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California’s Wealthiest Family Set To Change Rural Town Into a Trading Hub

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California’s Wealthiest Family Set To Change Rural Town Into a Trading Hub

California’s Wealthiest Family Set to Change Rural Town Into a Trading Hub

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The rural city of Shafter, California, is about to get an extreme makeover from one of the state’s wealthiest families, The Resnicks. The family chose to create a trading hub in the town, and their plans are so monstrous that they will alter the landscape forever.

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the dynamic duo behind The Wonderful Company, have already set up a distribution center in the small town, and they plan to expand the franchise even more. This expansion will reportedly cover an additional 1,800 acres and include a new railroad and highway system feeding an international shipping hub. Many who have heard the news can’t help but express excitement because the project will bring new opportunities to the town and its residents. It will also ultimately contribute to California’s hailing economy, which will lessen the rate at which people are moving away from there.

 

Meet The Dynamic Duo

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Stewart and Lynda Resnick are what many would refer to as a power couple, with their combined net worth of $8 billion. The family name is not as popular, especially if you’re not a business enthusiast, but there is little doubt that you’ve heard of their company or used one of their products. They run The Wonderful Company, known for products like Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, POM pomegranate juice, JNSQ Wines, Landmark Wines, Halos, Wonderful Seedless Lemons, and perhaps most famously, Fiji Water.

 

Where is Shafter, California?

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The rural city is located on the northwest corner of Kern County, less than 20 miles from Bakersfield. It is one of the smallest cities in the US, with just over 20,000 people. Almost one decade ago, the Resnicks chose Shafter as the location of their large industrial park, which contains several warehouses for their own products and shipping centers for stores like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Ross.

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More About the Industrial Park

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People in Shafter were historically farmers, surviving on agriculture, and the trade is still very popular in the small city. However, when the Resnicks chose Shafter as the site for their industrial park, they destroyed hundreds of acres of farmland, altering many residents’ business orientation. It took some time, but those people adapted to the new normal, even accepting the ongoing business. Little did they know the Resnicks were not finished, and now their plans to expand have been revealed.

 

Matters Arising

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The Resnicks now plan to alter the landscape even more significantly thanks to their plans to expand the industrial park. They will bulldoze almond groves to expand the industrial park by another 1,800 acres, and since they own the groves, they are well within their rights to do what they want with them. The park will boost business and attract more people to the city, but many already living there, as well as environmental activists, are worried about the implications of such a plan.

More Shipments, More Traffic

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As things stand, residents of Shafter already have to deal with significant semi-truck traffic created by the park’s already-existing park. When the expansion happens, more shipments will undoubtedly create more traffic, ultimately making life difficult for those commuting. The family has promised to make sure that does not happen as they plan to build a new highway that will ensure trucks don’t have to pass the city center. There will also be an inland train terminal to further reduce traffic. However, many are still concerned about side effects.

Fears of Pollution

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Rural cities are known for their clean air and healthier environment, but now that Shafter is about to become an international trading hub complete with a railway and highway system, residents are worried they can only enjoy that clean air for a short time. One expert has confirmed that the industry park’s extension will have huge impacts on the environment, which is sure to be felt by the residents.

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What This Means For the Future Generations of Shafter

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Cargo trains and diesel-powered semi-trucks expel a lot of smoke, and their noise will mean the loss of peace and quiet in rural areas in the decades to come. Some of the people living there are worried about what this could do to their health and what it could mean for their future generations.

On The Bright Side

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The pollution that will come with expanding the industrial park is a given, but the Resnicks think the close to 50,000 new jobs it will create more than makeup for it. The park they built almost ten years ago brought with it 10,000 jobs, so the new hub will definitely create more. But is that really a good tradeoff? Many wonder.

How Long Will People Be Able To Keep The Jobs?

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AI technology is now a confirmed threat to human jobs as many companies become mechanized daily. This means they have less need for human workers who get tired and complain about low pay when they can get cheaper robots to work more effectively. There is little doubt that big companies like the Resnicks will want to tap in to maximize labor cost and profitability, which means that the 50,000 new jobs they want to create may be a temporary affair.

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What A Railway Means For Drivers

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Aside from advancing technology, another very real threat to jobs is the new railway system they plan to build. Cargo trains will reduce the demand for truck drivers, with every arriving train able to do the jobs of about 240, meaning many drivers may find themselves out of jobs.

The Conclusion

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How the new international hub will affect residents of Shafter is yet to be seen, but the Resnicks have made many promises, including the creation of more jobs, improved infrastructure, and a boost to the economy. Many still wonder how long those will last in the face of improving technology and pollution.

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