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In this issue:

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Breaking News: NOVA Workforce Board Taps Joint Venture for Regional Initiative

The NOVA Workforce Board has awarded Joint Venture $150,000 in funding from a U.S. Department of Labor Regional Innovation Grant to coordinate strategic planning and develop a regional initiative on workforce training.

Spurred by the in-depth analysis on the subject appearing in Joint Venture’s 2008 Silicon Valley Index, NOVA selected Joint Venture for the contract, citing its expertise, existing networks of stakeholders and successful history with similar projects.

NOVA says Silicon Valley is “fast approaching a crisis” in efforts to ensure a qualified workforce to meet the growing demands of a dynamic and increasingly innovative economy. Such demands include increasing globalization, Baby Boomer retirements, a skills gap for those lined up to replace aging boomers, and the extremely high cost of living in Silicon Valley.

With the contract, Joint Venture will develop a regional strategy to boost high school completion, improve technical education for youth and adults, increase post secondary enrollments, and other goals.

Click here to read the news release about the NOVA Workforce Grant.

Click here to read the 2008 Silicon Valley Index, which included a special analytical section on the pressures facing mid-range occupations in the region.

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New Initiatives for Climate Task Force – Green Buildings, Solar

Joint Venture’s Climate Protection Task Force, a consortium of three counties and 25 Silicon Valley cities, is leading work in three areas: 

Green Building Standards: As enthusiasm mounts for higher “green” building standards across the region, Joint Venture is working to achieve consistency on those standards across Silicon Valley’s cities. The work builds on Joint Venture’s effort in the 1990s bringing builders and cities together to streamline procedures and adopt a uniform building code for the region.

Procuring Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems: Solar retrofits are too expensive for most cities to contemplate, but with the rising cost of energy, public agencies are hoping solar systems can help them stabilize their energy budgets and save money in the long run. The task force is therefore organizing Silicon Valley’s cities into a buying pool that will aggregate demand and attract volume discounts, all the while creating more jobs in the Valley’s clean tech sector. 

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Twelve of the members of the Climate Protection Task Force began conducting inventories of the greenhouse gas emissions from their operations last year. Another 28 cities and counties have begun work on their inventories using discounted services negotiated by Joint Venture with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, leaving 2 of the 42 members of the Task Force still in the wings.  The program is set for completion in early 2009.

For more information on the Climate Protection Task Force, click here.

To see one example of a greenhouse gas inventory, click here to download Menlo Park’s report.

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Silicon Valley Online Means Business

Joint Venture has created a one-stop information center to help businesses of all sizes to start or relocate, grow and prosper in Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley Online, an easy-to-use Web resource provided by Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance, offers centralized economic data on everything from commercial real estate and workforce services to business resources, major industry clusters and new technology frontiers.

Silicon Valley Online, which receives more than 5,500 hits each month, contains a snapshot of business benefits and key economic development contacts from 22 cities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties along with information on a variety of business resources, community activities, educational institutions, recreation and cultural outlets.

Click here to try it for yourself, and be sure to recommend it to colleagues!

Can You Hear Me Now?

Joint Venture is leading an effort to improve cell phone coverage in Silicon Valley, by working in partnership with cities and carriers. You can help us, by reporting where you’re having reception problems, without even leaving your chair.

Joint Venture is tabulating and charting our region’s dead spots so we can address each one of them systematically. You can help by tipping us off about the spots that vex you the most. It’s easy—all you have to do is fill in a short form on our website, anonymously if you choose. We will forward the information to the carriers and the cities for action.

And don’t forget that under the new state law starting July 1 you’ll need a hands-free option for cell phone calls while driving!

Click here to submit information on a cell phone dead spot.

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Joint Venture Spotlight

Meet George Blumenthal

Joint Venture Board of Directors

George Blumenthal will be inaugurated as the tenth Chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz tomorrow (June 6). An astronomy and physics professor and member of the Santa Cruz faculty for more than three decades, Blumenthal assumed the role of acting chancellor two years ago upon the tragic death of Denise Denton. The UC Board of Regents appointed him chancellor last September.

The son of a Milwaukee couple who operated a small Venetian blind business, young George’s early interest in physics and space science skyrocketed with the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I in 1957. Things have been looking up for him ever since.

Valley Vision talked with Blumenthal about his new role, his vision for UCSC and the importance of UC’s presence in Silicon Valley.

Click here to read more about George Blumenthal.

Article of the Month

Hooked on reality TV? Get ready for some reality of your own

This opinion-editorial discusses the state of Silicon Valley’s readiness for a major earthquake or similar regional-scale disaster, and urges families and individuals to take basic steps so they can be resilient when that fateful time arrives. It is co-authored by Kirstin Hofmann, Director of Santa Clara County’s Office of Emergency Services, and a member of Joint Venture’s leadership team working to build a state-of-the-art Resiliency Center at Moffett Field.

Click here to read the editorial, which appeared in the Mercury News on May 12.

Joint Venture/BOMA Energy Efficiency Workshop Set for June 19

As part of Joint Venture’s ongoing collaboration with the corporate real estate community, we are pleased to be partnering with the Building Owners and Managers Association of Silicon Valley (BOMA) and others on the second “Greening Silicon Valley – One Building at a Time” event. On Thursday June 19 we are offering an Energy Efficiency workshop, followed by a tour of the IDeAs "Z Squared" Net Zero Energy/Zero Emissions Building. For more information about the event, click here.