Since 2012, the Kern Business Journal has documented the happenings in the various industries throughout the county, spanning energy, agriculture, health care, real estate and more. But what makes the publication truly special is where the information comes from.

This one-of-a-kind product’s content is written by men and women working in the industries highlighted in each issue. Who is better qualified to discuss the developments taking place than those who currently working in the field? This is business-related content written by working professionals for working professionals.

Mix in a few traditional articles written by experienced journalists and you have yourself a product that is unrivaled in its mission and focus on what makes Kern County run.

There is no question that the Kern Business Journal’s biggest strength is its contributors who take time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge and insight with readers, sometimes taking on tough topics and issues relevant to the local workplace.

Bolstering the KBJ roster is the addition of TBC Media Business Editor John Cox, who returns to The Bakersfield Californian after a stint with the San Diego Business Journal where he covered technology, energy, health care and the economy. John previously worked for TBC Media as a staff writer covering business news for over 10 years and brings immense passion and knowledge of local business across a wide range of industries.

It’s safe to say that few individuals are as well-informed about local industry as him — if at all.

You can find John’s article on how oil supply companies survived the downturn on Page 6. And make sure to keep an eye out for his byline in future editions of the Kern Business Journal and, of course, The Bakersfield Californian.

This edition focuses on the ever-changing face of energy in Kern County. As technology improves, the businesses must evolve or find themselves behind the curve.

Some find success by incorporating “rival” technologies to improve production, detailed in writer Dianne Hardisty’s article highlighting the construction of the state’s largest solar project — a partnership between Aera Energy, one of the largest oil and gas producers in California, and GlassPoint Solar, the leading supplier of solar energy for the oil and gas industry (Page 5). The solar energy project will be the first of its kind to use solar steam and solar electricity to power oil field operations.

To save money, some organizations will rely on third-party vendors to executive nonprimary business functions. Jim Damian, founder and CEO of Stria, talks about business process outsourcing, both domestic and offshore, and poses five questions to ask for those considering its use (Page 28).

But companies mustn’t lose sight of their most important asset: their employees. Attracting and retaining top talent is a constant task for businesses as the demand for quality employees will always remain high. Tracy Leach of Providence Strategic Consulting Inc. says 2018 is the “Year of the Employee” (Page 35). She offers some tips to help keep employees engaged and, like the theme of this issue, energized.

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