News Blog

  • Mon, October 03, 2016 12:17 PM | Anonymous


    Dr. Michelle Yanez served as a facilitator and industry specialist for a NAF training of San Gabriel Valley K-12 schools that have academies. The NAF educational design is to bring education, business and community leaders together to ensure that high school students are college, career and future ready. Pictured here are representatives of the Duarte USD new Hospitality & Business Entrepreneur Academy. Visit

  • Mon, September 26, 2016 12:19 PM | Anonymous


    The Partnership hosted a reception for Carlos Garcia de Alba, Consul General of Mexico, today. The event drew a good crowd, including members of the San Gabriel Valley Latino and Chinese business communities, hoping to learn something new about doing business with Mexico. Annie Wei, the Partnership's Business Assistance Manager, had recently heard him speak about California-Baja (Cali-Baja) business relations and invited him to share his statistics with us.

    The most interesting facts is that State of Baja California is a leader in Advanced Manufacturing (AM), with over 3,600 AM firms Baja produces 50% of Mexico’s export of medical devices. Like the San Gabriel Valley, they have years of experience in manufacturing for aerospace with a workforce of more than 16,000 highly skilled workers. They also have more than 80 automotive established companies like Honeywell, Hyndai, and Toyota. An interesting fact that he shared was that Mexico’s average minimum wage is %19.6 less than China, which makes it comparatively more advantageous in respect to the cost of labor and close proximity.

    52.7 million people cross their borders every year for work, leisure and business. The Cali-Baja border is a corridor that should be maximized for economic growth. Just recently a bridge was built between the San Diego Airport and the Tijuana Airport and since then the number of air flights have surged. His point was that “building bridges is better than walls” and that there is an enormous opportunity to work together and share resources to improve our economies. He said the truth is that Mexican workers in California are honest and hard-working and important to the US economy. In fact, Mexican border crossing has ceased and now there is a migration from Central America that has become a new challenge for even them.

    Naturally, the issue of safety arose. Garcia de Alba admitted that like every country, they have issues and theirs is one of the drug supply-and-demand. The US is a large consumer of drugs and Baja is situated between the producers and the consumers. The Cousul General advised the audience to have common sense, to refrain from doing business with the wrong people, and to stay away from visiting dangerous hotspots. A number of our attendees felt that the media should be sharing more about the positive contributions of Mexico and the opportunities at hand to do business together. Lily Li, CEO of Taurus Spice, sponsored the event and represents a growing number of Chinese business owners eager to do business with Mexico.

  • Fri, September 23, 2016 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    SoCal air quality regulators mulling hike in vehicle registration fees

    Los Angeles Times

    Air quality regulators are considering an increase in vehicle registration fees for millions of drivers to help pay for smog reduction programs. The fee increases is one component of a funding proposal under development by the South Coast Air Quality Management District as part of a major pollution-reduction plan. That plan will guide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years. The vehicle registration fee would increase by $30 annually and apply to 10 million drivers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

    Dan Walters: Transportation, housing crises get short shrift in Legislature

    Sacramento Bee

    Columnist Dan Walters calls out the California State Legislature, which recently concluded its business for the year, for ignoring two huge issues that plague the daily life of millions of Californians: transportation and housing. Lawmakers cobbled together a major transportation tax increase this year but it got lost amid the pile of bills in the final weeks of the legislative session. Several major housing proposals were introduced to increase housing stock and make more affordable housing available, but most failed to advance. Lawmakers seemed more focused on their campaigns in an election year than addressing these two major items for the state.

    The Pension Gap

    Los Angeles Times

    The L.A. Times dives into a landmark 1999 deal signed by Governor Gray Davis that gave significant retirement increases to a host of state employees and allowed them to retire at age 55 and in many cases collect more than half their highest salary for the rest of their lives.

    These 10 San Gabriel Valley, Whittier school districts want millions in bonds

    San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    Several local school districts have placed millions in new bonds on the November ballot. School districts are increasingly relying on local voters to boost revenues for school construction, maintenance and other operation costs, raising concerns over long-term debt for these often overlooked government agencies.

  • Thu, September 22, 2016 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    Business Assistance Manager Annie Wei conducted a Business Walk in La Verne with Mayor of La Verne Don Kendrick, Community Development Director Hal Fredericksen , Los Angeles County Workforce Development Branch Regional Service Manager Isidro Villanueva. The team visited several advanced manufacturers; they listened to the businesses' concerns and introduced them to various incentive programs.

    Names of the Businesses Visited in La Verne:la-verne

    Body Vision Los Angeles

    Century Products


    Crown Lift Trucks

    Pacific Precision

  • Fri, September 16, 2016 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Michelle Yanez (center) with fellow new commissioners Jose Gardea and Adriana Kuhlne Michelle Yanez (center) with fellow new commissioners Jose Gardea (left) and Adriana Kuhlne (right).

    Dr. Michelle Yanez was nominated by the Office of Supervisor Solis and appointed to the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board on September 6th. Dr. Yanez will represent the voice of industry and the need for a skilled workforce through educational alignment in the San Gabriel Valley region. She is pictured here with fellow new commissioners Jose Gardea Founder & President of Urbanism Advisors and Adriana Kuhlne Division Chief, Workforce Services Branch for EDD.

    Operates with, and on behalf of, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to carry out functions mandated by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). WIOA is intended “to strengthen the United States workforce development system through innovation in, and alignment and improvement of, employment, training, and education programs in the United States, and to promote individual and national economic growth. The WDB serves a designated local area comprised of 58 cities and over 100 unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County and is the 2nd largest designated local area in the State of California, serving nearly 4 million residents.

  • Fri, September 09, 2016 12:22 PM | Anonymous


    Reprinted from San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    POSTED: 09/11/16, 9:29 PM PDT | UPDATED: 4 HRS AGO 1 COMMENT

    Business leaders, elected officials and community members from throughout the San Gabriel Valley gathered in Pomona over the weekend to honor the Valley’s best and brightest.

    The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership’s annual Awards Gala, held Saturday night at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, touted the people and businesses that are helping to boost the region’s economy and quality of life, and celebrated the organization’s 25th anniversary.

    Cynthia Kurtz, who served as the partnership’s president and CEO from January 2009 to December 2015, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of her most revealing observations were conveyed in a film that was presented at the beginning of the event.

    “I’m really proud of what the partnership does,” Kurtz said. “I think focusing on bringing together education, business and government to solve problems is something every region should do, and this region has been committed to it for over 25 years now. I think it really has made a difference in the San Gabriel Valley.”

    Kurtz, who left the partnership to become chief operating officer for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corp., previously served as Pasadena’s city manager and interim city manager for Covina.

    Many of the other presenters and honorees touted Kurtz as a mentor who helped them further their own careers.

    The Business of the Year Award went to Majestic Realty, an Industry-based development firm that was founded in 1948 by Edward P. Roski Jr. The company has expanded well beyond its humble beginnings to become the nation’s largest privately held developer and owner of master-planned business parks.

    Majestic’s 76.5 million-square-foot portfolio includes industrial, office and retail space, as well as sports, entertainment and hospitality projects. Locally, Majestic is probably best known for co-developing the world-renowned Staples Center sports/concert arena in Los Angeles.

    The company’s work has not gone unnoticed. NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, selected Majestic as its 2015 Developer of the Year, the association’s highest honor.

    “We were honored as the North American developer of the year last year, but it’s really cool to be recognized at home,” said Fran Inman, a senior vice president with Majestic. “And the San Gabriel Valley is our home.”

    Kaiser Permanente snagged the Environmental Leadership Award. Last year Kaiser Permanente Southern California curbed its water use by 11.2 percent, or 95 million gallons ­— enough to provide water to 723 homes for a year. But the medical provider’s environmental efforts don’t end there.

    “Kaiser Permanente has installed over 50 solar installations,” said Maggie Carras, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser’s medical center in Baldwin Park. “We’ve installed them at our Baldwin Park medical center as well as at two of our medical office buildings in San Dimas and Diamond Bar.”

    City of Hope and Duarte Unified School District received the Excellence in Educational Pathways Award. The school district currently offers innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs that are provided in partnership with the City of Hope Cancer Treatment and Research Center.

    “We’re excited to move forward in working with our partnership with Duarte Unified School District,” said Dr. Marisa Bowers, City of Hope’s program coordinator. “We’re planning some new, exciting programs. We’re looking forward to starting a community science project, so we’ll be inviting members of the community to interview for an ongoing science research project at City of Hope.”

    David Reyno, director of government relations for Foothill Transit and former chair of the partnership’s board, was given the Chairman’s Award. With Foothill, he is responsible for establishing and maintaining legislative contacts, tracking transit-related legislation and getting the maximum amount of local, state and federal funding as well as informing stakeholders of pending government developments.

    “I am truly honored and humbled,” he said. “I want to congratulate the honorees, but especially Cynthia because to have you as the CEO when I was chair just made the job so much easier. You helped guide me.”

    Pacific Plate Brewing Co. landed the Small Business of the Year Award. Founded in 2012 by longtime friends Stephen Kooshian, Steven Cardenas and Jonathan Parada, the Monrovia craft brewery is known for developing signature beers that are infused with Latin American Flavors.

    They include Agave Wheat, Horchata Stout and Mango IPA, among others. The brewery is close to opening a satellite location in Glendale.

    “This would not have been possible without my very dedicated business partners and friends,” Kooshian said. “Without them this business would still just be dream and it would probably still just be a hobby of mine — making beer in the kitchen of my apartment in college rather than an actual business here in the San Gabriel Valley.”

  • Thu, September 01, 2016 12:23 PM | Anonymous


    Reprinted from San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    POSTED: 08/31/16, 6:06 PM PDT | UPDATED: 8 HRS AGO 0 COMMENTS

    Want to find out what the five top occupations are in Azusa? How about the percentage of businesses in Rosemead that have 50 to 99 employees? Or the median household income for residents living in West Covina?

    Welcome to the SGV Economic PowerSite.


    The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership unveiled the interactive website last week. It’s designed to promote the region’s commercial real estate economy and provide demographic and business resources to investors, site selectors and brokers.

    “It’s robust and interactive,” said Jeff Allred, the partnership’s CEO. “You can manipulate the site to give you exactly what you want. You can go to any address in any city and look at a particular radius from that address and get all kinds of information — like how many employees businesses in that area have and income levels of people within that radius. You can also see where people spend their money and how much they spend.”

    The SGV Economic PowerSite can be accessed by going to the partnership’s website at Click on the large magnifying glass and icons for 25 of the region’s 31 cities will appear. Those are members cities that pay an annual fee to access the partnership’s services.


    When a user clicks on Glendora they’ll immediately see that it has a population of 51,137, a median home value of $549,200 and a median household income of $75,682.

    Delving deeper, the database reveals that 20.4 percent of the city’s population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 11.7 percent have a graduate degree. The website also shows that retail, education, health care and social services, accommodation and food services and additional services that include repair, personal care and laundry services rank as the city’s top industries for jobs.


    Allred, who previously served as the city manager for Rosemead and Norco, said the site will be particularly useful for business looking to expand or move into a city.

    “I’ve dealt with a number of site selectors when working as a city manager and they need this kind of data,” he said. “The beauty of this is that now all of this information is right at their fingertips. When a city applies for a grant they also need to have this information.”

    The technology for the website was provided by GIS Planning Inc., a San Francisco-based company that specializes in creating economic databases for cities.

    “The website updates itself every three months and the economic information on businesses is updated every three months,” Allred said. “Another major feature allows cities to upload their key opportunity sites that they want to see action on. Every city has vacant buildings and vacant storefronts. The property listings are right there with maps and photos.”

    Montebello’s website, for example, showcases an 8,000-square-foot property in Montebello Plaza. Another listing of an available office/retail space on west Beverly Boulevard shows that the property has two sections — one with 1,581 square feet of space priced at $2.21 a square foot, and another with 2,706 square feet priced at $1.85 a square foot.

    “I think this could provide good information for a business that wants to locate somewhere,” said Lars Perner, an assistant professor of clinical marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business. “It gives a good indication of the economy of an area and it’s good if you want to encourage businesses to come in.”

    Allred said the website’s rich database of information will come in handy for city officials, too.

    “If you are managing a city this will let you know every business that’s in that city,” he said. “Prior to this power site, cities didn’t have the ability to know every business.”

  • Sat, March 26, 2016 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Yanez helped connect the principal of the El Monte Rosemead Adult School to the coordinator at the Southwest Carpenters Training Fund to help facilitate the development of a construction program at the school. The carpenters group is more than willing to help the school develop a program that exposes students to pre-apprenticeship programs, which allow interested students to earn money on-the-job while taking their classes and earning college credit. Carpenters earn a great living with the high demand for the trades in the San Gabriel Valley. Pictured: Dr. Michelle Yanez, Matt Dunphy, and Dr. Deborah Kerr.

  • Sat, March 26, 2016 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    To ensure satisfaction with doing business in the city of La Verne, Business Assistance Manager Annie Wei coordinated a Business Walk of the La Verne Village Luxury Apartments & Shops, Kohl's, and Target. The team that visited businesses included Mayor and City Community Director of La Verne and CEO of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce.

  • Sat, March 26, 2016 12:27 PM | Anonymous

    Business Assistance Manager Annie Wei visited Anxin Inc in San Marino, a company that assists EB-5 Visa immigrants with overseas family settlement and new business development. Due to this connection, the Partnership will periodically present to Anxin's clients information about why businesses choose to invest in the San Gabriel Valley.

San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

4900 Rivergrade Road, Suite B130, Irwindale, CA 91706

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


Office Hours: Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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