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Statevolt Founder Announces Plans for $4B Gigafactory at IVEDC’s Lithium Valley Stakeholder Meeting



Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC) hosted a Lithium Valley  Stakeholder Meeting convening local government, education institutions, businesses, and residents to discuss the news of a supply chain partnership between Controlled Thermal Resources and Statevolt, who recently unveiled plans for a $4B Gigafactory to be located in Imperial County’s “Lithium Valley” just outside Calipatria. 

“Statevolt’s announcement of a lithium battery manufacturing plant in the Imperial Valley yesterday is exciting news on many fronts. It represents the culmination of opportunities encountering the perfect time for these forces to come together,” said IVEDC Chair Doug Dahm. 

The meeting, which took place at Imperial Valley College, included presentations from IVEDC CEO Timothy Kelley, Imperial County District 4 Supervisor Ryan Kelley, Imperial Valley College Dean of Workforce and Economic Development Efrain Silva, Controlled Thermal Resources CEO Rod Colwell and Statevolt Founder Lars Carlstrom.  

There were key takeaways from yesterday’s presentations. Most notably, Statevolt Founder Lars Carlstrom shared details of plans to develop one of the largest gigafactories in the United States, with roughly 2,500 directly employed personnel in a 3.2M sqft facility. Imperial Valley’s strategic location is the leading force in geothermal and lithium extraction industries, which has opened the door for this groundbreaking economic opportunity for local job seekers, businesses, cities and residents.  

IVEDC Board member Tom DuBose said, “IVEDC’s persistence is paying off. As we have consistently marketed Imperial Valley on a global scale and continue to strengthen our bond with the Governor’s Office, Sacramento has come to learn that Imperial Valley is the number one location in California for opportunities like this.” 

IVEDC Chair Doug Dahm said, “It goes without saying that the introduction of this project is the tip of the iceberg, and we anticipate the synergy created from this project to be just the beginning of more significant projects like this to come in the near future. The fact that CTR and Statevolt are planning to co-locate at the extraction site creates a synergy that has so many positive possibilities.” Dahm believes the theory of the Triple Bottom Line, 1) Economy, 2) Environment and 3) Equity, best describes how this project will benefit the entire Imperial Valley. 

First, the Economy of the Imperial Valley is enhanced by the constructive utilization of resources that are found in abundance in the Salton Sea area.  

Second, the technology being used to develop this project is Environmentally safe, and it doesn’t further enlarge the Carbon Footprint here in Imperial Valley. Sean Wilcock, VP of Business Development at IVEDC stated, “The world’s demand on lithium is historic and will continue to grow exponentially. What we find exciting about this project, from a global perspective, is the enormous difference in how lithium is secured today in open pit mines and evaporation ponds compared to how Lithium will be extracted from geothermal brine at the Salton Sea in a closed loop manner with de minimis impact to the environment. Today, lithium circles the globe many times before becoming a battery. The Statevolt facility combined with onsite lithium and energy supplied by Controlled Thermal Resources will result in an enormous reduction in CO² emissions for every battery cell produced.” 

Third and most importantly, the Equity generated by this project will remain here in the Imperial Valley, instead of being shipped out to other areas of the nation or the world, thus by-passing the Imperial Valley. 

With nearly 100 interested businesses and residents in attendance, the Lithium Valley Stakeholder Meeting was designed to bring stakeholders from the public and private sectors together to strengthen discussions of strategic planning and ensure preparedness for this exciting opportunity. Dahm stated, “I think it is also noteworthy to mention here that IVEDC has developed many working partnerships over the years that will enhance and create value to this project. One of the partnerships is with IVC, our local community college. IVC is currently working to develop a curriculum for educational certificates that will enable students to apply for and secure high skill and high-paying jobs. IVEDC also enjoys a partnership with the County of Imperial, the Planning Department and its Board of Supervisors. The supervisors are supportive of this project and are working diligently to streamline the permitting process to enable this project to come to fruition by 2025.” 

Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC) is a partnership of private enterprise and local government that is united by the common vision of expanding and diversifying our economy. IVEDC is committed to enhance the quality of life experienced in Imperial Valley by engaging in initiatives that contribute to the diversification of the regional economy.  

IVEDC provides complimentary information, facilitation and referral services. IVEDC’s Business Development process includes site selection, incentive packaging, land acquisition, permitting assistance, procurement and workforce development.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai



Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners

Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.

Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.

Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”

This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.

“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.

IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.

For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.

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Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference



Coming October 5th

Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.

Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”

Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.

The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”

“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”

Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.

Full event details are available at:

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Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools



Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry. 

Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.

The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”

Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community. 

Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve. 

For more information on Webb Investments, please visit

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