Category Archives: Economy

Not-So-Big Cities: Where Americans Are Moving

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Yuqing Pan and published in realtor.com on August 26, 2015.)

Photo Credit: realtor.com
Photo Credit: realtor.com

Among today’s urban migrants, Austin, TX, and Riverside, CA, hold more appeal than New York City and Los Angeles. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 18% of people who moved last year—that’s 8.5 million people—traded one metropolitan area for another, and a big chunk of them traded down for a smaller city not far away.

Los Angeles is still the top destination, with almost 245,000 people relocating from other metro areas, followed by New York City and Washington, DC. However, these big cities are also losing residents—more then they’re gaining. Almost 400,000 people quit The Big Apple last year, and 340,000 fled Los Angeles. (Note that this Census report looked only at people moving between metropolitan areas, and so didn’t count people moving between cities and small towns.)

Smaller cities such as Austin and Riverside—and not-so-small Houston—are gaining prosperity, with more people moving in than out.

A separate Census Bureau study showed that 10% of U.S. residents are dissatisfied with their current housing, neighborhood, local safety, or public services to the point that they want to move.

Riverside has increasingly become the ‘location of choice‘ for people and organizations escaping the hectic lifestyle of big cities.

By the numbers: Top 10 urban migration paths

1. Los Angeles, CA → Riverside, CA: 90,494
2. Riverside, CA → Los Angeles, CA: 54,711
3. New York, NYPhiladelphia, PA: 26,957
4. San Jose, CA → San Francisco, CA: 24,536
5. Washington, DC → Baltimore, MD: 22,944
6. New York, NY → Miami, FL: 22,226
7. Baltimore, MD → Washington, DC: 21,457
8. San Diego, CA → Riverside, CA: 19,667
9. Philadelphia, PA → New York, NY: 19,336
10. San Francisco, CA → San Jose, CA: 18,680

For the complete article, click here.

UC Riverside To Help Establish An Urban Water Sustainability Research Network

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Iqbal Pittalwala and published in UCR Today on July 31, 2015.)

Recent droughts have had crippling effects in Folsom Lake and other water supply systems in California (Jan. 16, 2014) Photo Credit: California Department of Water Resources
Recent droughts have had crippling effects in Folsom Lake and other water supply systems in California (Jan. 16, 2014) Photo Credit: California Department of Water Resources

The University of California, Riverside is one of 14 academic institutions and key partners across the United States that are addressing the challenges threatening urban water systems in the United States and around the world. These institutions, led by Colorado State University, have just received $12 million from the National Science Foundation to establish the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN).  UWIN will create technological, institutional, and management solutions to help communities increase the resilience of their water systems and enhance preparedness for responding to water crises.

Darrel Jenerette is an assocaite professor of botany and plant sciences at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: UC Riverside
Darrel Jenerette is an assocaite professor of botany and plant sciences at UC Riverside. Photo Credit: UC Riverside

This project builds on Jenerette’s expertise with urban biodiversity, vegetation based regional cooling, and water requirements for urban vegetation. His lab focuses on the coupling between biodiversity, energy fluxes, and biogeochemical cycling embedded within ecological landscapes.“UWIN builds on long-standing programs at UC Riverside for research and training, and trusted leadership in all facets of water resources,” said Darrel Jenerette, an associate professor of botany and plant sciences at UCR, who serves as a senior personnel with UWIN. “These programs include urban water conservation, sustainable urban drainage systems and flood control, drought management, pollution control, water resources planning and management, ecological engineering, climate sciences, and urban biodiversity.”

The vision of UWIN is to create an enduring research network for integrated water systems and to cultivate champions of innovation for water-sensitive urban design and resilient cities. The integrated research, outreach, education and participatory approach of UWIN will produce a toolbox of sustainable solutions by simultaneously minimizing pressures, enhancing resilience to extreme events, and maximizing co-benefits. These benefits will reverberate across other systems, such as urban ecosystems, economies and arrangements for environmental justice and social equity.

UCR will receive about $350,000 of the $12 million award.

UCR is an outstanding example of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst of innovation pillar. The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas, research, and scholars.

To read the complete article, click here.

Riverside Gets 3-STAR Rating For Sustainability

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Suzanne Hurt and published in the Press Enterprise on August 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: STAR Communities
Photo Credit: STAR Communities

A nonprofit that measures U.S. city sustainability has recognized Riverside as a 3-STAR community, city officials have announced.

STAR (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities) Communities assesses environmental, economic and social sustainability as part of an effort to make cities more liveable. Riverside entered the rating system in November 2012, according to the nonprofit’s website.

The group rates a community’s built environment, climate and energy, natural systems, health and safety, equity and empowerment and other factors. The rating system uses data provided by cities and provides local officials with a way to set targets and appraise their own progress toward increased sustainability.

The STAR Community Rating System was created by ICLEI USA, the U.S. Green Building Council, National League of Cities and the Center for American Progress.

This rating is yet just another reason why Riverside is a location of choice for people seeking the most out of their city. Riverside provides welcoming neighborhoods, well-paying jobs, and a great education.

Forty-One Students Awarded A Total Of $41,000 In Scholarships

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Anne Marie Walker and published in the Press Enterprise on July 22, 2015.)

Photo Credit:  Altura Credit Union
Photo Credit: Altura Credit Union

Forty-one high school students were recently awarded $41,000 in scholarships from Altura Credit Union. The Altura Scholarship Foundation gives out the $1,000 scholarships.

Twenty-three students received general scholarships. Five scholarships were given to students in the AVID program and three memorial scholarships were awarded. In addition, 10 scholarships were given to students who are going to UCR.

The winners of the 2015 AVID Scholarships are Caylynn Godoy from Ramona High School, James Goldsmith from West Valley High School, Jennifer Munoz from Cathedral City High School, Kevin Torres-Dominguez from Ramona High School and Nancy Valencia from Vista Del Lago High School.

The 2015 Memorial scholarship recipients include Chynna Porrata of Canyon Springs High School for the Kimberly Jean Flores Memorial Scholarship; Tatiana Su of J.W. North High School for the Terry Ferrone Memorial Scholarship and Stephanie Martinez of Arlington High School for the Bonnie Gail Polis Memorial Scholarship.

Altura Scholarship Foundation is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

CBU’s Department Of Aviation Science Signs Agreement With Ameriflight

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on July 14, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU News & Events
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

California Baptist University recently signed an agreement with Ameriflight LLC, that will provide additional career opportunities for aviation flight graduates.

Students who meet a list of requirements will be guaranteed an interview with Ameriflight, a regional cargo carrier based in Dallas, Texas. The requirements include completing CBU curriculum and flight training, maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA and attaining a position as a certified flight instructor.

Ameriflight-final-map.jpg“This agreement is another vote of industry confidence for our department of aviation science,” said Dr. Daniel Prather, chair of the department of aviation science. “Ameriflight is a well-paying regional airline with a great need for pilots.”

CBU Aviation Science program already has a similar partnership agreements with SkyWest Airlines and Express Jet Airlines.

A recent article by AINonline indicates that Ameriflight raised its pay rates by 20 percent last November, and another increase took effect recently. A senior Embraer EMB-120 captain now makes $89,000 per year and a Piper Chieftain pilot $43,000 (up from $28,000).

The company’s website describes Ameriflight as a fleet cargo service, with more than 2,000 weekly departures and 90,000 flight hours annually. The agreement also includes an opportunity for CBU graduates to land a guaranteed interview with Allegiant Airlines after three years as an Ameriflight captain.

The CBU Department of Aviation Science opened in fall 2013 with 25 students and has grown to almost 60 students currently enrolled. The program has 11 flight training aircraft and an operations center with a flight simulator. This program also operates the CBU Flight School, which provides flight training for anyone who has an interest in learning how to fly at university-level standards.

CBU’s efforts and commitment to education certainly illustrate the Seizing Our Destiny pillar of intelligent growth.  For students, one of the greatest challenges they meet is finding a career path after graduation.  Providing students with the opportunity of future employment while they are completing their training at Cal Baptist holds great value to aviation science students.   This is just one example of how Cal Baptist University promotes intelligent growth by collaborating to build a stronger community for future Riversiders.

Riverside Wants To House All Homeless Veterans

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Alicia Robinson and Published in The Press Enterprise on July 19, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise
Photo Credit: Stan Lim, The Press Enterprise

The Riverside apartment David Oakley shares with his girlfriend and their gray cat, Mittens, is a modest one-bedroom with a cramped kitchen, donated furniture and a few framed prints on its off-white walls.

But it’s home, and Oakley is grateful for it.

Before he moved into the apartment seven months ago, Oakley, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, was homeless for about two years.

Having his own place is “like it used to be, it’s the way it should be,” he said, then added, “It’s kind of, to be honest, like a dream come true.”

Oakley is one of several military veterans helped by an ambitious Riverside program that aims to house all of the city’s homeless veterans by the end of this year.

So far, the program, backed by Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, has found homes for 11 veterans. It has 21 more veterans linked with caseworkers to help them apply for benefits and find jobs and apartments.

“It’s inexcusable in my mind to have homeless veterans,” said Bailey, a West Point graduate and Army veteran. “(With) 200,000 veterans in the two-county (Inland) region, we need to lead by example and to take care of our troops.”

The Riverside apartment David Oakley shares with his girlfriend and their gray cat, Mittens, is a modest one-bedroom with a cramped kitchen, donated furniture and a few framed prints on its off-white walls.

But it’s home, and Oakley is grateful for it.

Before he moved into the apartment seven months ago, Oakley, a 51-year-old National Guard veteran, was homeless for about two years.

Having his own place is “like it used to be, it’s the way it should be,” he said, then added, “It’s kind of, to be honest, like a dream come true.”

Oakley is one of several military veterans helped by an ambitious Riverside program that aims to house all of the city’s homeless veterans by the end of this year.

So far, the program, backed by Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey, has found homes for 11 veterans. It has 21 more veterans linked with caseworkers to help them apply for benefits and find jobs and apartments.

“It’s inexcusable in my mind to have homeless veterans,” said Bailey, a West Point graduate and Army veteran. “(With) 200,000 veterans in the two-county (Inland) region, we need to lead by example and to take care of our troops.”

House Veterans
Riverside is taking part in a federal program that challenges cities to find housing for all homeless military veterans by the end of 2015.

Participants: A total of 709 city, county and state officials have accepted the challenge. Other California cities involved include San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno.

Progress: In Riverside, housing has been found for 11 veterans, but 44 more still need homes.

Resources: Veterans and their advocates can call the Access Center, 951-715-3434, or visit endhomeless.info. Lighthouse, 951-571-3533, and the Department of Veterans Affairs in Loma Linda, 909-825-7084, also assist homeless veterans.

Riversiders commitment to making one-other’s life a little better is a great example of Riverside acting as a unified city. The actions of all the participating organizations demonstrates that Riverside is a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

To read the full article, click here.

Riverside Unified School District Partners With Local Women’s Prison To Give Hope To At-Risk Students

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RUSD News feed on 7/2/2015.)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

At-risk Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) students who successfully committed to improving their grades and attendance received bicycles at a special event on Wednesday, July 1 at the Central Registration Center, 5700 Arlington Avenue. The bicycles were refurbished by inmates and donated to RUSD by the California Institution for Women, working with the non-profit Correctional Employees Youth Group, Continuing the Dream.

RUSD Superintendent Dr. David Hansen, California Institution for Women Warden Kimberly Hughes, retired corrections officer Roy Mabry, chief executive officer for Continuing the Dream, Sue Lynn Jones from the Riverside Police Department and RUSD staff joined students and their parents at the bike giveaway. Four bicycles were awarded to members of the Ramirez family, who worked hard to get to school each morning and to improve their grades. The Riverside Police Department provided helmets and locks. The district has six more to give to other successful students throughout the year.

“In the face of varying circumstances, our students work extremely hard to stay on track. It’s great to know that we have community partners who care so much about the student families of Riverside that they would reward our students with a donation like this,” stated Dr. Hansen.

“The women [inmates] love giving back,” added Warden Hughes. “It’s a win-win situation. It allows the children to look forward to something and to have something tangible for their accomplishments of going to school and furthering their education.  We are always looking for innovative ways to give back to the community. “

The idea for the bicycle giveaway grew from School Attendance Review Board (SARB) hearings that Mabry and other corrections officers regularly attend. These hearings are held for chronically truant students – those who have more than 20 unexcused absences. Mabry’s 30 years of experience as a correctional officer told him that these students’ stories would not have happy endings. In fact, he noted, research shows that as much 82 percent of students who don’t graduate end up in prison. He’s hoping that something as simple as a bicycle can help to change this dismal statistic.

Working with the Continuing the Dream organization, Mabry and other volunteers are partnering with the California Institute for Women and other correctional facilities to provide an incentive for students to work hard to improve their grades and attendance.  In addition to helping students, the project also provides an opportunity for inmates to give back to their community. The program is now in Rialto, San Bernardino, Pomona, Chino, in addition to Riverside.

“Bicycles seem to really work for kids,” Mabry said. “It’s good to see them focus…they have a different reason to focus.”

“It’s independence,” added Child, Welfare and Attendance Manager Woodie Rucker-Hughes, who said that in many cases, students have no means to get to school and sometimes their families also do not have transportation.

Rucker-Hughes said she the bicycle program can make a huge difference in a child’s outlook for success. It’s empowering to let students know that if they come to school and work hard, they will have a reward. Students start to think, “I’m going to change my life,” she said.

Although the program is just the beginning of a solution to a larger problem, Mabry said, it’s a good start.

“I see the results,” he said. “I say, we all need to be part of it.”

Organizations such as Continuing the Dream are great examples of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For more information about the Continuing the Dream organization, visit www.continuingthedream.com.

Riverside Unified School District is the 15th largest school district in California, serving nearly 42,000 students in 48 schools in Riverside, California. The district serves the majority of the City of Riverside as well as unincorporated areas of Highgrove and Woodcrest in Riverside County and is governed by a publicly elected Board of Education consisting of five members who serve five different trustee areas. The district is led by Superintendent Dr. David Hansen.

UC Riverside Accepted As Yellow Ribbon Campus

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Mojgan Sherkat and published in UCR Today on May 28, 2015.)

UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today
UCR students and veterans join Chancellor Kim Wilcox as he signs the Yellow Ribbon agreements. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside has been accepted as a Yellow Ribbon institution by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to help students avoid up to 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with educational programs.

How does it work? The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays 100 percent of in-state tuition and fees for fully-eligible veterans attending public colleges and universities. But, non-resident supplemental tuition is not covered. Veterans and their families who have residency in other states are then forced to pay those fees out of their own pocket, at least until they have established residency.

Chryssa Jones, the veteran’s services coordinator at UCR says military families tend to be more transient than others, and many veterans have found themselves excluded by residency policies.

Last fall Congress attempted to fix this issue by passing Public Law 113-146: The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 explained Jones. The law essentially required public institutions to allow all eligible veterans to attend academic institutions at in-state rates. But, still she said, some students were excluded by the eligibility rules under this law, particularly the children of active-duty military service members who are stationed outside of California.

DSC_0533-356x236
Chancellor Kim Wilcox jokes with UCR veteran students as he signs the Yellow Ribbon paperwork. Photo Credit: UCR Today

UCR decided to fill in the gap for these students by signing up to participate in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Charles Kim, a veteran and senior at UCR said this is a monumental step forward for veterans and active duty service members.

“This program benefits those who serve but cannot claim California Residency due to their service. California has many major military installations and draws service members from all over the country but they could not attend our prestigious university without taking student loans,” Kim explained.

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows institutions and the VA to share the cost of nonresident tuition for students who qualify and are not already covered under the new law. As a result, all fully-eligible veterans, and their dependents, will have their tuition and fees fully covered by the VA and Yellow Ribbon.

Other UC campuses have participated in Yellow Ribbon in the past, but only for specific colleges or majors, and with a limit on funding.  UCR has decided to cover all students in all majors, with no limit. “With the signing of the new yellow ribbon program UCR can attract the best and brightest from our military,” said Kim. Participating in Yellow Ribbon helps make UCR and Riverside a location of choice for veterans by providing a great education at a great price.

Riverside Metro Area Ranked #1 For Small Business

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Elaine Pofeldt and published in CNBC.com on May 5, 2015.)

Photo Credit: David Liu, Getty Images

The annual Best Small Business Cities in America Study ranking of 25 cities is based on a weighted average of data on Biz2Credit’s customers across the country. It looks at the health of small businesses in each metro area, the rate of small-business creation and the economic ecosystem for entrepreneurs, including the cost of doing business, tax climate and local talent pool.

Biz2Credit analyzed 12,000 businesses with fewer than 250 employees from across the country. These firms were in operation for more than a year and had less than $10 million in annual revenues.

The Riverside-San Bernardino area shot to the top spot after scoring in the top five in average credit score, average annual revenue, number of employees and the BizAnalyzer score, which takes into account local economic factors, such as the cost of doing business and tax rate. It also finished in the top 10 for its thriving start-up culture. The average age of businesses in the area is 34 months.

Top 10 cities for small business

  1. Riverside-San Bernardino, California
  2. Chicago
  3. New York Metro
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Las Vegas
  6. San Francisco-Oakland, California
  7. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Houston
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
    (Source: Biz2Credit)

The Riverside-San Bernardino area is a hub for IT, advanced manufacturing, food processing, health and medicine and professional services. The ecosystem for growth companies is strong, since it has such resources as incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, as well as a Shop Riverside campaign to promote local businesses.

According to the survey, small businesses in Riverside-San Bernardino had average annual revenues of $1,400,960, ahead of the No. 2 city, New York, where average annual revenues were $1,269,859. San Francisco-Oakland placed third, with average annual revenues of $671,000.

“Technology is bringing in younger people and more immigrants to this metro area,” explained Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit. “Riverside, California, has a pretty big immigrant population.” It includes immigrants from Southeast Asia, Central America and the Middle East.

Nathan Sklar, a health-care entrepreneur, recently expanded his business operations from New York City to Riverside, California. In Manhattan he runs three entities: Comprehensive Kids Developmental School, a not-for-profit school for children with autism; Grand Street Medicine and Rehab, an outpatient facility for occupational physical therapy; and Comprehensive Evaluations, which provides evaluation services for children. Together they employ about 250 people.

He opened Comprehensive Certified Home Health Services in Riverside, California, five to six years ago. It is a home-care agency that provides nursing services, home health aides and related services, employing about 50 people. Sklar branched out into California during a moratorium on home-care licenses in New York. California had no moratorium.

“We’ve been growing at a steady pace,” he said, adding that between his New York and California operations, his ventures bring in combined revenue that range from $15 million to $25 million annually.

Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This ranking is yet another example of Riverside continuing to fuel the intelligent growth of the city and region.

For the full article, click here.