About the News Organization: The Modesto Bee, a McClatchy news organization, serves primarily the city of Modesto, Stanislaus County, and its surrounding cities and counties in the heart of California’s Central Valley and the Sierra foothills. The Bee has a rich, 134-year history of serving a diverse community built on agriculture with an eye on diversifying employment sectors in hopes of fending off the “brain drain” that sees many of our youngest and brightest leave for college and never return. Our mission is to connect with readers each day to discover and report on the issues that touch their lives.
The Modesto Bee
Location: * West, California
Beat: Economic development in Stanislaus County
Position: This reporter delves into what is spurring economic development, and its impact, in Stanislaus County and the Northern San Joaquin Valley. While the county's unemployment rate has been dropping, for example, it remains higher here than the rest of state and country. The RFA reporter examines all aspects of how the area has been growing and what’s ahead, as agriculture—our main economic driver—continues to evolve and Stanislaus County looks to grow its work force, bringing Silicon Valley and other businesses here. What can be done to fend off the economic wedge between the Bay Area/Silicon Valley and the Central Valley? What housing plan can make our area more affordable for our local workers, students and seniors? Future economic development plans will impact housing, the environment and transportation, and coverage from a well-sourced reporter with a single focus is vital to our readers.
Reporter: Kristina Karisch