This Week at City Hall - Fresno Food Expo an Amazing Success
03/19/2013
Fresno Food Expo an Amazing Success
 
By every measure, the third annual Fresno Food Expo, which highlights the San Joaquin Valley as the undisputed food capital of the world, was an amazing success.
 
Last week’s Expo featured 106 food and beverage producers from the eight-county San Joaquin Valley and marked the debut of 55 new innovative products and packaging concepts.  The Valley-based food and beverage producers gained exposure and made connections with 643 regional, national and international foodservice and retail buyers, restaurant chefs and institutions.
 
Those record-breaking numbers reflect a 65 percent growth in the number of participating exhibitors and a 370 percent growth in buyers since the first show in 2011.
 
The Fresno Food Expo was everything we hoped it would be.  Our local businesses really got a boost -- just going from booth to booth, you could hear about the leads that they were getting and the suppliers that they were connecting with.
 
Key buyers from large retail outlets such as Trader Joe’s and Sam’s Club attended the Expo for the first time this year, as well as 25 international buyers from Canada, Pacific Rim, Mexico and Columbia as part of the first organized buying mission put together by California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) tied to a regional food show.
 
The 2014 Fresno Food Expo is expected to be even bigger and better.  Mayor Swearengin recently announced a shift in the date of the annual food show from March to July starting in 2014, a change that will accommodate the more than 2,500 fresh produce growers and packers in the San Joaquin Valley as well as including a wider variety of products.
 
A news release with additional information on the 2013 Fresno Food Expo is available here.  More information on the Fresno Food Expo is available at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com.
 
Participants Sought for Fresno Citizens Academy
 
Participants are now being sought for the upcoming session of the Mayor’s Fresno Citizens Academy, an initiative that allows Fresno residents to learn more about their government by hearing directly from top policymakers and decision makers at City Hall.   
The next session of the free, eight-week program begins at City Hall on Monday, April 1, and ends on Monday, May 20.  Sessions will be held weekly from 6-8 p.m. 
 
Over the course of the program, participants will hear about a wide range of topics, such as how the annual budget is developed, how public safety resources are deployed, and what the City does to promote and support the local economy. 
 
Mayor Ashley Swearengin, City Manager Mark Scott and department heads provide presentations at the Academy.  The sessions also include a presentation by the Fresno Historical Society on the history of the city as well as information about boards, commissions and civic engagement.
 
To apply for the program, please visit the City’s website at www.fresno.gov/FCA.

Learn2Earn Making a Difference
 
The Learn2Earn adult education initiative is producing positive results in removing the obstacles for Fresno adults looking to obtain more education or gain additional skills for the changing workplace.
 
Recent statistics show that almost 1,400 participants are enrolled in the program, and more than 600 are receiving training.  Other participated are attending workshops on issues such as career planning and education after obtaining a General Educational Development (GED) diploma.  The program has produced 36 graduates, and additional 140 have passed at least one of the five tests to receive a GED.
 
For more information on the program, please visit www.learn2earnfresno.org.
 
Mayor’s Youth Job Fair Scheduled for March 27
 
The Mayor’s Youth Job Fair presented by the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fresno will be held at Manchester Center, Blackstone and Shields, on Wednesday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
The job fair is open to individuals ages 16 to 25 and is free to attend.  Attendees should bring plenty of resumes, dress to impress and be prepared for on-site interviews and to fill out applications.  Employers will be hiring for full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, hourly and salaried positions.
 
Employers can find more information or register at www.fresnochamber.com/myjf or send questions to info@fresnochamber.com.  Anyone wanting to participate should call (559) 222-8705 or visit “Fresno Mayor’s Youth Job Fair” on Facebook.
 
Mayor Swearengin Morning Keynote Speaker at Conference
 
Mayor Ashley Swearengin will provide the morning keynote address at the 5th annual Sunbird Conservatives Conference at Fresno Pacific University on Saturday, March 23.
 
More information on the conference is available at www.sunbirdconservatives.org
 
Mayor Swearengin’s Schedule
 
While some of these activities outlined below are not public meetings, these are some of the issues being addressed by Mayor Swearengin:
  • Meeting with top officials from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to discuss issues related to the high-speed rail project;
  • Speaking at “Rethinking Downtown Fresno,” a public forum at Fresno State.
  • Speaking at the “40 Under 40” event recognizing some of the best and brightest young people in central California;
  • Attending the 13th annual Cesar E. Chavez commemoration at William Saroyan Theater.
This Week’s Meeting
  • Historic Preservation Commission, City Hall Room 2165, Monday, March 18, 5:30 p.m.
  • Planning Commission, City Hall Council Chambers, Wednesday, March 20, 6 p.m.
  • Fresno City Council, Council Chambers, Thursday, March 21, 1:30 p.m.
Follow Mayor Swearengin, City of Fresno on Twitter
 
For up-to-date information on happenings related to the City of Fresno, follow Mayor Swearengin on Twitter @MayorSwearengin or the City of Fresno @CityofFresno.