Oakland Economy Now - news from the City of Oakland - November

Oakland Economy Now Masthead Volume 25 November 2016

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HOnors and awards heading

We Won An Award! Actually, Two Awards

Our Oakland Economy Now newsletter won two awards: an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council and a Digital Strategy & Impact Award from GovDelivery for excellence in digital communications. Thanks for reading! Make sure we’re covering your story in Oakland Economy Now by submitting tips to mraya@oaklandnet.com and tell your friends to subscribe here.

East Oakland’s Creative Wood and KSI Win Export and Innovation Awards; Three Additional Oakland Companies Recognized

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.

Creative Wood

McMullen fashion images Nigerian designer

Photo via Vogue.com

Oakland's Fashion + Beauty Stars

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.”

Bandaloop dancers fashion shoot on Oakland City Hall

Photo courtesy Bandaloop

Code Next Opens in Fruitvale

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.

Circuit Board History Wall inside Google Code Next

Stephen Baiter Appointed new Executive Director of Workforce Development Board

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.

Resiliency section heading

Oakland Releases Innovative Resiliency Playbook

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


State Awards Oakland $50 Million for Affordable Housing

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

LakeHouse Commons affordable housing project

Image of the planned LakeHouse Commons


Opening a Business? Contact us!

Business Assistance Center

Zoning & Permits

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


Oakland Hot Plate
Ono Hawaiian BBQ


Code for America Summit
Nov 1-  3 @ Oakland Marriott

State Payroll Tax Seminar
Nov. 2 @ 1515 Clay St

Uber Oakland Business Contracting Fair
Nov 3 @ Oakstop

The Future of Jack London Square
Nov 9 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Oakland Promise “Party for the Promise” 
Nov 10 @ Fox Theater 

Measure FF Employment Law Workshop
Nov 10 @ City Hall Hearing Room 1

International Consulate Luncheon
Nov 10 @ Oakland Convention Center

ICA/Fund Good Jobs 20th Anniversary 
Nov 17 @ 16th & Wood Train Station 

Inaugural Bay Area Summit on Urban Manufacturing
Nov  17 @ Pier 70, Building 12, San Francisco

Working Solutions BAC Office Hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays @ BAC


Jeremy’s new Oakland store aims for glorious shopping
Sep 23, San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland high schoolers to get up to $16,000 apiece for college
Oct 3, San Francsico Chronicle

Coffee brews up Oakland-Africa partnership
Oct 5, San Francisco Chronicle  

Google goes to Oakland, Harlem to reach Black, Latino youth
Oct 6, USA Today 

State bill fuels booming success of East Bay autism center
Oct 13, San Francisco Business Times 

Google opens tech doors to Oakland teens
Oct 13, East Bay Times 

How iconic Bay Area brand Oaklandish is growing its new retail concepts
Oct 13, San Francisco Business Times 

Baking and breaking Arabic breads in Oakland
Oct 14, SF Chronicle 

TraPac to nearly double the size of its Oakland terminal
Oct 14, American Shipper 

Exclusive: Huge Oakland tower plan combines housing, office and retail
Oct 14, San Francisco Business Times 

Port of Oakland: Terminal expansion could increase volume, add jobs
Oct 14, East Bay Times

Silicon Valley start-up weekend for Latinos by Latinos
Oct 25, USA Today

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