Central Valley AgPlus

The Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium (AgPlus) was awarded an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation through the U.S. Economic Development Administration in July 2015. AgPlus was one of 24 regions recognized nationally. On Nov 17, 2015, AgPlus held its kickoff stakeholder meeting in Sacramento. The meeting focused on the IMCP program, strategies moving forward, and goals for each Pillar Wok Group. AgPlus seeks to create a collaborative approach in providing resources to food and beverage manufacturers and partnerships to allow continued growth.

Manufacturing Summit

The 2016 Manufacturing Summit was held on March 3, 2016, at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center. Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, served as keynote speaker. The Summit, which drew more than 650 individuals, including 150 students, focused on innovation and technology trends within the industry. RICI is seeking to grow the manufacturing industry sector in the San Joaquin Valley; the Summit provided participants networking opportunities for this purpose.

Energy Cluster

The Clean Energy Cluster hosted its 2016 Clean Energy Summit in April. During the event, scholarships were awarded to high caliber students who were choosing careers in clean energy and alternative fuels. Since 2014, more than $25,000 has been awarded in scholarships. A Clean Energy Transportation event is planned for Oct 19, 2016, to increase usage of energy efficient vehicles in the San Joaquin Valley (Valley).

Health and Wellness Cluster

The Health and Wellness Cluster teamed up with the California Health Data team for a statewide project funded by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) Free the Data initiative. The goal is to bring local communities together with California’s health data. On March 3, the California Health Data Team hosted a roundtable which included representatives from Fresno County and California State Department of Health. More than 30 people gathered to discuss the impact of making informed transformative medical decisions through health data.

Agriculture Cluster

The Agriculture Custer has been working with regional farm-to fork programs to establish collaboration with local schools and create buy local campaigns in rural communities. These programs help curve economic leakage and capture value chain opportunities for local farmers and food manufacturers by capitalizing on the Valley’s locally grown products.

Water Technology Cluster

In February 2016, Fresno State International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) was awarded a grant by the Clean Energy Commission of California. The purpose is to help ratepayers reduce their energy costs. The Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State will help administer the grant and key activities to take place in 2017. In May, the Water Cluster conducted is BlueTech Valley Water Summit. This event provided participants in the academic, public and private sectors, to create collaborations toward new innovations and developments toward current water technology issues.