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The Great Valley Center:  Connect. Inspire. Act.

Updates & Highlights

Summer 2012

Summer is here, and harvest season is in full swing, bringing a bounty of roadside produce stands, farmers markets and pick-it-yourself opportunities to our Valley. Our swimsuit weather also brings a return of outdoor concerts, festivals and other recreational opportunities for families to enjoy throughout the Central Valley.
Many of the Great Valley Center’s programs are also “heating up.” This update provides you with the opportunity to learn about our projects, community highlights, and interesting links. Please take a moment to catch up on the important work we are doing.  If you are interested in knowing more please visit our website or contact any one of the GVC team. Together we can meet the challenges and guide our Valley’s future!

-- Dejeune Shelton, Executive Director
Photo of telehealth - nurses video conferencing with a physician

GVC Program Updates

Digital literacy and telehealth program surveys available
The Great Valley Center, on behalf of the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium, is gathering information about digital literacy, internet training, telehealth and telemedicine programs offered in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare Counties. If you are aware of or offer a digital literacy or telehealth program in any of these communities, please
take the survey or forward the survey link to the program’s contact person:

The Digital Literacy, Telehealth and Infrastructure Workgroups also invite your participation in the SJVR Broadband Consortium Quarterly Meeting on Friday, July 20, 2012, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Tulare County Office of Education in Visalia. A conference call option is also available. If you would like to participate, contact Rachel Audino to receive meeting information: or (559) 294-6021.

Child abuse prevention video available for viewing online
“No More Silence,” the child sexual abuse prevention video produced by Great Valley Center working with Merced County Office of Education and Merced Education Television, is available for viewing on the GVC website and through YouTube. The video debuted June 5 before child care providers at a session of the Early Care and Education Training Institute in Merced. A Spanish version of the video has also been produced and will be available for viewing in the coming weeks. Click to watch the video and learn more about the program.
Intern hired as a GVC program coordinator for the energy program
Caldean “Dean” Biscocho is proof that an internship CAN help you land a job. The UC Davis graduate has been an intern for GVC’s energy program, gathering and analyzing greenhouse gas emissions data for the City of Tracy over the past five months. In June, Dean was hired by Great Valley Center as a full time coordinator within the energy program. Click to read more.

California Connects hires four new trainers
GVC welcomes four new community trainers to the California Connects program:  Adela Gonzalez-Del Valle – Nevada County; Juan Gonzales – Fresno County; Linda Lopez – Kings County and Alicia Balencia – Madera County. CA Connects aims to increase Internet literacy and use among low income and Spanish-speaking adults in 18 counties. Contact the community trainer in your area for more information. Partnerships with local organizations that provide training sites are also essential to the program’s success. Click for more information.
Third ALF–Great Valley Chapter class is underway
Twenty-two fellows of the American Leadership Forum – Great Valley Chapter spent two days in June taking the first step of an exciting, year-long, intensive journey. During the year they will establish relationships built on trust and cooperation, be armed with new skills for taking on difficult issues, learn to appreciate diverse views and identify resources to turn dialogue into action. Watch for a “Center Spotlight” email focused on ALF in July!  Click for more information.

Share your news

The purpose of the Great Valley Center’s e-newsletter is to provide you with updates on current GVC programs, as well as bring you news and highlights from around the Central Valley.  We want to know what is going on in your area that will impact the region. Please send news and links for activities that are addressing the economic, environmental, educational and social challenges in your community to Linda Hoile at

Photo of baskets of produce at a farmers market.
Photo of fruit at a farmers market

Valley Highlights

U.S. Green Building Council offers Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grants
The U.S. Green Building Council, with support of the Bank of America Foundation, has announced availability of 2012 Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grants. The program will award $25,000 cash grants and provide educational resources to affordable housing developers and related public agencies that pursue LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development certification. Click to learn more.
Northern California nonprofits salary and benefits report available
With 402 participating Northern California non-profit agencies reporting on over 21,000 jobs, the 2012 compensation and benefits survey report is among the most robust in the survey’s 34-year history. The report assists non-profits to compare their employees’ salaries and benefits with other organizations in their area, budget and plan for the cost of adding new staff, and be aware of compensation trends in the non-profit arena. Click to find out how to purchase this resource. 
CSU Fresno offers new advanced GIS certificate program
California State University, Fresno's Division of Continuing and Global Education has a new certificate program focusing on Geographic Information Systems, a field that uses digital technology to manage, map, analyze and display spatial information. Conducted completely online, the program offers professionals an option to enhance skills and learn to integrate GIS technology into practical applications. Click for more information.

On the Calendar

Nurses’ tour visits five Central Valley cities
June 22–Bakersfield, June 25–Fresno, June 26–Modesto, June 27–Stockton, June 28–Chico
The Medicare for All - 2012 California Tour, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, National Nurses United and Campaign for a Healthy California, will stop in five Valley cities in June. At each stop, the tour offers a health screening at 3 p.m. and a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. The nurses aim to educate and serve seniors and community members who have been hurt by unemployment, foreclosure, declining health coverage, and scarce treatment options. Click for a tour schedule and information.
Conservation Ag and Controlled Traffic Farming Conferences offered
August 28–Davis, August 29–Modesto and Five Points, August 30–Bakersfield
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation is sponsoring a series of
Central Valley conferences on Aug. 28, 29 and 30 on conservation agriculture and controlled traffic farming. The conferences will bring together five world experts on these systems to share information and to discuss opportunities and potential benefits of these approaches. Call for information: Aug. 28 – (530) 752-1898; Aug. 29 – (209) 525-6800 or Aug. 30 – (661) 868-6200

Cap-and-Trade Forum held in Fresno
June 29, 2 – 4:30 p.m., Fresno City College, Old Administration Bldg., Room 151
Assembly members Henry T. Perea and Susan Bonilla will provide insight on California's landmark program to curb greenhouse gas emissions from large factories and power plants. The California Air Resources Board adopted the rule last October requiring 600 of the state's largest stationary sources of pollution to pay per ton of pollution they emit beyond a certain cap. Call for more information: (559) 445-5532.

Links of Interest

Unemployment drops below 15 percent in four San Joaquin Valley counties

Central Valley nut growers expecting another strong season
Report: Valley not keeping pace with state home sales
Central Valley growers struggle with farmworker shortage