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California’s First Maritime Heritage Trail Opens at Lake Tahoe

California State Parks and the Sierra State Parks Foundation are proud to debut California’s first maritime heritage underwater trail devoted to showcasing Lake Tahoe’s historic recreational watercraft and barges that now rest below the surface of Emerald Bay. Starting today, October 1, scuba divers can explore three newly revealed dive sites under Emerald Bay in addition to the Barge Dive Site established in 1998. The new Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail (Emerald Bay Underwater Trail) is the first of its kind in California.

Emerald Bay, situated on the western side of Lake Tahoe, is and has been an American tourist destination for well over 150 years. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1969 for its brilliant panorama of mountain-building processes and glacier carved granite. Translucent blue-green water surrounded by vertical cliffs, green conifers, and granite boulders creates the quintessential Tahoe experience and one that has drawn people to the bay specifically for recreation since the 1860s.

“It’s no secret that Lake Tahoe is a world renowned tourist destination year round,” said Denise Jaffke, Associate State Archaeologist with California State Parks. “Now, visitors will be able to experience the beauty and wonders of Emerald Bay and learn about its fascinating past through this underwater trail.

The Emerald Bay Underwater Trail celebrates the history of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe’s culture of recreation by way of shipwrecks. The bay is the final resting place of several recreational boats, launches, and barges used on the lake during the early 20th century. This was the heyday of the Emerald Bay Resort (1920s and 1930s) and the con struction of the Scandinavian “castle,” Vikingsholm (1929). These boats were purposely scuttled (sunk) when they outlived their usefulness, but now serve as reminders of the golden age of recreation in Tahoe. This collection is the largest, most diverse group of sunken small watercraft, in their original location, known to exist in the nation.

The Sierra State Parks Foundation, the non-profit partner with seven state parks in the Lake Tahoe-Donner region, helped fund the Emerald Bay Underwater Trail.

“The Sierra State Parks Foundation is honored to be a part of this significant milestone and the impact it will have in the preservation of these underwater cultural sites,” said Heidi Doyle, Executive Director of the Sierra Parks Foundation. “This maritime heritage trail will provide a unique recreational opportunity for our visitors and offer educational opportunities for students and future scientists.”

The four dive sites of the Emerald Bay Underwater Trail at Lake Tahoe range in depth from 10 to 60 feet. Underwater interpretive panels have been placed at the four dive sites so divers can learn about the sunken ships they are exploring. Waterproof information cards created for divers will be available at the park’s visitor centers, local dive shops, and on State Parks and Sierra State Parks Foundation’s websites. Because of the remote location, access by boat is advised.

Scuba divers are advised to invent their adventures safely and responsibly at the Emerald Bay Underwater Trail. Use caution and adhere to safe diving practices at all times. Lake altitude is over 6,000 feet in elevation. Divers should be prepared for extreme cold water temperatures year round.

Please help prevent diving accidents by observing the following safety precautions:

  • Be properly trained and equipped for conditions.
  • Always dive with a buddy.
  • Ensure altitude diving safety practices are followed.
  • Check weather and diving conditions ahead of time.
  • Be prepared to render assistance in case of emergency.
  • Follow boating safety guidelines and regulations.

On Friday, September 28, State Parks dive teams introduced the Emerald Bay Underwater Trail across its social media platforms from one of the four dive sites, using remote audio and video technology. Scuba divers are encouraged to view the video to get a sense of what their experience at the underwater trail will look like. The video and additional information on the Emerald Bay Underwater Trail are available on State Park’s at www.parks.ca.gov/EmeraldBayUnderwaterTrail.

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Job Training Helps Small Manufacturers Meet Labor Needs

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As a small manufacturing firm in a tight labor market, Affordable Plastics Inc. in Ontario knew it had to do something different to acquire the advanced skills and expertise needed to grow its business and stay competitive.

It found its solution through the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) Incumbent Worker Training Program. This program is designed to help small manufacturing businesses provide advanced technology training for their employees. Working with NTMA Training Centers of California, the WDB offered employers the opportunity to enroll workers in 288 hours of hands-on training in computer-aided manufacturing.

 

“A company of our size couldn’t do this on our own,” said Aldo Villalpando, vice president at Affordable Plastics, a bottle manufacturer with 10 employees. “We want to grow our business, and in order to do that, we need to bring in injection molding and produce product differently that we have. This program gave us the training to do that.”

Villalpando felt strongly enough about the program that he enrolled himself – along with three other Affordable Plastics employees. They were part of a unit of seven workers from different companies that took part in the four months of training in how to use CNC Machining and Mastercam software.

For Affordable Plastics, the training has given it the technical and mechanical expertise it needs to make its own molds and hard-to-find parts. It also has allowed the company to increase the capacity of its staff without having to hire additional personnel.

Charles Meisner Inc., a commercial products manufacturer in Ontario, was another company that took advantage of the training offered through the WDB program. “Finding qualified workers in the open market can be a formidable challenge during robust economic times,” said Chris Meisner, vice president.

“This kind of training is extremely valuable,” Meisner said. “It’s harder and harder to find qualified people out there to do the work. We need to train our own.”

Affordable Plastics and Charles Meisner Inc. were among four companies that took advantage of the WDB program sending employees to the training.

Tony Myrell, WDB Chairman, said the program is an example of the type of innovation WDB is bringing to meet the labor needs of the region’s growing businesses.

“The irony is that a booming economy can make it even more difficult for companies – especially smaller ones – to find the workers they need. For those same small businesses, the cost of training workers can be prohibitive. Here, we’ve created an opportunity for companies to become part of a collaborative training program, free of charge to them,” Myrell said.

The CNC Mastercam training is funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and WDB’s Slingshot program, which engages businesses to identify their specific workforce needs. Information on future sessions is available by contacting the WDB at (800) 451-JOBS.

About the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board

The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.  The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the county’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is committed to providing County resources, which generate jobs and investment in line with theCountywide Vision.

The Workforce Development Board, through the San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, offers a variety of programs designed to help youth and adults identify career pathways and get the appropriate training and skills. Programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provide eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, access to a variety of career and educational services designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences. In addition, the WDB operates San Bernardino County’s three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC). The AJCCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The AJCCs also support and provide services to the county’s businesses, including employee recruitment and business retention programs.

Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce. Also follow us on: Facebook www.facebook.com/SBCountyWDB; Twitter @InlandEmpireJob; LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/sanbernardinocountywdb; and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/SBCountyWIB

Barb Stanton Honored for Years of Service to MDAQMD Board

By Trina Siverts
MDAQMD-Stanton
Barb Stanton (center) was honored by MDAQMD for her years of service.

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s governing board recognized board member Barb Stanton for her years of service to the agency at the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 24.

Stanton, whose status as an elected Apple Valley Town Councilwoman offered the opportunity to serve on the Air District board, announced in July she would not run for reelection in November. Her retirement from the Town Council also means she’ll vacate the Apple Valley seat on the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District board dais.

Stanton represented Apple Valley on the Air District board from 2011 to 2012 and again from 2015 to 2018.

MDAQMD Executive Director Brad Poiriez presented Stanton with a plaque commemorating her years of service to the Air District, including a stint as Vice Chair in 2012.

“During her time on our board, Barb’s contributions have shaped the policies of our district and helped forge a plan for continued success in the future,” Poiriez said during the plaque presentation. “She has always been thoughtful, attentive and fully engaged. As an executive director, it is rewarding to see a board member show the same compassion for air quality, and the residents throughout our district, as she does for those who elected her to serve in Apple Valley.”

Stanton plans to retire to 16 acres in Tennessee where she’ll transition from councilwoman and governing board member to bee keeper.

“As you step out a new door, or into a new door, it’s difficult and it’s hard to leave this wonderful agency,” Stanton said at Monday’s meeting. “But I’m proud of the work that we’ve done and that this agency will continue to do.”

Stanton called Poiriez a “breath of fresh air” since becoming MDAQMD’s Air Pollution Control Officer in 2016, and verbalized her admiration for several longtime MDAQMD staff members as “the glue” of the agency.

“Sometimes this is a thankless job, we all know that, for employees too,” Stanton said. “I encourage you all to keep up the good work. I’m going to miss everybody and thank you for your generosity toward me.”

MDAQMD is the air pollution control authority and permitting agency for the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and the Palo Verde Valley in Riverside County. It’s governed by a board of 13 members representing nine incorporated municipalities and two counties within its boundaries. Visit www.mdaqmd.ca.gov or follow us on social media @MDAQMD.