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Oakland companies raked in the recognition last month! Congratulations first to Creative Wood, the East Oakland office furniture manufacturer, for receiving the Export Achievement Award from the Northern California World Trade Center. Congratulations also to Oakland companies Fathom, Oaklandish and Blaisdell’s Business Products for being named a second year in a row to the Inner City 100 list, an annual ranking of the 100 fastest growing inner city businesses from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune Magazine. Finally, congratulations to keyboard manufacturer Key Source International (KSI), headquartered in Oakland’s Airport Business Park, for receiving the Association for the Healthcare Environment Innovation Award.
Photo via Vogue.com
Local boutique McMullen landed in Vogue.com this month, where Oakland was dubbed “the center of West Coast fashion.” McMullen is the only American retailer to carry hot Nigerian designer Amaka Osakwe’s Maki Oh line. Rival fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar included a “Women Who Dare” spread featuring Oakland’s Bandaloop dance company performing on the facade of Oakland City Hall. In other fashion and beauty news, Oakland-based e.l.f. Cosmetics raised $141 million in its September IPO. “We love Oakland,” said CEO Tarang Amin, noting its “stylish, hip people.” He adds, "We found an amazing, creative space in a great environment.”
Photo courtesy Bandaloop
After a one-year pilot, Google formally launched their first Code Next site in Fruitvale Village, where Oakland teens can learn coding skills in a youth training program developed with the MIT Media Lab. “This is my proudest moment after 12 years at Google,” said Nilka Thomas, Google’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “A lot of folks have been asking, ‘why Oakland?’ We want to make sure that the next generation of tech leaders come from Oakland — and are black and Latino. They’re going to do things to this industry that we cannot imagine or believe.” The program is offered at no charge; teenagers are referred by their schools or community organizations such as Black Girls Code, Hack the Hood, Hidden Genius Project, Level Playing Field or Unity Council.
Stephen Baiter has joined the City of Oakland as its new Executive Director for the Workforce Development Board. He will oversee a staff of six in the Workforce Development Division within the Economic & Workforce Development Department. Stephen was formerly the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County. He says, “I look forward to working with the entire Oakland community to help ensure that the City's workforce development efforts fulfill their promise to its residents and businesses.” For more information on how the Workforce Development Board can assist your
business, including customized hiring and training programs, and on-the-job training opportunities, please contact Workforce Development Specialist Tamara Walker.
The City of Oakland just released the Resilient Oakland Playbook, a strategy document developed to tackle systemic and structural challenges, including both natural shocks such as earthquakes and sea-level rise and economic shocks like recessions and inequality. Resiliency Goals for economic security include creating college savings accounts tied to the Oakland Promise, increasing career pathways for youth of color, and supporting entrepreneurs of color through Kiva Oakland and additional resources. For more information, download the Resilient Oakland Playbook or contact Chief Resiliency Office Kiran Jain.
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC), part of California’s Climate Investments program, awarded $50 million to three Oakland projects to help support affordable housing near transit. The awardees include Coliseum Connections, a 110-unit mixed-income near the Coliseum BART station, the rehabilitation of the Empyrean and Harrison hotels in Downtown into permanently affordable homes, and LakeHouse Commons, 91 units of affordable housing near Lake Merritt. Read the full media release here.
Image of the planned LakeHouse Commons