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GO-Biz comes to Plumas

Supervisor Lori Simpson and Assessor Chuck Leonhardt took Gil Gonzales, a special advisor to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), on a two-day tour of Plumas County.

Simpson and Leonhardt said they came away from the tour feeling very proud of what the county has to offer. They also felt like Gonzales received a good introduction to Plumas County and Plumas County gained a friend in GO-Biz.

The tour began the afternoon of Dec. 5 at the Collins Pine sawmill in Chester, which was completely rebuilt in 2002. The Collins family grows, manufactures and sells sustainable lumber, siding and particleboard. They met with Terry Collins, Andy Juska and Chris Verderber at the Collins Pine museum and mill.

The group then visited Ken Donnell in Greenville who manufactures the MiniFlex 2Mic acoustic instrument pickup. Donnell also sells and repairs acoustic and electric guitars, amps and accessories at Donnell’s MusicLand in Greenville.

On Dec. 6, Gonzales met with Randy Wilson, Plumas County planning director; attended the Plumas County Board of Supervisors’ meeting and met with John Steffanic, Plumas Sierra County Fair manager who organizes events to attract potential businesses to Plumas County.

Later the tour continued at American Valley Aviation located near the airport in Quincy. American Valley Aviation precision-manufactures, re-manufactures, repairs and overhauls ground support equipment and tools for aircraft testing and repair. American Valley ships its high value products all over the world.

Gonzales then met with Dan West, president of the family corporation Graeagle Land and Water Company; chairman of the board of Plumas Bank and past Plumas County planning commissioner.

The tour then met with Bob Marshall, general manager for Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative. The Cooperative supplies electricity, high speed Internet and broadband to industries and homes, mostly in eastern Plumas.

Finally, Gonzales held a conference call with Robert Meacher, city manager for the city of Portola.

Simpson said that the tour was a great dry run and that the county can now refine its approach to courting new businesses by showing all of our resources.

The county was initially contacted by GO-Biz in response to a company proposing to build a wood products manufacturing facility in northern California, Oregon or Nevada.

County officials took the opportunity to invite Gonzales and show him what the county had to offer to potential businesses.

The Board of Supervisors initiated the Plumas County Economic Development Committee during the 2016 budget session to come up with a plan for economic development. The goal of the committee is to bring permanent, well-paying jobs to this county.


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Gil Gonzales, right, special advisor to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), tours the Collins Pine sawmill in Chester as part of a two-day tour of Plumas County that took place Dec. 5 and 6. Photos from Lori Simpson

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Ken Donnell, manufacturer of the MiniFlex 2Mic acoustic instrument pickup, talks with Gil Gonzales during the latter’s tour of the county Dec. 5 and 6 with members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors.

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