Silicon Valley is known as the hub of technology. San Francisco is known as a hub for just about everything else. The East Bay, on the other hand, is a hidden gem when it comes to jobs of the future.

Our president, Lou Ramondetta, recently took part in a tour of the Patterson High School Supply Chain & Logistics Training Center, which has become a model for how schools and companies can work together to create good-paying jobs and a steady pipeline of opportunities for communities traditionally left out of the tech boom.

Thanks to the East Bay Transportation & Logistics Partnership, Surplus Service as well as a number of other organizations were able to see the possibilities when government, schools and businesses collaborate to give students real world experience in the workforce.

“What we’ve done is we’ve changed work requirements to say that, unless you get a four-year college degree and work in Silicon Valley doing coding, you’re worthless. The reality is very few people can do that,” said Ramondetta, who in addition to running an award-winning e-waste management company in Fremont, CA, is a big advocate for green and supply chain logistics jobs. “Some young people say, ‘I just want to finish high school and go to work,’ and they should have that option. All those people need is to have the opportunities available to them.”

The program in Patterson started when the high school received a $20,000 seed grant from the Central Valley Leadership Institute. Now, the Patterson training center has grown to a 10,000-square-foot facility with partnerships with big companies such as Grainger and Amazon. A companion program has also been established with Modesto Junior College to offer certificate and associate’s degrees by the time the students finish high school.

The program also has a partnership with First Book to receive, process and ship more than 30,000 books a year. Amazon has signed on to hire 10 program graduates a year, and other companies are following suit. These aren’t just regular warehouse jobs. Some of these jobs pay an average salary between $80,000 and $100,000.

This is all being accomplished in a region that has historically been an agricultural-based economy full of seasonal, minimum wage jobs with no benefits.

So just imagine what can happen if the same partnerships were created in East Bay cities such as Oakland, said Alyson Greenlee of the East Bay Transportation & Logistics Partnership.

“One in three jobs in the Bay Area are in industries that make or move goods,” said Greenlee, citing a recent report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “This partnership is developing logistics training for young people that meets the needs of these industries.”

Ramondetta said he believes that jobs of the future can be created right in the heart of the East Bay if more industry leaders jumped on board. The Transportation & Logistics Partnership boasts a membership of more than 100 companies, and more companies are being encouraged to join.

By becoming member, a company can take advantage of a number of benefits—not just for their own bottom line, but also for the overall economy.

Some of the benefits include having input on job training, working directly with schools to develop programs that prepare students for jobs of the future, and working on legislative initiatives that lead to funding for projects, roads and grants for member companies.

To learn more about the East Bay Transportation & Logistics Partnership, visit Ebtlp.org.


Surplus Service is a San Francisco, CA Bay Area-based award-winning e-waste management business that specializes in ITAD, medical recycling, electronic liquidation, reverse logistics and data eradication. As the No. 1 electronic reuse and recycling leader, our goal is to provide eco-friendly solutions that lead to the reuse of electronics rather than just having them recycled or end up in a landfill. To learn more about us, send us a note, call one of our e-waste recycling specialists at (510) 226-0600 or email us at Info@SurplusService.com.