A Fremont-based company that builds solar installations to generate steam for oil production announced Wednesday it has opened an office in Bakersfield.

GlassPoint Solar said the office at 1502 Mill Rock Way, Suite 170, is staffed by two oil industry veterans, Director of Project Development Michelle McGarry and California Program Manager Olu Adeoye.

GlassPoint operates a commercial project in McKittrick that uses thermal solar technology instead of natural gas to provide steam for enhanced oil recovery. The company is building a 1,021 megawatt project in south Oman that will be among the world’s largest solar plants.

The state’s primary oil regulatory agency is hosting a job fair in Bakersfield next week as part of its campaign to hire dozens of experienced petroleum engineers.

California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, which in recent years has struggled to attract engineers from private sector positions that tend to pay very well, said the downturn in oil prices may provide an opportunity for it to recruit workers for inspections, testing and other duties.

Registration for the job fair is scheduled to start 10 a.m. April 28 at the Four Points by Sheraton’s Bistro Ballroom, 5101 California Ave. Attendance is limited to 250 people. RSVPs are requested by email to Clara.shaffer@conservation.ca.gov.

Valley Republic Bank announced Wednesday two “historic accomplishments” in the first quarter: its assets topped $500 million, earnings exceeded $1 million and its third banking office opened in the Riverlakes area.

The Bakersfield-based bank posted net income of $1.06 million, 34.5 percent more than 2015’s first quarter, for the three months ended March 31. Its net loans, meanwhile, reached $316.4 million, an increase of $64.5 million since March 31, 2015.

A new massage, yoga and sacred art tattooing studio, Samsara Wellness Center, will celebrate its opening with a series of events this weekend.

Among the happenings from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday are a fire dancing performance and an “acro yoga” performance and workshop. Because space is limited, registration is recommended online at samsarawellnesscenter.com.

The center is located at 5301 Office Park Drive, Suite 420.

Bakersfield is home to a new Marriott franchise, the TownePlace Suites Bakersfield West, at 8300 Granite Falls Drive.

Managed by Caltex Hospitality, the hotel offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with kitchens. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour exercise room, complimentary wireless Internet, laundry facilities and 1,215-square-foot of business space. It’s also pet-friendly.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Wednesday it has set aside an additional $383.3 million to help financially struggling Californians keep their homes.

The money was allocated to Keep Your Home California, which since 2011 has helped more than 62,200 homeowners and disbursed about $1.34 billion. The organization had been expected to close at the end of next year but now will continue through 2020 or once the money runs out, whichever comes first.

At least 12,000 more homeowners are expected to benefit from the allotment. Qualifying homeowners can receive up to $100,000 in mortgage payment assistance through the program. For application information, call 888-954-KEEP (5337).


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