Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Looking for a job within the City?

Check out the City of Oakland's "Career Opportunities" for the week of July 30, 2012 at the links below: 

*Career Opportunities

Please visit the City of Oakland's website to view and print announcements.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Safeway at Rockridge gets Upgrade Go Ahead

The Safeway at College and Claremont is over 50 years old and needs an upgrade to better serve the community.  Last night the Oakland Planning Commission approved by a vote of 5-0 a plan that will create jobs, increase revenue to the city and offer more retail options for shoppers in Oakland.  The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce supports the project and salutes Safeway for its exemplary corporate citizenship and the Planning Commission for approving this useful project.
In addition to creating a more modern store with more room to shop and a greater variety of offerings the plan offers other amenities.  Sidewalks are expanded, traffic flows are improved, public transportation options are made easier to utilize and parking is moved underground. Additional retail stores will be part of the plan that also includes a roof top terrace.  It’s a world class project and helps send the message that Oakland is great place to do business, a great place to shop and a great place to live. Well Done!

For complete details on the project plans, reports, and location, visit http://safewayoncollege.com/

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nonprofit Roundtable hosts local transit experts

July's Non-Profit Roundtable, which met on July 17, discussed the many ways that individuals can travel around the Oakland Metropolitan areas, and several of the opportunities available to secure safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport.

With the fifth largest container port in the country, international airport, regional rail system, public bus system, ferries, Amtrak station and bike lanes, Oakland is a transportation and transit mega-star.

At the meeting, two local organizations serving Oakland and all of Alameda County presented their respective organization's opportunities to individuals and companies.

LaShawn Martin of 511.org, the Bay Area transit specialist, introduced the many transit opportunities offered to individuals and corporations, including several of the free services for commuters. These services include coordinating and supervising over 500 vanpools and carpools throughout the Bay Area (and oh yes, there are rewards for users), transit schedules and route maps, up-to-date traffic information and future traffic challenges, bike maps and even a trip planning function. 511.org even provides parking information.

For companies that want to meet state air quality requirements, care about making their locations convenient and accessible to their employees, and want to reduce employee transit costs and enhance their corporate image, 511 offers several options, including worksite events.

511.org can be accessed via the internet and by phone (by dialing 511). The site also has several downloadable apps.

The second presenter was Melanie Curry, representing The Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRH), a unique service that does just what it says—“guarantees a free ride home for employees working in the event of unexpected circumstances such as illness, family crisis, or unscheduled overtime. Registrants may use the GRH vouchers to take either a taxi or a rental car, provided they have taken transit (BART, bus, etc.), a carpool, a vanpool, walked, or biked to work.” Users don’t have to live in Alameda County, they just have to work here. Up to six trips may be used per employee each year.

This fantastic program is a “free county benefit for employees and offered through the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA). To register, or for more information, see the Guaranteed Ride Home website at www.grh.accma.ca.gov or call (510) 433-0320.”

One specific side note about the Alameda County Guaranteed Ride Home Program is that companies must sign up first—and any Alameda County Company can, no matter the size of the business.

Every month, the Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable holds pertinent discussions and addresses issues and opportunities for growth and to connect with For-Profit businesses, all in the effort to strengthen the greater Oakland metropolitan community. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21, from 2:30-4:30 pm, in the Oakland Chamber board room. The group is a great introduction to the Chamber as well as a great networking opportunity for all Oakland businesses.


Co-Chair Âna-Marie Jones, Executive Director of CARD (amj@cardcanhelp.org)

Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager of Biotech Partners (jerry.metzker@bayer.com)

Chamber Liaison Triche Christmon, Membership Director (tchristmon@oaklandchamber.com)

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Workforce Investment Board Community Meeting

Attention Chamber business owners, employees, and workforce partners: 
You are invited to attend a meeting sponsored by the City of Oakland's Workforce Investment Board and hosted by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to discuss workforce training and employment services needs important to your business and industry.  The Workforce Investment Board is planning to issue a Request for Proposals for workforce development services and is seeking input from community and business stakeholders.

WHERE:         Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 475  14th Street, Oakland

DATE:             Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TIME:             3:00 - 5:00pm

For more information on this important meeting, please contact: Lorraine Giordano, Office of Workforce and Economic Development at the City of Oakland at 510.238.3630 or by email: lgiordano[at]oaklandnet.com for more details.

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Broadway Shuttle Service Adjustments for July 23

Due to President Obama's visit to Oakland today July 23, 2012, the following Broadway Shuttle service adjustments will be in effect between 11am-7pm:

Southbound: The Broadway Shuttle to Jack London Square will serve regular stops on Grand Ave. at Webster St., Broadway at 11th St., and all stops south of Broadway at 11th St. toward Jack London Square. 

Southbound stops *not served *include Webster St. at 20th St., Broadway at 20th St., Broadway at 17th St., and Broadway at 14th St.

Northbound: The Broadway Shuttle to Grand Avenue will serve regular stops on Webster St. at Embarcadero (Jack London Square), Broadway at 11th, and all stops between these points. The shuttle will also stop at the northern terminus on Grand Avenue.

Northbound stops *not served *include Broadway at 14th, Broadway at 17th, Broadway at 20th and Broadway at 22nd.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

East Bay Small Business Symposium

Please find the flyer for the EastBay Small Business Symposium, July 31st, from 7:30am to 11am at the Shattuck Hotel in Berkeley.  The Symposium is free and will help East Bay entrepreneurs and small businesses, from startups, to young, growing and mature companies with their business growth and success. 
Who will be there: Small business resource providers: financing, marketing, planning, employee recruitment and training.

What can you expect:
You will be able to connect with a wide range of experts who can help you manage and grow your business.

FOR More Information visit: http://www.ebsmallbusiness.com

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Monday, July 16, 2012

OakX | The Problem-Solving Economy

A Special Event Invitation to a great lecture series on the emerging tech sector in Oakland

OakX |  The Problem-Solving Economy
Panelists will explore sharing, making, hacking, the impact of the internet and more when they discuss the new problem solving economy. They will discuss the role of the internet and web 2.0 have had on the way people work, and how that is impacting urban life and civic leadership.

Panelists Include:

Angie Chang / Women 2.0

Egon Terplan / San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR)

 Ahmed Saddiqui / Startup Weekend

 Ahmad Mansur / Urban Economy Institute

To sign up at the event visit: http://oakx2.eventbrite.com/           

To volunteer at the event, please email oakxinfo@gmail.com

What is OakX? During this time of great disruption, OakX is about discovering what is emerging. OakX aims to formalize the local discourse concerning innovation in the public realm. OakX will organize a short series of non-partisan, civic events. OakX will bring together local and regional thinkers, leaders and entrepreneurs to present ideas and practices for innovation in the civic realm.

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Contracting at the Port of Oakland

From time to time, the Chamber is made aware of local business opportunities and projects relevant to our members and other community based organizations. See below for the most recent opportunity spotlight:
Invitation to Bid for

Partial Demolition of Building L-142

North Field, Oakland International Airport, Oakland, California

A Pre-Bid Meeting is scheduled as follows:

9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Port of Oakland

North Field Administration Bldg. L-107

1st Floor Conf. Room.

9532 Earhart Road

Oakland, California

Bid Due Date:  Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bid Due Time:  2:00 p.m.

Bidders may obtain the Bidding Documents (Project Manual) for this project on line at the Port of Oakland website at http://portofoakland.com/business/bidnotic.asp on or after Monday, July 2, 2012.  Detailed instructions on downloading the Bidding Documents are available at the following web address: http://portofoakland.com/pdf/bidDownloadInstructions.pdf.  Any Addenda modifying the Project Manual will be posted at the same location.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Possible Oakland Law Discourages Investment

The Oakland City Council is considering a bill that would put new regulations and fees on the purchase of residential investment property.  Proponents of the measure acknowledge it is meant to place controls on who can invest and how much they can invest in Oakland.

It’s called Non-Owner Occupied Residential Building Registration, and it would require owners to register each residential building with the City which is not occupied by the owner and pay substantial fees to be determined by the City.

The registration requirement will include providing a written Property Report in an approved format to the City by an approved local individual or firm.  The report will include an interior and exterior inspection of the premises attesting to the conditions of the property including readily apparent violations of various City codes.

The failure of an owner to comply with the provisions of these new requirements will receive violation notices for each building immediately subject to abatement actions and fees, assessment of penalties and fines, and collection actions. Each and every day a violation of any provision of this proposed law exists would constitute a separate and distinct offense.  The penalties in this new law are in addition to and do not supersede or limit any other remedies, whether civil or criminal, including demolition or receivership by the City.

 The matter was heard yesterday by the Community & Economic Committee.  Many objections were raised and further consideration of the ordinance was postponed to September.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Non-Profit Roundtable works to make Oakland more hospitable

By Jerry Metzker, Co-chair, Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable

Oakland's growing prominence as a destination for visitors from both near and far was the subject of the June 19 Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable meeting.

Presenters Myra Howay and April Tamaddoni from Visit Oakland shared a number of ways that community benefits organizations and other non-profits can utilize its growing body of resources to promote themselves and strengthen the infrastructure and prominence of Oakland.

The primary role of Visit Oakland is to ensure everyone who comes to Oakland is greeted and welcomed.

"Getting to sell the entire City of Oakland gives me goose bumps," Tamaddoni gushed.

One of the ways that Visit Oakland can help organizations is to act as liaison between them and the various hotels to schedule events and activities. With intimate knowledge and strong relationships with the hospitality businesses in the community, Visit Oakland is able to design a proposal process and review the results to help organizations make the best choice for their needs and budget.

"Our goal is to bring more business to Oakland," Howay noted.

Visit Oakland is also able and willing to create customized visitor's guides and packages for any number of out-of-town guests. Those in attendance received a sample package that included a variety of information and some terrific postcards of Oakland.

"Oakland has so much to offer," Howay declared, including a popular fine arts and music district, excellent cuisine from a variety of countries and cultures, professional sports teams, hiking and Lake Merritt-the oldest animal sanctuary in the country.

Visit Oakland also wants to hear from the members of the community, and the city's guests. Posting stories and experiences on its Facebook page is a fantastic way to spread the word.

One of Oakland's primary hosts is Children's Fairyland, located in Lakeside Park on the northwest corner of Lake Merritt. Executive Director C.J. Hirschfield shared with the Roundtable several of Fairyland's great accomplishments as well as improvements and new opportunities.

Children's Fairyland has the only children's performing arts theater in this region, and the longest-running puppet theater in the U.S.A.

Although a non-profit, 82% of the operating and program income is earned from ticket sales and special events. These events include weddings and adult nights. (The next adult night will be held on July 20, 2012.) Fairyland is also developing mutually beneficial partnerships with other Oakland-based businesses, such as Oaklandish and The Crucible (which is also a non-profit).

"We are in the memory-making business," declared Hirschfield, "and we love it!"

Children's Fairyland continues to explore ways to engage children and their families, not simply in the fun and the arts, but also by developing resources and partnerships to improve health and increase literacy.

"We are continuing to up our game," Hirschfield concluded, inviting Fairyland's non-profit colleagues to propose collaborations.

In addition to the conversation on hospitality, a new business in Oakland extended an opportunity to non-profit Chamber members. Dugaduga.com is a unique new social networking site designed to connect individuals with similar interests to participate in activities together, such as mountain biking or knitting. The site enables individuals to connect online and then pursue their interest or activity together.

Dugaduga.com founder Jessie Ivey declared that for-profit corporations need to recognize that they have a responsibility to the communities in which they do business. As part of its giving back to the community, the Internet company is offering 10% it's advertising to nonprofits that do not discriminate. For more information, contact them at Staylon@dugaduga.com.

Please mark your calendar. The next Non-Profit Roundtable committee meeting will be held on July 17, 2012 from 2:30-4:30 pm in the Oakland Chamber board room. The conversation subject will be Transportation, and we are lining up several guest speakers.

Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable

Co-Chair Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director, Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster (CARD)

Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager, Biotech Partners

Chamber Liaison Triche Christmon, Membership Director

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Federal grant for Port’s first phase rail project to boost regional economy

Yesterday the US Secretary of Transportation and the CA Governor marked the awarding of a $15 million federal grant for a Port of Oakland rail project. Check out the photos and story below!
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (left at podium) and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (right of podium) - in background on the left - Port Commission President Pamela Calloway - and on the right Port Director of External Affairs Isaac Kos-Read all announce the awarding of the TIGER IV grant to the Port of Oakland.

Check out the story, taken from the Port of Oakland’s Press Release below:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.  Mark $15 Million Federal TIGER Grant for Port of Oakland Army Base Redevelopment Project
Federal grant for Port’s first phase rail project to boost regional economy

Oakland, Calif. — July 9, 2012 — US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. visited the Port of Oakland Army Base redevelopment site Monday, July 9, 2012 to see where the Port will be constructing the first phase of its rail project that received $15 million in federal TIGER grant funding. The $15 million is from the fourth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program (FY2012).

The Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) Rail Access project of the Port of Oakland will improve rail access to and from the Port and expand the Port’s rail capacity, leading to faster and cleaner goods movement in Northern California, while also providing vital rail access for the proposed Oakland Army Base redevelopment. These federal funds, along with additional local and state funding, will support this critical transportation project.

“This $15 million grant from the federal government boosts state and local efforts to create thousands of jobs by investing nearly $1.5 billion in Bay Area transportation projects. We’re not just rebuilding our infrastructure – we are also rebuilding our middle class,” stated Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

The Port of Oakland handles 99% of all containerized goods in Northern California and is the only major U.S. West Coast container port that handles more exports than imports.

“I am very pleased this federal funding we fought for is coming to the Port of Oakland, where it will create jobs and make important infrastructure improvements.  The Port of Oakland’s ship-to-rail exchange project is an excellent investment of federal funds in local and national economies because it both creates jobs and it improves critical public infrastructure in the Bay Area,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  “This $15 million TIGER grant for the Port of Oakland is a clear example of the success of the TIGER grant program and why we must preserve and protect TIGER grants from efforts to end the funding.”

Agriculture represents approximately 40% of the total value of exports through the Port of Oakland, which is the premier export seaport for California agricultural products from the wine country to the Central Valley.

The federal funding will be matched more than one-to-one to launch the first phase of the OHIT Rail Access project, which is part of the joint City-Port OAB redevelopment plan.

“This grant is another giant step forward toward implementing a transformative project at the Port of Oakland which will translate into thousands of jobs for our city and will spur economic growth for generations to come.  We are grateful to Secretary Ray LaHood, the Obama Administration and Congresswoman Lee for their leadership in creating jobs,” stated Mayor Jean Quan.  “The TIGER grant-funded Rail Access project provides a critical link between the new logistics center and the existing port infrastructure making Oakland one of the most efficient ports in the nation.”
This OHIT rail project will deliver greater efficiencies in the Port of Oakland’s rail operations, create additional capacity for cargo movement at the seaport, reduce congestion on local roads and highways, create jobs, and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
The combined City of Oakland redevelopment and the Port’s first phase rail access project on the former Oakland Army Base property is approximately a $500 million investment.  The Port of Oakland is one of only six U.S. ports with a 50-foot deep harbor that can accommodate large container ships.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Stars come out at Chamber's 107th Annual Meeting

The 107th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recognized and celebrated its members, the lifeblood of the organization.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Solomon Ets-Hokin, a senior vice president of Colliers International. Other award winners were Holistic Veterinary Care (Small Business Innovator), Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Nonprofit Impact), Wells Fargo (Education First), Kaiser Permanente (Community Contributor) and Romeo Garcia (Leadership Alumni).
A seventh award, a new category reflecting Oakland’s popular restaurant scene, was “Best Oakland Dish,” which involved four local restaurants and a caterer and their signature dishes. Those winners were Chop Bar, Brown Sugar Kitchen, A’ Cote, Mua and Blue Heron Catering.
“Our Board members, staff and volunteers are here today to thank the hundreds of local businesspeople who continue to work on the critical issues that make this Chamber the finest and most diverse business organization in the most diverse city in America,” said Chamber President Joe Haraburda.

The meeting also featured a change in Chamber leadership, with Chairman of the Board John Nelson, a partner in the architectural firm of murakami/Nelson, stepping down after two years and passing the gavel to Shannon Pedder, owner of BRAND: CREATIVE.
During his remarks, Nelson said, “We have emphasized the importance of many issues during the past year.” They include:

  • A balanced budget for the city and pension reform statewide.
  • Defended property rights for individuals and businesses.
  • Recommended long-term thinking and vigilance to prevent unintended financial consequences to decisions made without consulting the business point of view.
  • Advocated for the speedy appointment of our new police chief, Howard Jordan.
  • Fueled the discussion to expand police academies, and thankfully three are being planned.
  • Encouraged the federal monitor to seek a solution to an end to the federal oversight.
  • The gang injunction in Fruitvale and North Oakland and believe more should be implemented.
  • Supported technology upgrades including shot spotter and improved in-car computers.
  • Supported education, collaborating with Tony Smith of the Oakland Unified School District and the Peralta Community College District’s parcel tax initiative.
  • Advocated to end the Occupy encampment.
  • Encouraged business savvy appointments to the Port Commission.
The event was sponsored by Visa, Inc., “More people go with VISA,” and was attended by nearly 400 local businesspeople at the Oakland Marriott City Center.

Accepting the Volunteer of the Year Award, Ets-Hokin said, “If you stop and think about it, just about everything we do in life is voluntary. And it seems like we are always compensated one way or another for our voluntary actions. Sometimes our compensation comes in the form of consequences. And sometimes it comes in the form of that satisfaction you get when you do something that is important and impactful for the greater good. The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which is effectively the business community that is sitting here in this room today, is truly a wonderful greater good to serve and be a part of.”

The Winners

Volunteer of the Year – Solomon Ets-Hokin started the Oakland Retail Advisory Committee (ORAC) in April 2010, in answer to a recommendation within the Oakland Retail Enhancement Initiative, which was adopted by the City Council in 2009. The committee consists of some 15 members with deep experience and varying backgrounds in all aspects of retail leasing and development. Its members meet once a month with elected officials and community stakeholders to review projects and plans to enhance retail in Oakland.
Education First – Wells Fargo has a long-standing commitment to local education. In November 2011, the company announced $1 million in new grants to benefit education throughout the Bay Area, and including the $1 million, Wells Fargo has donated more than $13.3 million to schools and nonprofit organizations for educational purposes in the Bay Area since 2009.
Best Oakland Dish – Chop Bar (Oxtail Poutine with oxtail gravy, French fries, and Fiscalini cheddar), Brown Sugar Kitchen (cornmeal waffles with tarragon-laced buttermilk fried chicken), A’ Cote (mussels with Pernod from the wood oven), Mua (kabocha squash tempura) and Blue Heron Catering (roasted filet of fresh Pacific salmon with chardonnay oak salt finished with creamy fresh herbs and lemon butter). 

Small Business Innovator – Dr. Gary Richter at Holistic Veterinary Care and his holistic approach typify the new ideas of small business, developing a new model to meet the needs of his customers and helping to build a new method, a new approach to build a new, strong business in a very competitive climate.

Community Contributor – In the spirit of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente has continued to demonstrate to Oakland and the region the same commitment to humanity as its founder. Kaiser Permanente has continued to follow the philosophy of giving, demonstrating tolerance for all people.

Nonprofit Impact – Community service and social justice have been an essential value at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland for 100 years, and today the facility continues to provide equal access to exceptional health care for kids in our communities and beyond – regardless of their ability to pay.

The Chamber thanks the many sponsors that made the
Annual Meeting such a great event:
  • Presenting Sponsor: VISA, The Preferred Card
  • Award Sponsors: The Clorox Company; Kaiser Permanente; Oakland Restaurant Association; Southwest Airlines; Visa; Wells Fargo
  • Inner Circle Sponsors: Buttner Properties; Port of Oakland
  • Table Sponsors: Alameda County Medical Center; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center; Bank of America; Barney & Barney LLP/Pankow Builders; Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland; Chiodo Art Development; Colliers International; East Bay Regional Parks; Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP; Full Court Press/murakami/Nelson; Jack London Gateway Shopping Center; KTVU/Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP;  Matson Navigation; McGuire & Hester; PD Wolf Law; Recology East Bay; Securitas; Visit Oakland

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