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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

New Program To Assist Tech Entrepreneurs Launches
The new Long Beach Accelerator, an initiative to bring together investors and entrepreneurs, held its opening investor reception yesterday. The program assists tech startups with securing funding and resources. The accelerator’s first cohort of entrepreneurs is participating this fall. The Long Beach Accelerator is a partnership between the City of Long Beach Economic Development Department; the California State University, Long Beach Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and Sunstone Management, a Long Beach-based capital management and investment firm. The program is expected to attract top entrepreneurial talent and stimulate the city’s local and regional economic growth, according to John Keisler, the city’s director of economic development. “The Long Beach Accelerator will drive tech entrepreneurs and top innovators to our city and vastly progress the entrepreneurial ecosystem our community is building,” Keisler stated in a press release. “This public-private partnership collaborating with public educators and private funders can act as a model to drive growth for years to come.”

New Study Outlines Economic Impact Of California’s Oil And Gas Industry
California’s oil and gas industry generated $152.3 billion in total economic output in 2017, contributing 2.1% to the gross state product that year, a study released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) found. The industry directly employed 152,100 Californians in 2017 and paid a total of $21.6 billion in state and local taxes, plus $11 billion in sales taxes, $7 billion in property taxes and $1 billion in income taxes. Jobs in the industry have increased 6% since 2016. “We’re extremely proud of the opportunities we are able to provide the Californians who work together to power this valuable industry,” Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, stated in a press release about the study.

Port Receives $4.77 Million FEMA Security Grant
The Port of Long Beach today announced that it has been awarded $4,777,500 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to enhance safeguards at the port. The funding from the FEMA Port Security Grant Program will support upgrades to cybersecurity, increase the number of cameras and sensors around the harbor, and continue the port’s investment in its fiber and wireless network infrastructure. “Securing the port requires state-of-the-art technology to monitor activities on land, on the water and below the water,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, stated. “This grant will help us enhance our domain awareness and maintain our readiness to protect the harbor.”

Downtown Resident Announces 1st District Campaign
Long Beach resident Joe Ganem announced this week his intent to run for the Long Beach City Council 1st District seat in November. Ganem, a retired city manager and governmental affairs transportation representative, said his priorities for the 1st District include addressing affordable housing, homelessness and public safety. For four years, he served on the city’s homeless services advisory committee and continuum of care board, according to his campaign announcement. He is also a former president of the Downtown Residential Council, a local entity that unites Downtown Long Beach residents to discuss issues in the area. There are eight candidates running for the 1st District in a special election on November 5, per the city clerk’s office. According to the Los Angeles County election calendar, the last day for potential candidates to declare candidacy was August 9. Ganem filed his paperwork August 8, according to the city clerk’s office.

MOLAA Appoints New Chief Curator
Lourdes Ramos-Rivas, president and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), announced the appointment of Gabriela Urtiaga as the museum’s chief curator. Her tenure at MOLAA commences on September 3. Urtiaga’s role is to “amplify the international perspective that MOLAA has cultivated through partnerships, major international institutions and alliances using her professional curatorial trajectory in the museum field,” according to MOLAA. She previously served as chief curator for the Kirchner Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “It is an enormous challenge that I receive with gratitude and enthusiasm,” said Urtiaga of her role. “. . . As a professional, it is a great responsibility to be able to contribute to and expand upon MOLAA’s artistic legacy and vision.”

California State University To Offer
Immigration Services To Students And Employees

Today, California State University (CSU) announced plans to offer immigration legal services to students and employees. “Funding for the services initially was provided by a one-time allocation of $7 million from the 2018 Budget Act to the California Department of Social Services to implement direct immigration legal services programs on CSU campuses,” a CSU press release stated. To deliver immigration services systemwide, the university has partnered with four legal service providers – the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Immigrant Legal Defense, the Central American Resource Center and the Jewish Family Service – whose attorneys, paralegals and accredited representatives are expected to begin visiting CSU campuses within the next six months, according to CSU. In a prepared statement, CSU Chancellor Timothy White noted that the university was extending the same commitment to its employees. “These thousands of Californians are pursuing their dreams for a better future every day on CSU campuses. The expanded services and resources that will soon be available will bring support, legal guidance and some peace of mind to enable our students and employees to focus on academic and professional pursuits,” White stated.

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