The March 8 Knowledge & Networking Lunch will feature a candidates’ forum for the May 1 city council recall election. Qualified candidates vying for the positions of mayor and city council are invited to participate. The incumbent mayor and council members have also been invited to deliver messages of why they should not be recalled.
Moderating the forum will be Dr. Herbert E. Gooch, Professor of Political Science at California Lutheran University. He formerly Served as Director of the Masters in Public Policy and Administration program and Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies at Cal Lutheran. Herb has written extensively and is a frequent commentator on political affairs locally and statewide.
The candidates’ forum will be held at River Ridge Golf Club on March 8 from 11:30 to 1:30. Advance reservations are highly recommended since this will be a well-attended event. The lunch price is discounted for members reserving by March 5. Log on to the Chamber website or call the office at 805-983-6118 to make a reservation.
Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), a nonprofit organization that helps young students understand and appreciate the origins of their food, received a $7,500 grant from Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC). The funds will help SEEAG expand its education efforts through its Journey of Our Food agricultural and nutrition school programs. Since its inception in 2008, SEEAG has provided free classroom and onsite farm field trips to over 20,000 students.
RAC, headquartered in Oxnard, has operations worldwide with affiliates in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Africa, is the largest fresh, multi-berry producer in the world and the leading supplier of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in North America.
"RAC has been a wonderful SEEAG partner for several years," says Mary Maranville, SEEAG CEO. “It's a perfect match. RAC grows row crops and we use row crops to teach students about where their food comes from. The recent Thomas Fire cemented the relationship event further." SEEAG volunteers recently batched together about 6,000 donated gift cards and helped distribute them to farmworkers affected by the fire.
"It's relationships like these, people helping people, that make you appreciate how much good there is in our community and the importance of our agricultural neighbors," says Maranville.
To learn more about SEEAG, go to www.SEEAG.org or contact Maranville at email@example.com, 805-901-0213.
First SoCal private university program starts in fall
California Lutheran University will offer a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and tourism, the only one available from a private institution in Southern California, starting in the fall semester.
Cal Lutheran’s School of Management spent two years working with more than 50 industry leaders from organizations including AmaWaterways, Westlake Village Inn, Pleasant Holidays, The Walt Disney Co., Conejo Valley Tourism Improvement District and Urbane Cafe to develop the program. Many of them stepped forward to provide more than $600,000 in seed funding for a professorship and scholarship fund.
“Support from industry professionals eager to build a needed pipeline of high-quality talent for their businesses has been amazing,” said School of Management Dean Gerhard Apfelthaler. “They have helped us put together a top-notch program that will prepare students for leadership in this important and growing field.”
The hospitality and tourism industry is a driving force behind the California and regional economies and is forecast to grow. Despite the importance of tourism in California, the percentage of colleges in the state offering programs in the field falls below the national average. Locally, Cal Lutheran’s program will provide a way for students in the hospitality, restaurant and tourism management, and culinary arts programs at Oxnard College, Santa Barbara City College and the Ventura County Office of Education to continue their education.
Companies have already committed to more than 50 internships, which will be required of students, and study abroad opportunities are also available. Labs will give students hands-on experience with the latest reservation, conference and front desk management systems so they will have broad knowledge of the areas they may oversee as managers.
Students will complete a core managerial program to develop skills in operations, finance, human resources and marketing. Company executives will present special courses and guest lectures. The curriculum will also focus on creative and critical thinking, communication and ethical leadership. The final year will cover advanced hospitality management topics and involve students in roundtable meetings with local, regional and global executives.
“The hospitality industry needs well-rounded, well-educated professionals,” said Jim Cathcart, director of human resources for Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. “I am very excited about Cal Lutheran’s program, which balances industry-specific courses, experiential learning and the liberal arts.”
For more information on the program, go to callutheran.edu/hospitality.
Attorney General, Labor Commissioner Issues Guidance and FAQ for Employers on Immigration Enforcement Actions
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Labor Commissioner Julie Su yesterday issued two documents for California employers dealing with California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450).
Attorney General Becerra issued an advisory providing an overview of and guidance on the privacy prescriptions under AB 450. Commissioner Su also issued joint guidance on frequently asked questions to help employers and workers understand and comply with the new state law.
Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and must follow new notice obligations. This law applies to all California employers and was effective January 1, 2018.
California employers can no longer consent voluntarily to allow ICE to enter nonpublic work areas or to access company records. Instead, ICE must present legal documentation before employers can allow access.
Employers must follow specific requirements related to Form I-9 inspections. For example, within 72 hours of receiving a Notice of Inspection, California employers must post a notice to all current employees informing them of any federal immigration agency’s inspections of Forms I-9 or other employment records.
CalChamber added the new Notice to Employee English and Spanish versions to the HRCalifornia website. These forms are available for free.
Employers also have obligations once the inspection is over. Within 72 hours of receiving the inspection results, employers must provide each “affected employee” a copy of the results and a written notice of the employer’s and employee’s obligations arising from the inspection. The written notice must contain specific information and must be hand-delivered in the workplace, if possible. An “affected employee” is one identified by the inspection results as potentially lacking work authorization or having document deficiencies.
Unions also have the right to receive notices.
An employer that fails to follow any of these notice requirements can be fined between $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
At the same time, federal penalties for Form I-9 violations can range from a couple hundred dollars to more than $20,000.
Preparation Is Essential
Because the timeframes are so short, preparation is key to meeting the notice requirements. Employers should have a process in place to respond to Notices of Inspection. Employers should identify who in their organization would likely receive a Notice of Inspection and confirm that person knows how to respond.
CalChamber members can learn more about Worksite Immigration Enforcement and Protections
in the HR Library. Not a member? Learn about the benefits of membership.
The white paper, Worksite Immigration Enforcements: What You Need to Know is available for nonmembers to download. CalChamber members can also access this white paper on HRCalifornia.
Help your business save money.
Today’s economy is especially challenging for small businesses. Many are aggressively seeking ways to cut expenses and better manage operating costs. The Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance (VCREA) & Southern California Edison (SCE) understands how energy costs can impact your bottom line…that’s why we are promoting the Direct Install program.
The Direct Install program is an excellent way for your business to reduce energy costs and save money. This effortless program provides qualifying businesses with FREE energy-efficient products, FREE installation and long-term energy savings.
How Direct Install Works
SCE has contracted with highly-skilled energy efficiency experts who will come and evaluate your small business, free of charge, to identify energy savings opportunities. With your approval, the contractor will install FREE energy-efficient replacement equipment. By replacing the less efficient equipment with new, energy-efficient technology, your business will reduce its energy use, carbon footprint and electric bill — all at no cost to you.
The contractor will take 5–10 minutes to complete the energy assessment and make recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your business. If you agree with the recommendations, the contractor will ask you to sign an Authorization Form and schedule an appointment for a convenient time to install the equipment. Installation of recommended energy-efficient equipment will take less than two hours and your business can remain open.
Take the opportunity to participate this year and let us know you are interested, this program might not be back in the area for another few years. To see approximately when your Direct Install Contractor, CRI Lighting & Electrical, will be in our area, please view the enclosed Direct Install Community Calendar.
Learn how other business owners lowered their energy usage with Direct Install by visiting www.sce.com/sbd then click on Direct Install.
It’s really that easy. There’s no catch. Simply let us help your business use energy more efficiently, conserve precious resources and improve your bottom line.
Feel free to contact us directly with questions you may have about the program.
Click here for more info.
County of Ventura
800 S Victoria Ave #L 1940
Ventura, CA 93009
Direct: (805) 654-3887