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.
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
Gabriel's House: Providing faith-based healing and wholeness to the formerly homeless women and children of Oxnard
Gabriel’s House is a non-profit emergency shelter and transitional living home located in Oxnard dedicated to serving the formerly homeless women and their children of Ventura County. Since opening in 2011, Gabriel's House has provided emergency shelter and case management services to over 400 residents with over 300 (75%) of these residents moving into stable or long-term housing programs. With 20 emergency service beds and six private family rooms, Gabriel’s House can serve up to 40 women, children, and babies at one time.
The City of Oxnard has recently chosen Gabriel’s House to be the site of Ventura County’s newest, expanded emergency shelter. This new multi-story unit, located immediately next to Gabriel’s House in Oxnard, will double or triple Gabriel’s House’s existing emergency shelter capacity. The cry and vision of Gabriel’s House is that no woman or child in our community should have to sleep outside.
Gabriel’s House is more than a comfortably furnished home on two green acres in a quiet neighborhood with security. It is an entire community of caregivers committed to serving each individual as a person, not as a case. It is a place to call home and truly be part of a family. You can learn more about Gabriel’s House at gabriel's-house.org. Requests to learn more or to get involved with Gabriel’s House can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (805) 487-3445.
The Economic Development Collaborative–Ventura County’s special services coordinator, Clare Briglio, has announced additional resources now available for businesses recovering from the impact of the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods and mudslides.
“New federal declarations have secured additional resources for those who have suffered personal and/or business injury as a result of the Thomas Fire and subsequent mudslides and floods,” explained Briglio. “To take full advantage of these new federal resources, business owners are encouraged to follow this three-step process. For direct in-person assistance in filing with FEMA or the SBA, please visit a Disaster Recovery Center in your area. In addition, EDC-VC has compiled an online list of resources at http://edc-vc.com/disaster-recovery-services/.”
To access available federal fire and flood relief resources, people should follow this three-step process:
Step 1: Registration with FEMA- Clients who have been impacted by the Thomas Fire and subsequent flood and are interested in government assistance should apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
NOTE: The filing deadline to return FEMA applications for property damage is March 16, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 15, 2018.
Applicants should have the following information at hand:
· Social Security number.
· Address of the damaged primary residence.
· Description of the damage.
· Information about insurance coverage.
· A current contact telephone number.
· An address where they can receive mail.
· Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.
Step 2: Registration with the SBA for low-interest loans- Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available for businesses of all sizes (including landlords), private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters. Disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries. This includes Economic Injury Disaster loans for businesses that may or may not have sustained any damage, but have experienced a downturn in business because of the disaster. The SBA customer service center is also available to answer questions at 1-800-659-2955. Applicants may also come in to a Local Recovery Center (LRC) for person-to-person assistance in completing their applications. For further information, visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Step 3: Registration with EDD for unemployment benefits- Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now available for workers, business owners and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work hours substantially reduced as a result of the wildfires and associated flooding, mudslides and debris flows in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Those affected are encourages to apply online at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/, by calling 1-800-300-5616 (English) 1-800-326-8937 (Spanish) or by visiting a Local Recovery Center (see locations below).
Local Recovery Centers (LRC) - Two Disaster Recovery Centers are now open locally for personal and business assistance. Representatives from FEMA, SBA, OES and other agencies will be present to provide information and resources for economic and personal injury due to the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods. Locations are as follows:
1 N Calle Cesar Chavez #21
Santa Barbara, Ca 93103
Saturday 10-2 pm
Ventura County Credit Union
6026 Telephone Rd
Ventura, CA 93003
Saturday 9-1 pm
RESOURCES FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has opened a temporary satellite office this week in Ventura County to help farmers and ranchers who suffered losses in the Thomas Fire apply for federal disaster recovery assistance.
Agricultural Commissioner's Office
815 E. Santa Barbara St.
Santa Paula, CA 93060
Hours of operation
Thursday, January 18, 8 a.m. to noon
Thursday, January 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Thursday, February 22, 10 a.m. -2 p.m.
Applicants are asked to call the Santa Barbara FSA office at 805-928-9269 to schedule an appointment, but drop-ins are also welcome.
The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, jobs retained and businesses started.
EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center, loan programs, manufacturing outreach and international trade program, or other services available to small businesses through EDC-VC, contact Bruce Stenslie at 805-384-1800 ext. 24 or email@example.com. Or visit www.edc-vc.com.