Serving the community since 1922

New economic development director looking to the future

Shafter has a new economic development director, and he is ready to take Shafter into a bright future.

Fernando Guerra comes to the city after more than two decades working in the economic development field in some of the largest markets in the world. Guerra has worked for the Los Angeles Economic Development Agency, as well as a city agency in New York City and a stint in Chicago. Guerra is a graduate of USC and received his masters in economics and international business from Johns Hopkins University. He is originally from Italy and will be marrying his fiancé in April in his homeland.

"I am experienced in projections of economic growth and potential, and I can tell you that the city of Shafter's economic future is very bright," Guerra said. "I am so excited to be working for this city and help them fulfill this potential."

Among the items on the agenda for Shafter is attracting new businesses. Guerra said that Shafter has a lot of unique assets that should attract a lot of interest, among them its high-speed fiber optic system. "Most businesses have to install their own fiber optic networks, but with Shafter, it is already there."

Add to this the large number of new homes being built in Shafter, including the Gossamer Grove development, Marcona Estates and Willow Estates. All together, another 2,500 homes are planned, and with that growth, also comes the need for commercial businesses in the area. Although they have not been named, national retailers have an interest in the Gossamer Grove area, he said.. In addition to the commercial development, there are already plans for a Shafter Police substation there, along with a Fire Department unit, and in the future, schools too.

Guerra said that it is very exciting to be a part of this growth and the unfolding story of the city.


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