Inage in Placer County
Placer County's 
In Progress Online Newsletter

January 2010
In This Issue
Placer County Offers Local Businesses Hiring Incentive
Power Magazine Names Rio Bravo Rocklin a 'Top Plant'
New Ritz-Carlton Hotel Brings Promise of Jobs
Popular Barbecue Restaurant Moves to Auburn
Movie Theater Complex Planned for Empty Rocklin Mervyn's
TGH Aviation Expansion Takes Wing
SEDCorp Offering Classes for Small Business
Placer County Vintners to Host February Weekend Winery Tour
New Web Site Devoted to Squaw Valley Ski Info
Auburn Symphony Presents 'Magical Mendelssohn & Beethoven's Emperor'
New Tax Guide Features Recovery Tax Breaks
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Issue: Vol. 11 #1  
Dear Subscriber: 
Placer County is giving you the same great information only in a new and improved format.  We hope you like it and welcome any feedback that you may have. 
Placer County Offers Local Businesses Hiring Incentive

A new county program will reimburse businesses for 80 percent of wages paid to newly-hired Welfare-to-Work participants through September 2010, using federal economic-stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The continuing increase in unemployment has translated into many more Welfare-to-Work participants ready and able to get back to work. The county has contracted with Golden Sierra Job Training Agency to place up to 150 participants in jobs with local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Businesses will not be obligated to retain employees hired through the program after it ends, but the hope is that employers will opt to keep the employees after they have received the work experience and training they need to be successful in the long term. For more information, contact Business & Employment Services Representative Bobbi Park at (916) 784-6140 or Park@goldensierra.com

Power Magazine Names Rio Bravo Rocklin a 'Top Plant'

The Rio Bravo Rocklin biomass power plant was named a top renewable power plant by Power magazine, an energy industry publication. The Rocklin plant is owned by Constellation Energy, based in Baltimore, and Denver-based North American Power Group Ltd. The plant, which burns about 240,000 tons of wood waste annually, was recognized for its recent turnaround - from poor operating performance to operating "very reliably," Power magazine said. In 2008, Constellation and North American Power Group invested $14 million in the plant to refurbish its boiler. The plant produces 25 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 10,000 homes. The power is sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Rio Bravo Rocklin is one of 50 biomass plants in California. For details, visit Power magazine

New Ritz-Carlton Hotel Brings Promise of Jobs

Image of Ritz-Carlton Highlands

 

One of the most luxurious private commercial projects in Placer County history was unveiled in December with the opening of the five-star Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe. The $300-million hotel, part of the international Ritz-Carlton luxury chain and owned by East West Partners, puts Tahoe-Truckee on the map as a world-class resort destination. "It is bringing some great year-round employment opportunities

- almost 400 jobs," said Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery.  The Highlands has 170 rooms including 16 suites, ranging in price from $249 to $4,000 a night, 23 private residences, and 25 fractional ownership units. For details, visit the Auburn Journal or Ritz-Carlton Highlands
Popular Barbecue Restaurant Moves to Auburn

Doug and Linda Mason have moved their popular Drooling Dog Bar BQ restaurant from Colfax to Downtown Auburn. The Masons' focus in their eatery is squarely on meat and poultry - smoked ribs, pulled pork, chicken and brisket, and tri-tip, cooked over oak. They've also added some new side dishes, including a roasted vegetable salad and a Cuban sandwich - sliced roast pork with ham, Swiss cheese and a pickle, grilled on French bread, for $8.50. Over the years, the Masons have created five barbecue sauces, one of which, their Tee-Bone's Raspberry Puree Chipotle, won first place at the 2007 National Barbecue Association awards. The restaurant also does catering. Drooling Dog Bar BQ, located at 150A Harrison Ave., is open Tues. - Sun., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For details visit the Auburn Journal  or 

Drooling Dog Bar BQ
Movie Theater Complex Planned for Empty Rocklin Mervyn's

The owners of a large Rocklin shopping center have gained city approval to fill their vacant Mervyn's building with a 16-screen movie theater complex. Blue Oaks Town Center has leased most of the former department store building to SR Entertainment Group, a family-run company in Santa Rosa that operates a dozen theaters in California and one in Nevada. SR Entertainment expects to open the theater complex in September and employ a combination of about 100 full- and part-time workers, said Dan Tocchini, president and chief executive officer. The company, which has experience opening in both redeveloped and new sites, will invest "in the neighborhood of $10 million" to renovate the former Mervyn's building, he said. For details visit the Sacramento Business Journal

TGH Aviation Expansion Takes Wing

An aircraft instrument repair company is putting Auburn's face on the map all over the world. Among TGH Aviation's clients are NATO and the U.S. military, for whom the company repairs tachometers and fuel-flow transmitters destined for aircraft located in countries from South Korea to Afghanistan and Iraq. A remodel of TGH last spring transformed an old hangar, adding 5,000 square feet of office and laboratory space. The expansion includes a new magneto lab, for repairing aircraft ignition systems. There's also a state-of-the-art clean room for the quality control department and more space for the repair department. A library and row of metal cabinets hold more than 20,000 technical manuals, one for every piece of equipment TGH works on. Sales will top $6 million for 2009, said TGH president Richard Anderson. The company's most valuable asset is its staff, Anderson said - 35 employees, 17 hired within the last three years. For details, visit TGH Aviation  or the Auburn Journal

SEDCorp Offering Classes for Small Business

To help support the growth of small businesses, Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp) has scheduled a diverse selection of classes for January and February to be presented by expert instructors. Classes are as follows: Business Boot Camp (Jan. 26, 27, 28, Auburn, free & Feb. 23, 24, 25, Placerville, free); Making Solar Electricity Benefit Your Business (Feb. 3, Auburn, $45); Exploring Franchising as a Career Option (Feb. 4, Auburn, $45); Business Legalities: Minefields & Pitfalls (Feb. 11, Grass Valley, $45 & Feb. 22, Auburn, $45); Business Identity Theft Compliance Workshop (Feb. 17, Auburn, $35); Survival Tools to Manage Your Business Finances (Feb. 18, Auburn, $45 & Feb.25, Grass Valley, $45); QuickBooks Class (Feb. 6, Setup & Data Entry, Auburn, $60 & Feb. 10,  Reports & More, Auburn, $60); Internet Marketing (Feb. 9, Beginner, Grass Valley, $45 & Feb. 16, Intermediate, Grass Valley, $45); Body Language/Communication Skills and Time Management (Feb. 16, Auburn, $35). For details and to register for classes, visit http://www.sedcorp.biz/ or contact Sandy Sindt at info@sedcorp.biz or (530) 823-4703. 

Placer County Vintners to Host February Weekend Winery Tour

On February 13, 14, & 15, Placer County Vintners Association will present the Placer Hills Winery Tour, a collaborative open-house style winery tour hosted by twelve Placer County boutique wineries. Visitors on the tour can meet winemakers, wine grape growers, and other wine enthusiasts while tasting award-winning artisan wines in the down-to-earth atmosphere of the Sierra Foothills. The weekend will include special activities at each stop. The tour is one of several held each year by Placer County vintners. As the tour Web site notes, "Most Placer wineries are family-owned and operated, have small vineyards, and the winemakers themselves are part of the charm, making Placer County a newly sought-after destination for a more personalized and unique wine-tasting experience." For details and a map of the wineries, click here

New Web Site Devoted to Squaw Valley Ski Info.

Serious skiers now have a place to find accurate, current, even "live" information about their favorite Squaw Valley-area slopes. The site is the brainchild of two brothers who became fed up with sifting through cluttered Web sites looking for updates on local ski conditions. Avid Squaw Valley skier Tim Konrad teamed up with his Web savvy brother John to create unofficialsquaw.com, a uniquely informative and interactive Web site for serious skiers. The site provides Squaw Valley skiers with expert advice and immediate insider news. With real-time weather information, daily trail reports, insider tips, photos from the hill, local news, and more, this Web site is a one-stop powerhouse of information.  UnofficialSquaw.com has its sights set on expansion. Recognizing the opportunity to provide focused content in the off-season, the founders are heading to South America in July to start UnofficialAndes.com. For more visit NowPublic News or Unofficial Squaw

Auburn Symphony Presents 'Magical Mendelssohn & Beethoven's Emperor'

What is the one concerto you cannot live without? This question was asked of the public through a poll by ABC Classic FM. The number one answer: Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor"). The Auburn Symphony will play this audience-favorite concerto, along with soloist Robert Thies in concert on Saturday, January 30, 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, January 31, 3 p.m., at Placer High School Auditorium, in Auburn. Thies (pronounced "Theece"), a 1995 Gold Medal winner in the International Prokofiev Competition, is praised for his "thoughtful and intensely moving interpretations." Also on the program are two works by romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture and Scottish Symphony - both inspired by a visit the composer made to Scotland in 1829. For tickets, visit Auburn Symphony.  For more about Robert Thies  

New Tax Guide Features Recovery Tax Breaks

Taxpayers can get the most out of new recovery tax breaks and get a jump on preparing their 2009 federal income tax returns by consulting a newly revised comprehensive tax guide now available in IRS.gov. "Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax," features details on taking advantage of new tax-saving opportunities, such as making work pay credit for most workers, American opportunity credit for parents and college students, energy credits for homeowners going green, first-time homebuyer credit, sales or excise tax deduction for new car buyers, and the expanded child tax credit and earned income tax credit for low- and moderate-income workers. This useful 308-page guide also provides more than 6,000 interactive links to help taxpayers quickly get answers to their questions. For details and links click here

What's in Your E-mail Newsletter?

In Progress Online (IPOL), an economic development e-mail newsletter, is published bi-monthly. IPOL covers the latest news on Placer County business and industry, agriculture, tourism, and the arts. It reports on new projects in our cities and towns and keeps readers up to date on the state of the region's economy. IPOL posts news of state and local training, incentives, and loan programs that benefit business. It provides links to more information on each item. News about your business is always welcome.  Please send items, questions, comments, or suggestions to the Office of Economic Development at econdev@placer.ca.gov or visit the OED Web site. For past In Progress Online newsletters, go to Placer County Biz News