Category Archives: Economy

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

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.

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 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.

CBU Honors Record 1,420 Graduates During Spring Commencement

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in CBU News & Events on May 2, 2015)

commencement photo.jpg
Photo Credit: CBU News & Events

Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of California Baptist University, congratulated 1,420 graduating students during afternoon and evening commencement ceremonies at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Afternoon exercises included 717 traditional undergraduate degree candidates, while the evening ceremony honored 703 students, including all master’s degree candidates, as well as undergraduates from Online and Professional Studies programs.

Ellis noted that the class was part of a record enrollment for the 2014-2015 academic year, with 7,957 enrolled at CBU.

“They have contributed to the continuing growth of CBU’s campus culture as ‘a University Committed to the Great Commission’ during an exciting time of continuing growth and improvement,” Ellis said. “Each of these graduating students has arrived at this point because of a shared commitment to the challenging yet rewarding endeavor of higher education.”

California Baptist University is always expanding and improving in a remarkable fashion.  Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar, CBU’s record number of graduates helps improve the local and global economy and improves our already outstanding quality of life.

Combined with students who graduated last December, the Class of 2015 totals 1,946 applications for graduation, the largest number for a single year in CBU history.

To read the full article, click here.

Engineering College To Launch Online Degrees

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on April 9, 2015.)

Photo Credit: UCR Today
Photo Credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering recently announced its partnership with Pearson to create a new online degree program in engineering, with specializations in bioengineering, electrical engineering (power systems), environmental engineering systems (water), materials at the nanoscale and mechanical engineering. The master’s degree program is scheduled to be launched in the fall of 2015 and hopes to enroll over 600 new engineering students by 2020.

Pearson’s online learning services will provide marketing, enrollment management, student support and retention services and help desk services. The collaboration allows the Bourns College of Engineering to extend its programs to working adults and other non-traditional students that may not have been able to attend an on-the-ground program. The new programs will help the college get one step closer to achieving its mission of producing engineers with the educational foundation and adaptive skills to rapidly serve evolving technology industries.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Pearson to offer this online program enabling employed engineers and scientists to advance their technical training as well as sharpen their engineering management skills,” said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. “We believe the degree program will benefit them, their employers and our industrial community.”

Offering online engineering degrees is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. The Bourns College of Engineering is dedicated to educating the next generation of engineering leaders to discover and apply groundbreaking solutions and innovations that improve the quality of life. The college’s graduate and undergraduate engineering programs rank among the top schools in the nation in U.S. News & World Report.

Todd Hitchcock, Pearson’s senior vice president of online learning service said, “We are thrilled to have been selected as the University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering’s online degree program partner. The partnership is a perfect fit since the school’s ideals are in line with that of Pearson’s – a devotion to student success and a commitment to personal, one-on-one student attention.”

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Launches Initiative To Deal With Inland Poverty

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Fielding Buck and published in The Press Enterprise on February 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema
Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema

A strategy to study, teach about and deal with Inland poverty was announced Tuesday at UC Riverside.

The UCR School of Public Policy will launch the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty this fall.

The announcement was made during an appearance by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who was on campus to talk to public policy students and attend the screening of a documentary about him.

Reich praised Riverside as a “roll-up-your-sleeves” kind of community and UCR as a school that provides opportunities for students with financial needs. Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, Riverside and UCR both demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

“There’s probably no place that I know of that better exemplifies what higher education ought to be doing,” Reich said.

Reich is a senior fellow of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, which is working with UCR on the intiative.

Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today
Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today

It was launched by a gift of $250,000 from the center’s founder, UC regent Richard C. Blum, who is married to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

UCR chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and UC President Janet Napolitano both matched the gift out of their budgets, according to a UCR press release.

The initiative will be interdisciplinary and results oriented, according to Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the school. It will include partnerships with local non-governmental organizations.

“Poverty is not unique, right?” he said in an interview before the announcement. “Every place in the work has poverty and there are many places in the world that have tackled the problem of poverty with good results. We will be trying to glean lessons from around the world so that we can use some of those lessons to solve poverty problems here in the Inland Empire.”

Plans include to establish an undergraduate minor in poverty and a focus area in public policy master degree program.

For the complete article, click here.

Riverside Ranks 103 For Economic Performance In The World

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in FoxBusiness on January 21, 2015.)

mall at night
Photo Credit: City of Riverside

The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase ranked 300 major cities worldwide for economic performance last year. The City of Riverside placed 103 overall, 17 in the US, and 3rd in California.

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.

Rank Economic Performance 2013-2014 Country Metro/City Real GDP per Capita Growth 2013-2014 Employment Growth 2013-2014 Rank Economic Performance 2009-2014
103 USA Riverside 0.20% 2.80% 182

For the full list of rankings, click here.

First Doctoral Program At CBU Scheduled For Fall 2015 Launch

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dr. Mark A Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 15, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University will have its first doctoral degree beginning in the fall of 2015. The School of Nursing will offer the doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) after it was approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

“It is very exciting to be launching CBU’s first doctoral program later this year,” said Dr. Jonathan Parker, CBU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We have been working very diligently to develop a high quality DNP degree program and I’m especially pleased that our accrediting agency has recognized that effort and commented very favorably on the result.”

The school expects 20 students in its first class, said Dr. Lisa Bursch, acting director of the DNP program. Bursch said there is a national movement to have more nurses educated at a doctoral level because of the complexity of health care. For that reason, the school is looking to train nurse leaders to have an impact on health outcomes.

“For as much money as (the nation) spends on health care, our national outcomes are not that great,” Bursch said. “Something’s not translating between what we know to do and what’s being done.”

The nursing doctoral program will be the only one in Riverside County, Bursch said. Students in the clinical doctorate will take original research and put it into practice. Classes will include organization and systems leadership class, nursing theory and translational research, policy and finance. All students will do a project, which involves looking at health outcomes and how to improve them.

Parker said it is fitting that CBU’s first doctoral program is in nursing. “Programs such as the DNP not only help to meet an important need in society by producing highly-trained healthcare professionals,” he explained, “but they also represent the service-related values that California Baptist University seeks to instill in its graduates.”

Being the first and only nursing doctoral program in Riverside County, CBU’s effort to develop programs the meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.

For the complete article, click here.

CBU Online Makes Gains In U.S. News & World Report Ranking Of Best Online Programs

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Dr. Mark A. Wyatt and published in CBU News & Events on January 7, 2015.)

Photo Credit: CBU
Photo Credit: CBU

California Baptist University (CBU) earned the no. 23 spot among online bachelor’s programs in the 2015 Top Online Education Program rankings released today by U.S.News & World Report. This is a jump up from no. 37 in 2014 and puts CBU second among California colleges ranked in the best online bachelor’s programs list.

CBU entered the online education market in the spring of 2010 with programs offered by the university’s Division of Online and Professional Studies. Since 2013, the first year online programs were ranked by U.S. News & World Report, CBU has placed in the top 40 for three consecutive years. CBU now serves more than 3,400 students online throughout the United States, offering 30 online undergraduate majors and concentrations and 16 graduate majors and specializations.

“We are happy to be consistently top ranked since inception, especially considering CBU’s four short years offering online programs,” said Dr. David Poole, vice president for Online and Professional Studies at CBU.  “We are even more delighted given the significant jump in our ranking to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2015.” In addition to the no. 23 spot for best online bachelor’s programs, CBU also was ranked among the best online graduate MBA and best online graduate education programs as evaluated nationwide for factors including faculty credentials and training.

CBU ranked no. 7 for faculty credentials and training in the online bachelor’s degree category, no. 3 for online MBA faculty and no. 1 for online Graduate Education faculty credentials and training.

“The ranking methodology reviews student engagement best practices, graduation and retention rates, student indebtedness, faculty credentials and training, as well as technological infrastructure. These are all key elements, central to our focus as we build and deliver programs that serve the adult student who seeks a quality, reputable degree in an online format, at a reasonable cost.  This acknowledgement and ranking continues to support our mission and drive that quality and experience of faculty, innovative, cutting edge technology, and student support and service are at the heart of what we do at CBU,” said Poole.

For more information about the rankings methodology, and full listings, please go to

Founded in 1950, CBU is a private comprehensive institution located in Riverside, Calif. and affiliated with the California Southern Baptist Convention. Fall 2014 enrollment at CBU totaled 7,957 students enrolled in 72 bachelor degree programs with 150 major concentrations, and 25 master degree programs with 45 concentrations. CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, and the Consortium for Global Education

With the popularity of online education, it’s great to see a local school excelling in providing top notch education via the internet. California Baptist University is always expanding and improving in a remarkable fashion. Representing Seizing Our Destiny’s location of choice pillar, CBU attracts students and professionals from across the country due to the great reputation and their outstanding scholastic achievements.

To read the full article, click here.