United, we stand … to gain

BayTEC Alliance wants you!

Jim Moll is branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors in Oroville and marketing director for BayTEC Alliance.

Our community is at a crossroads. The ill effects of the most challenging global economy in memory continue to ripple through our state, regional and local economies. The current trends point to a long-term decline in our jobs base, an erosion of the tax base needed to support our community and a deterioration of the quality of life we hold so dear.

We believe it is time for the region’s business and civic leaders to join together and take action to build a better, more enduring and more hopeful future for all of us. To that end, members from the public sector, the private sector, academia and the community at large—all from the Oroville/Butte County region—have formed the BayTEC Alliance.

The initiative of this nonprofit organization is a regional effort focusing on clean-technology industries. The success of the BayTEC Alliance depends heavily on community involvement, accountability and clearly defined goals. There will be regular community briefings to update residents on the progress.

The alliance board has specifically identified industries that would benefit the Oroville area and surrounding communities. The alliance has a 50-year vision for building a solid foundation in solar, bio-fuels, green building technology, research, development and manufacturing. The scope is regionwide and its main focus is jobs: from entry-level positions to sales and management jobs. Bringing clusters of clean-tech industries attracts other green industries and companies to support those activities.

This is a “holistic” approach to economic development and transformation. Our region’s assets were detailed; industry segments identified; potential for job creation explored; the service or infrastructure gaps hindering company expansions or relocations and, finally, the sustainability of the industry segments were thoroughly researched. The alliance worked closely with the Jamison Group, whose professional experience includes similar efforts in Austin, Texas, and the Silicon Valley. The Jamison group includes three former Oroville residents: Dr. Glen Toney, Charles Toney and their sister, Virginia Walker.

The effort encompasses the entire county and has announced its first project: the Energy Farm at the Oroville Airport Industrial Park. This facility features hands-on demonstrations of green technology for new buildings as well as retrofitting or remodeling older structures. The Energy Farm features training, practical research and the active involvement of both the Private Industry Council and our local colleges.

In the new global economy, regions compete against other regions—for employers, tax revenues and wealth. Oroville and the Butte County region have a choice to make: Either we seek new ways to collaborate and burden-share within our region, to build and grow together, or we risk the continuation of a long, slow and sad decline that will impact future generations.

The BayTEC Alliance prefers the course of bold, collective action—now. This is not change on an incremental basis; this is a community in transformation!

Please check out the whole story on our Web site: www.baytecalliance.org