California Works – When the Private Sector Succeeds, We All Succeed
Highlighting ways that CalChamber member companies and local chambers of commerce help keep the California economy strong and moving forward.
The more effectively CalChamber members — large and small — can compete in the global economy, the greater their ability to provide good-paying jobs to support families, and generate the revenues needed to run the state.
As the need for digital connectivity skyrocketed during the pandemic, many were left without reliable broadband access, widening society’s digital divide. The large gaps in broadband service and accessibility spurred Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal of Broadband for All. Verizon, aligning with this goal, is committed to helping to close the digital divide and ensuring all Californians have access to reliable broadband service. Read more
Kern Energy is an independent, family-owned energy company producing reliable transportation fuels taking kids to school, people to work and products to market since 1934. The only refiner between the Bay Area and Los Angeles producing gasoline and renewable diesel, Kern Energy is powered by a team of 185 full-time employees and is a critical supplier of California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley. Read more
With more than 500 employees, 14 facilities, and 326 suppliers in California, GM continues to invest in innovation, infrastructure and workforce development in communities throughout the state.
The global automaker has maintained an active presence in the state for over a century and shares California’s vision of an all-electric future with zero emissions. GM aspires to eliminate tailpipe emissions from all new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 in global products and operations. GM is focused on delivering zero-emissions vehicles across a range of categories and price points for retail and commercial customers. Read more.
Latinos in the United States are an economic powerhouse, contributing $2.8 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) each year. In fact, if U.S. Latinos were a standalone country, they would rank as the fifth largest GDP in the world, larger than India, Russia, Canada, England and other major economies, according to a report by the Latino Donor Collaborative in partnership with Wells Fargo.
With a quarter of Latino Americans in the United States residing in California alone, Governor Gavin Newsom last month proclaimed September 15 to October 15 as Latino Heritage Month in California. The contributions of the Latino community have officially been celebrated in the U.S. since 1988, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed National Hispanic Heritage Month into law. Read more.
Microsoft’s story in California spans nearly 40 years and includes a commitment to empower every person and organization to achieve more. A hub for innovation, California remains critical to Microsoft, and the company continues to expand and grow their presence in the state.
Digital transformation is critical to the future of the global economy. Microsoft is bridging the digital divide by ensuring underrepresented communities have the tools and skills needed to succeed in today’s digital world. Microsoft believes that access to digital skills and learning paths that connect to new jobs can strengthen local economies and help uplift communities across California. Read more.
Health Net was founded more than 40 years ago in California, remains headquartered in the state and maintains operations in all 58 counties. The company provides health plans for individuals, families, businesses of every size and people who qualify for Medi-Cal or Medicare, including offering several health plans through Covered California. Health Net also offers access to substance abuse programs, behavioral health services, employee assistance programs and more.
“Health Net’s teams live in, and reflect, the diversity of the communities we serve,” said Brian Ternan, president and CEO at Health Net. “Our employees are woven in the fabric of California, and partner closely with local clinics, community-based organizations and other providers to deliver culturally appropriate and locally driven programs. The Health Net team has the deep experience a company can only get from knowing the people it serves firsthand.” Read more.
Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to 5,800 customers, including major brands, third-party logistics providers and small-to-mid-sized businesses based here in California.
As part of the Biden administration’s focus on addressing supply chain vulnerabilities and congestion, a new federal effort —the FLOW (Freight Logistics Optimization Works) initiative —is designed to increase the exchange of information between aspects of the goods movement supply chain. Launched in March 2022, many public and private organizations have been invited to help, including California’s own Prologis.
With its global headquarters in San Francisco and its biggest market in Southern California, California continues to be at the heart of Prologis’ business. The company owns and manages more than 500 warehouses and properties across Los Angeles County and the Bay Area alone. Read more.
OUTSOURCE Consulting Services Inc.: Staffing Company Works Hard to Deliver Human Spirit to Clients of All Sizes
OCSI.co recently celebrated 28 years in the staffing industry. The company is a proud partner of major Fortune 500 companies and a national provider of human workforce management solutions as a small, minority, woman-owned, disability enterprise business and former 8 (a) firm.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the people.” OCSI.co’s mission is to earn the respect of its clients and employees, so that they will become their biggest champion
Sandra O’Neal Floyd, president and CEO of OCSI and member of the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, founded OUTSOURCE Consulting Services Inc. (OCSI.co) in 1994 as a staffing, contingent and direct hire human workforce management firm, building and sustaining a diverse workforce of information technology (IT), professional and engineering disciplines. Read more.
For nearly 70 years, VSP Vision™ has been the largest and only national not-for-profit vision benefits company. Founded by optometrists in California in 1955, the goal was simple yet ambitious: bring access to affordable, high-quality eye care to as many people as possible. Six-plus decades later, the leading health-focused vision company serves more than 85 million members – nearly 1 in 4 people living in the United States – through a network of 41,000 doctors.
As the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the company focused on ensuring its members had access to eye care.
“The reality is medical eye care needs don’t stop just because the pandemic is going on,” said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, president of VSP Vision Care and member of the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “We knew we could make a difference by helping our members stay connected to their VSP network doctor and not have to go to emergency rooms, which were under tremendous strain.” Read more.
For more than 30 years, McWong International, Inc. has been bridging the best of East and West to provide quality and innovation to its customers. A California corporation, McWong has grown to become a leader in the design and manufacture of high-quality lighting control equipment and related electrical components.
McWong International was founded in 1984 by Margaret Wong, President and Chief Executive Officer of McWong International, Inc., and California Chamber of Commerce Board Member, a global entrepreneur who has launched several other highly successful enterprises forged on creating multi-million-dollar businesses and mastering international trade between the U.S. and China. Read more.
In 1966, a group of parents came together to discuss how to create employment opportunities for their adult children with disabilities. They knew these young adults had much to offer the workforce and sought a solution that would enable them to experience the dignity, independence, and purpose that comes with a job. That solution was PRIDE Industries.
Fast-forward 56 years, and PRIDE Industries, led by President and CEO Jeff Dern, a member of the CalChamber Board of Directors, is now the nation’s leading employer of people with disabilities. So successful is its employment model, that it has expanded to provide jobs for those with other barriers to employment, including veterans, former foster youth, and trafficking survivors. Read more.
Blue Diamond Growers is a grower-owned cooperative that provides financial returns and stability to almond grower members while expanding markets and opening opportunities for future generations. The cooperative ships products and ingredients to all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world.
While California businesses, large and small, experienced critical disruptions in labor supply and operations due to COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, Blue Diamond’s focus on the health and safety of its almost 2,000 team members allowed its facilities to stay open and production lines to keep running through multiple COVID-19 case surges around the country. Read more.
Southern California Gas Co. announced its proposal to develop what would be the nation’s largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system (the “Angeles Link”) to deliver clean, reliable renewable energy to the Los Angeles region.
As proposed, the Angeles Link would support the integration of more renewable electricity resources like solar and wind and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy.
“The challenges we face on climate require solutions of scale and urgency,” said Scott Drury, chief executive officer of SoCalGas. “The Angeles Link is designed to meet those challenges head-on. Today in Southern California we’re announcing plans for one of the world’s largest clean energy infrastructure systems, to help tackle emissions for which there are no easy answers. Those emissions — from power plants, industry, and heavy-duty trucks — very much ‘count’ and must be significantly reduced to reach our and the State’s climate goals.” Read more.
As Gregory S. Bielli, president and chief executive officer of Tejon Ranch Company, comments, “For nearly 180 years, Tejon Ranch has played a vital role in California and is positioned and ready to play an even more important one in the state’s future.”
From its early beginnings as the nucleus of California’s north/south connection, Tejon Ranch has been a vital bridge between the two. Residing on the state’s highly trafficked north/south I-5 corridor, the Ranch is playing a significant role in addressing California’s need for new housing and jobs. To meet these needs, the company is using its land to successfully develop commercial and retail properties, while also helping California deal with its substantial housing shortage through the development of four sustainable, master planned, mixed-use communities. Read more.
CalChamber Members in the News
- Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Helps Unveil SoCalGas’ [H2] Innovation Experience CalChamber, January 31, 2023
- United Celebrates Historic First Graduating Class of Flight Academy Pilots United, January 25, 2023
- Alaska Airlines Eliminates Inflight Plastic Cups: West Coast-Based Airline Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Replace Plastic with Planet-Friendly Alternative Alaska Airlines, January 25, 2023
- CalChamber Member Microsoft and Qcells Announce Strategic Alliance to Curb Carbon Emissions and Power the Clean Energy Economy Microsoft, January 25, 2023
- CLEAR Launches New Lanes at Long Beach Airport CLEAR, January 24, 2023
Working together, the California Chamber of Commerce and local chambers of commerce are a solid force as advocates supporting business-friendly policies and helping California businesses comply with complex laws and regulations.
While completely independent from the California Chamber, local chambers provide a real linkage to the thoughts and priorities of business—especially small business around the state. With 80%–90% of local chamber members having fewer than 20 employees, local chambers are a major grassroots voice for “Main Street” California.
Most chambers play leading roles as community problem solvers and serve as the voice of business on public policy. Chambers are catalysts for business growth, helping businesses do their jobs by providing resources, training opportunities, and expert guidance on a broad range of issues. Read more.