Carl: I am here with the head of The Shasta Economic Development Corporation, Todd Jones, and my friend  Tony Giovaniello. There is this huge announcement Sunday afternoon. United Airlines is coming back into Redding. You would think I would get a hint something they call a note pinned to my door with a dagger that said big announcement coming. But no, they kept this under your lids.

Tony: Well Carl, I can just share one thing with you and that is you’ll never get it any later than anybody else. It’s an equal opportunity deal.

Carl: This is great news. What you have to understand is that they keep it quiet until it’s into their system.Tony could you explain this?

Tony: Yes. Basically United’s policy is until they load the ability to book a new route into their system, They don’t want anything announced. If it is announced and then people go and try and buy a ticket that I’m sure they already have then that becomes a problem so they create confusion to eliminate confusion. They ask that there is no announcement until it goes up on their system which we complied with as requested.

Carl: Hey kudos but I’m hearing all types of different things here. Of course I know that three years ago you all put together this million dollar proposal. Where you people were going to put a million dollars into a fund that would help in any airline meet some of their cost requirements as they are building their aircraft.

Tony: Yes. As you may recall we had Horizon Airlines who flew their Q4 hundreds to L.A. and that went from 2004 to 2011. It was a successful flight it was canceled for reasons outside of the fact that it was a good route for the airline; equipment and some other things. And then into 2013 the community really missed the L.A. service because it was difficult getting out of here because San Francisco was iffy as they were working on the runways and the weather and all.

Carl: I mean it was like a 50/50 chance of getting out.

Tony: And then the prop planes that we had in the past weren’t as reliable either.

Carl: You could watch the tips falling off.

Tony: So in 2013 the community got together was really driven by the D.C. market sales at that time and we created an air travel bank and the travel bank basically consisted of two components. One was a revenue guarantee which is a pot of money that the airline can draw upon if they have startup costs or they’re not putting people in seats due to the marketing the ramp up marketing they can draw on that to break even. And then the second component was a much bigger component; travel vouchers which were basically prepaid travel. So basically people were going to prepay for travel and that they would use within one year of air service being started. That started out is about 40 members in it. We had about 250000 dollars pledged for revenue guarantee and about 750000 for the travel vouchers. Every two yeas it renewed and it changed a little bit as the airlines started to have more of a desire to have revenue guarantee rather than travel vouchers. Travel vouchers required debit card cards and all this administration while over the last few years we’ve shifted more and more to the revenue guarantee. Now as you might imagine that’s a challenge because now instead of prepaying for travel that you would spend money on anyway. This money is at risk. It’s a nontaxable donation in essence because you’re providing money to a taxable donation.

Carl: Yeah it is a taxable donation. I mean you put your two hundred thousand dollars you still get attached on that. That’s not like double negative. We’ll be right back with Tony Giovaniello and Todd Jones

Carl Bott:  8:33 in the morning here. KCNR 1460, Free Fire radio, with Carl and Linda Bott.

I’m here with Tony Giovanello, The president of the economic development corporation, and Todd Jones, the director of the Entrepreneurial division.

As we all know, the Stillwater deal has been pushed back, or is it off?

Tony G: No, it’s delayed. So-

Carl: It’s just delayed.

Tony: In some ways, it’s very interesting, because the company that we’re working with, Panattoni, their business has been so good. They’re expanding so rapidly. Doing lots of new construction, and they’ve got to hire a new project manager. Unfortunately, we’re a good opportunity for them, but we’re small. Some of the other projects that they’re working on, 300,000,000; 500,000,000-

Carl: How much is ours?

Tony: We’ll have to get to that, but the good news is that they have resources, they have clients that can spend this kind of money. I’m not expecting anything that big, but I think we’ll get access to clients that we never had access to before.

Carl: 100,000,000?

Tony: I’m hoping, yeah.

Carl: Some of the comments here, we were talking about the flights coming in and all that, or saying, “do we have business contacts in LA as we do in Sacramento, and closer in.

Carl:  Even though this is not costing the taxpayer any money when we talk about those flights coming in. That was interesting. Do we have already the possibilities? It can cause the growth of our connection between us and LA?

Tony: Well we have more marketing opportunities, that’s for sure. We really haven’t built a complete marketing plan, because we weren’t sure this was gonna happen until just a week or two ago. But no, the possibilities are there for us.

Todd: Instead of the one destination, there’s dozens of people that are part of this revenue guarantee. Of the surveys that EDC has done over the years, it’s the number one destination for all these businesses to go. SFO is a connection point most of the time. LA is really the destination where these people in the community wanna go. So all these people have clients down in the Los Angeles area. It’s going to make it a lot easier to go see them, and grow their business. That’s a good answer, because it may not be right now, LA to here. It’s us to LA. A lot of people … and you didn’t do this, oh lets just go to LA. There’s been a lot of studies on this one.

Carl:  We estimate that currently, 108 people go to LA. 108 people travel each way, back and forth, okay?

Tony: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carl: That buy tickets here in Shasta County.

Tony: 108 people-

Carl: A week?

Tony: No, a day.

Carl: Oh, a day!

Carl: We only have a 50 seater, right? So this should be a very successful flight.

Carl: Well it will be interesting, and the thing about it is, we’ll see what happens with it. Like you say, it’s not costing the taxpayers anything, is it?

Tony: There’s actually 30 people a day that go to San Diego, so we might get some of those Camp Pendleton up here for the weekend.

Carl: So going back to Stillwater then, so this thing has just been delayed. They haven’t said, “Oh, we’re pulling back” or anything?

Tony: No they have not.

Carl: Okay, the impact of Cannabis. What do we see with that? I know that y’all must be getting a lot of inquiries about that.

Tony: We’re not actually.

Carl: Really?

Tony: Yeah. Shasta Lake City did really, really well selling land and things like that because they were a first mover. Since then, a lot of other places have opened up, especially Sacramento. Sacramento was one of the first one’s as well. There was a lot of land sold in Sacramento. The rest of it is mostly retail, and as you know, EDC doesn’t really focus on retail.

Carl: Okay, I just saw where they want to build a facility, up off of … I want to say Caterpillar, but I don’t think that’s right. Some place off of Blake Boulevard to be a facility that … it’s a growing facility. It doesn’t make candy or anything like that, it’s a growing facility up there. That’s what I thought when we were looking at Stillwater, was it going to be these huge warehouses out there that was going to be growing Marijuana.

Tony: Well remember, you’re limited to 22,500 square feet, so they’re not going to be huge by any means. I don’t know the specifics of the Lake Boulevard development, but there is an opportunity zone up in that area, which can provide additional incentive, and that might be why they’re doing it there.

Carl: Okay. Todd, the entrepreneurial side here. I know there’s things going on all the time. You always bring in … you’ll find somebody, bring them in here, our coffee place down here.

Todd: Yeah, Patriot pin last month, which is another great group of guys out there that quit their jobs because this has been such a success. Patriot pin, is the way you can … it’s a one button push. It pops open the upper receiver group, and allows you to drop the magazine, and then reload it quickly. Or drop it down quickly, and reload your rifle quickly, thus legally getting around all these stupid rules that the State of California has put on legal gun owners, who just like to shoot.

Keeps your gun California compliant, keep the bump stock and pistol grip, and all the exciting features. I think that some of the other big news for the EDC has been that we just relocated the Shasta Venture Hub. So we were up on Caterpillar for about the last three years and just moved down, across from the civic center, at 777 Auditorium Drive. It’s the old Visit Redding office.

Right on the corner.

Most recently, it was Venture Properties. We just moved in there last week. We’re still unpacking some boxes, but we are open. We’re going to start to outreach more, to more coworkers. It’s a smaller space, but it’s a very nice space, and it’s obviously closer to downtown. We’re not quite in the heart of it, but we’re very close to downtown. We’re excited to greet people there-

Carl: What about all those start-ups in your old building, what about them?

Tony: A lot of the people were starting to migrate towards downtown, and people were getting leases together. There’s a whole group of entrepreneurs that have either bought buildings or leased out a large space so they could all have their own collaborative work environment. There’s segment people, and people that just know each other that wanted to share an office. A lot of those people were starting to do that downtown. Office prices are not that expensive in Redding, relatively still. So people were doing that. We saw a migration, and we didn’t see the need for the start-up offices like we did five years ago, when the whole Venture Hub idea was really started. The coworking space we do still see as value, so we’re going to offer that, but the folks that we’re up there, they found different offices around town, most of them like I said, downtown-

Carl: Cloud Potential?

Tony: Cloud Potential is still with us. Cloud Potential, they’re an invaluable partner to the EDC, as well as all the business they’re doing all over the country now. So we’re really excited that Jake and Joe-

Carl: I want to see Joe McKenna again, someday. Maybe.

Tony: We have Jake, and we’re happy to have Jake.

Carl: Joe used to kind of live here in the offices, and then Joe moved East. So I’m going to have to Face Time him, and go, “Joe, what are you doing?”

You can go visit him. You could connect through LA, in March.

Todd: So that’s the big news. We’re getting our keycards set up, all the folks that were coworkers, we have keycard access that’s not turned on yet, so you basically have to see us between 9:00 and 5:30 now, otherwise the doors are going to be locked. We should get that installed in the next couple of weeks. We’ll be excited to open up for coworkers again.

Carl: Well that is exciting, and it’s because it’s in a really good location down there. It’s close to town, and you’re right there at the new Sheridan, and all those things. Somebody said that … in here was talking to us. The idea that there could be four cranes working downtown Redding at one time. What he’s talking about of course, is the rebuilding down here. I’m not sure if he’s counting the Dicker’s building, and then the courthouse. That’s two. Then the parking structure is three. Police station, potentially. I don’t think they’re going to be building anything there any time soon. But we’re still talking at least two or three cranes could be here at the same time. Somebody said close to $1,000,000,000 worth of construction-

Todd: Yeah, if you look at the mall as well, all that stuff going on.

Carl: But you’re looking also, Win River, Costco, and all those other things too.

Tony: And potentially Panattoni.

Carl: You know what, I haven’t counted that one yet. I’m sure it’s going to happen, and I’d like to meet the Panattonis, because it is a family-owned business, right? Except they probably have … did they all come up here, just to maybe have pizza?

Tony: They’ve actually broken up. They’re broken up into, if you would, separate businesses. Each vice president kind of has his own portfolio.

Carl: Right, I know there’s Europe and there are other places that they’re at, but it’s still a family business though, right?

Tony: Yeah, absolutely.

Carl: This Panattoni’s got this, this one’s got that.

Tony: It’s a big family business.

Carl: Okay, we’re here with Tony Giovanello, the president of the … the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation; and Todd Jones, who is their entrepreneurial director. We’re talking about the businesses here, and I know things are going on. Of course, the United Airlines flying in here, the impact on the cannabis industry, which really hasn’t hit yet. We’ll have to see where that goes.

Carl: Stillwater, the delay out at Stillwater. However, it’s just a delay. They are being positive about the whole thing.

Tony: Absolutely.

So that’s going to happen, it may just be down the road a little bit further than we thought. And your new move to right down by the Civic Auditorium there, in the old Visitor’s Center. This is your pulling in- It still says “Welcome to Redding”, so it’s a good spot for us, for recruitment efforts.

Carl: We have a lot of things happening here.

Tony: Shasta Group manufacturing initiative is something that we started here in our county last January, so it’s been running a little more than a year and a half. Butte County has had one for four years. They now have 20 to 30 manufacturers getting together regularly sharing best practices working on different topics, collaborating, and starting to buy from one another. So one of the exciting things that we’re doing is there’s a National Manufacturing Day on October 5th, and we are arranging along with Shasta college bus capability to take manufacturer’s out to different high school locations. Our high schools are doing things like robotics, 3D printing, drafting, modeling, welding, and all these things and we want manufacturers to understand what our high schoolers are learning and maybe getting more engaged in those programs to tweak them so that the kids are learning precisely what our manufacturers need.

Carl: I mean it’s here, but it’s going to be huge. Are we training our people to be at that level and timing that manufacturers are in need of? They are certainly trying to do it in-house.

Todd: You know my father, for instance, works with that machine automation and its robotics but it doesn’t look like a human robot looking thing that’s grabbing braces but it’s controlling these pieces of equipment, huge manufacturing lines, so they’re intelligent, and they can talk to all the machinery on the entire line within fractions of a second. So every piece of equipment works the way it’s supposed to. So things are getting better, and colleges are working on this. I think they do see programming out there and that’s still very relevant in a lot of manufacturing especially a place like the Sierra Pacific. I mean people don’t think of them as a manufacturer, but they’re now taking raw material, and they’re making it into a lot of different types of things.

Carl: Amazing. I’m surprised how few people were working out there with extremely high tech right but these jobs are high paying jobs, and they really are. And you see that the people lose their jobs on an assembly line. The ones that are able to retrain come up and they’re making three times as much money as they did and they used to have a sustainable wage. But now they’re making double or three times as much money in computers that run those jobs.

Todd: Yeah but just fewer people are needed. I mean even Lehigh Cement up there on the Hill. Everyone drives by that, but they have a bunch of guys up there that are programming heavy equipment to work properly in their rock crushers and everything else they have going on out there and is pretty impressive.

Carl: It is. OK so this is exciting to have the manufacturers from the northern region around here going by it looking at the schools, and I assume that they’re saying what if you had this, this could really help because this is where we’re going to be in five years. We need you all to be training to this type of level.

Todd: Yeah. I’m actually hoping that it fosters other things like for example there was a company in Butte County who had a CNC plasma cutter right. And that thing is probably worth 100,000 dollars. They bought a new one. Now with the growing manufacturing imbued they are with purpose taking equipment off the line earlier than they normally would and getting it into high schools so that the students get more contemporary exposure to real life equipment. And so that’s one of the things we hope to get out of this.

Carl: Do you find it kind of amusing? If you look at the old recruiting front you can’t do anything if you don’t have a college degree and now even people with a degree can’t get a job or can only get really low paying jobs. Those young men and women that look into the future and say you know OK I can go to college and get a degree but or I can go learn how to artificial intelligence fits and how robotics fits in and learn a trade are going to make a money right away and make him lots of money as they continue to grow. Some people need to go to college because we still need the engineer trained like that. But we are so short in those industries to make this stuff run.

Todd: Well and when you look at the numbers in different school districts sometimes 40 or 60 percent or more of our kids go off to college but ultimately only 25 percent end up with a degree for all the reasons in life. So 75 percent of the people need other types of training to do these jobs and other jobs in the trades and in manufacturing that are living wage jobs.

Carl: Frankly 75 bucks an hour per hour is what I think you’re going to find is kind of like the average. I mean that’s it. That’s a good job.

Todd: It is marketing and you know we have a group of people that are working on those kinds of things for some reason. There is a stigma about some of these jobs and in reality these jobs are fabulous jobs. And not only can you work for someone, you have the ability you work for yourself and be a businessman and do things the way you want in the courses you take.

Carl: Take the long courses in business and finance and all this. There’s no reason that you can’t a young entrepreneur and you know we think of entrepreneurship in the whole as the electronics and all these kind of things. I think that startups around town here in the services ought to be looked at just as strongly as we do for those ones that sell their own medical instruments or services. Well how about a guy that’s starting up a company that does things like making money right away in this big construction thing. Those guys and girls need to be encouraged.

Todd: It’s not just manufacturers. What they’re doing try to do is create a workforce that impacts the fire until all the houses are going to be rebuilt. We have a decent amount of general contractors but it’s hard for them to find labor. And I think that according to Joe, the average wage for a skilled worker here in Shasta County is around like $75,000. Think about that.

It’s almost double the median income in the county in question. It can start out that way but you have to start somewhere and it is going to take a long time to get a living wage.

Carl: It’s not like they’re starting 2 grand a month. They’re at around 4 grand a month. I think starting out for a lot of them and you can live on that or you can keep going and pushing on. Well thank you Todd and Tony for coming on the show. A lot of things coming up in the next month or two that we’re going to be talking about. United’s big step forward. I can’t wait to hear what’s going on with Stillwater next month as we move forward with that and then the other ventures that are going on that helps grow our city especially during this time when we’ve kind of taken a shot to the gut with the fires. Do you think that’s going to be the impact.

Todd: We were so resilient. It’ll be a positive. We’ll rebuild better bigger and better tomorrow.

Carl: Have a great day everybody.