuttling between unions and the strapped governments on the hook for public sector benefits and paychecks, Brown scaled back some of the rules and perks that have made public sector workers more secure, arguing that the pain would be worth it. Results were mixed: The largest benefit rollback in state history yielded some savings, but not enough to entirely fix a pension commitment that taxpayers are increasingly finding hard to manage.

    Now, as Brown prepares to leave office—his own pension at hand, after five decades in public service—even that hard-won modicum of fiscal change could be loosened. In a case that went to oral arguments this week, the California Supreme Court is weighing a key legal precedent that could restore the generous pension formulas Brown worked so hard to tighten.

    Brown, who at 80 has already surpassed the average retirement age of state workers by 22 years, predicts that he’ll win. But Wednesday’s proceedings made it clear that workers’ arguments are also compelling.

    Whatever the ruling, Brown’s successor, Gavin Newsom, will have to cope with the outcome. And—though the state’s unfunded liabilities persist, and economists warn another recession could be just around the corner—Newsom will face a very different political landscape. Should California land in another downturn, Brown’s pension reform miracle could be difficult, if not impossible, to repeat.

    The case heard by the high court today involves the California Rule, a legal precedent that requires the state to compensate public employees if their retirement benefits are lessened. In a challenge brought by Cal Fire Local 2881, the firefighters union argues that the ability to purchase additional years of service credit toward retirement, known as “airtime,” is a pension benefit that employees rely on as part of their decision to go into public service.

    Washington Post: Opinion: Bill Clinton: 'George H.W. Bush's Oval Office note to me revealed the heart of who he was'

    On Jan. 20, 1993, I entered the Oval Office for the first time as president. As is the tradition, waiting for me was a note from my predecessor, George Herbert Walker Bush. It read:

    Dear Bill,

    When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.

    I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

    There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

    You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

    Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

    Good Luck — George

    No words of mine or others can better reveal the heart of who he was than those he wrote himself. He was an honorable, gracious and decent man who believed in the United States, our Constitution, our institutions and our shared future. And he believed in his duty to defend and strengthen them, in victory and defeat. He also had a natural humanity, always hoping with all his heart that others’ journeys would include some of the joy that his family, his service and his adventures gave him.

    His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life. From Indonesia to Houston, from the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast to Kennebunkport, Maine — where just a few months ago we shared our last visit, as he was surrounded by his family but clearly missing Barbara — I cherished every opportunity I had to learn and laugh with him. I just loved him.

    Many people were surprised at our relationship, considering we were once political adversaries. Despite our considerable differences, I had admired many of his accomplishments as president, especially his foreign policy decisions in managing America’s response to the end of the Cold War and his willingness to work with governors of both parties to establish national education goals. Even more important, though he could be tough in a political fight, he was in it for the right reasons: People always came before politics, patriotism before partisanship. To the end, we knew we would never agree on everything, and we agreed that was okay. Honest debate strengthens democracy.

  • Fri, November 30, 2018 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Partnership Opposes Text Message Tax Proposal by Public Utilities Commission

    IRWINDALE, CA - The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership is strongly opposed to a new proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission to place a tax on wireless cell phone users to pay for emergency text messaging services by the state. The proposal is still under review by the Public Utilities Commission.

    The proposal is designed to increase funding for the state Public Purpose Program, which is already supported by mobile phone fees and taxes. An additional tax on text messaging doubles the cost to the same consumers who are already supporting this program, disproportionately placing a financial burden on wireless consumers.

    This burden is particularly hard on lower income Californians who typically only have wireless phone service as their primary contact and communication vehicle. The Partnership believes the state should be sensitive to the needs of these Californians and conduct a thorough study of the impact such taxes could have before proceeding with implementation. Read the Partnership's full opposition letter here.

    For more information, contact Director of Public Policy Brad Jensen at or 626-856-3400.


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San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

4900 Rivergrade Road, Suite B130, Irwindale, CA 91706

Phone: (626) 856-3400    Fax: (626) 856-5115


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