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By Tanya Joham
staff writer 

Josh Pierce regales Rotary

Rotary Club of Tehachapi


April 16, 2022

Tanya Joham

Paul Kaminski, Rotary Club president (left) and Josh Pierce, president of the GTEDC.

On April 7, Josh Pierce, president of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council (GTEDC) explained the purpose and focus of the GTEDC to the Rotary Club. The main purpose is enhancing the life of the people who live in the greater Tehachapi area, not just the city. This includes all the outlying areas that play a part in our community such as Keene and Sand Canyon.

Pierce said that the GTEDC wants to build strong partnerships with public and private entities. Although the GTEDC will not necessarily drive all the activity and processes, they do want to be the "connective tissue" that is integral to the kind of cooperative development that will benefit the community as a whole.

Obviously, as an economic development council, the GTEDC wants to promote more businesses opening up in the area. But they feel it's important to be strategic about it. What kind of businesses would most benefit the greater Tehachapi area and be sustainable in a recession? Intentionally creating diversity in our local economy is perhaps the most important goal of the GTEDC, according to Pierce, because that will translate into strength and resilience during challenging economic times.

The GTEDC is comprised of an executive board to which three commissions report: the Arts Commission, the Tourism Commission and the Wine Growers Commission. All three of these benefit each other and attract people and businesses to the area. Pierce drove home the point that 60% of our business comes from out of the area.

The GTEDC has decided to focus on three pillars of workforce development: healthcare, skilled trade and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The idea is for the GTEDC to identify the gaps in our local workforce and then find ways to fill those gaps - not directly - but by coordinating resources, connecting people and promoting cooperation to ultimately have a thriving economy that's strong enough to weather recessions and uncertain economic times.

The GTEDC meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 a.m. at Slice of Life Enrichment School at 48771 W. Valley Blvd. It is open to the public.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto "Service Above Self." The club meets on Thursdays at noon. For more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at or contact club President Paul Kaminski, (661) 699-5851.


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