Rotary Club of Kern River Valley meets four times a month for a dinner meeting & lunch meetings at the Ewing’s on the Kern, 125 Buena Vista Drive, Kernville.
(The Rotary Club of Kern River Valley was founded in 1962 at Ewing’s on the Kern).
ROTARY CLUB OF KERN RIVER VALLEY LUNCH MEETING
FRIDAY, MAY 25, NOON @ Ewing’s, Kernville
PROGRAM: JUSTIN POWERS
KERNVILLE COWORK LAUNCHES
By Elise Modrovich
Special to the Sun
On Monday, May 21, the Kernville Chamber of Commerce held their monthly mixer at the new Kernville Cowork, a lovely, open and unique workspace designed to “Connect, Collaborate and Create.” The Cowork Vision is to “create a community for collaboration, innovation, and continuous learning” by creating a pathway for local students to become interested and get involved with careers in technology they can utilize while living in the valley, as well as creating a destination for skilled distributed workers that have a desire to live and work in a small, thriving community with access to outdoor adventure.
Justin Powers, a seventh generation Valley resident who is the driving force behind bringing the cowork model to Kernville, started the project to “help promote tech in the valley.” Powers stated there are currently 19,000 Coworking spaces with 1.7 million users globally, and 25 percent of those opened last year, so it’s a rapidly growing concept. Fifty-six percent of coworkers come from home offices, “most of whom are just looking for a sense of community to connect with others.” Powers himself has been working successfully from his comfortable home office in Mountain Mesa for the last 5 years, but says that “when you’re working from home, you don’t get to form and develop the relationships and community you can get at the office water cooler.”
Another major factor that spurred Powers to begin this project is his desire to “create opportunities for youth in our valley.” Powers said that currently, the three main employers in the valley are the hospital, schools and Forest Service, and he wants to open up other career prospects in the tech world. He has been teaching coding to students at Wallace Middle School for the last 2 years, and his talks with both them and students at KVHS have revealed that, “Our kids do get it. They absorb it like a sponge, and they want to get into tech careers, but they are frustrated at the lack of opportunities and training available here,” said Powers, adding, “They just need the chance to develop their skills.”
Powers feels the result from bringing the tech world to the valley, enabling people to live and work here, will be a boost to the local economy. “This gives the valley another way to succeed economically. We can live here, spend money here while getting a paycheck from San Francisco or New York. You don’t have to live where you work. You can work where you want to live, and in this case, live and work mere feet from the river.”
Kernville Cowork is entirely self-funded and operates under a membership model. It costs $140 a month to utilize the space full-time with a key to the building and 24-hour access, $85 a month for part-time access, Mondays through Fridays 9 to 4, and $25 for day passes. Cowork also offers upgraded plans that provide a user with a dedicated desk housing “only your stuff” for $260 a month. Members have access to all Cowork’s amenities, including KV Wireless WiFi at 50 megabytes per second, power, office supplies, printing, a presentation/video meeting room with projector and drop-down screen, and coffee, snacks and even beer from their fully stocked kitchen. Powers stated that he is mindful of the internet connectivity issues we often experience in the valley, and he is looking to add a second ISP and load balancer, which will “create a redundancy, so if one goes down, we still have internet and power.” He said that members are even allowed to bring their dogs to work, as long as everyone behaves with decorum and trusts everyone will observe the honor system. “There are no rules unless you make me make one,” he said.
The space is located off Kernville Road, at 21 Sierra Drive, in the two-story building that used to house the beloved Peacock Inn. Powers has taken advantage of the second story by turning it into an Airbnb rental, where he can offer free coworking to guests as well as subsidizing the cost of running the business. He also wants to offer classes and events and has a “Coding for Kids” class beginning June 11, designed to teach how to build things through computer science.
“I’m open to bringing in classes and ideas that the community wants to see here,” said Powers. “I don’t want this to be my space; I want this to be the community’s space. Stop by and see it anytime.”
LUNCH $10, RSVP Becky Dake (951) 445-3145 firstname.lastname@example.org
Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, independent scientists or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with people who value working in the same place alongside each other. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancersexperience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.
Our club has about 25 members. Through our membership in Rotary International, we join with 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.
Our differing occupations, cultures, and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Our distinct point of view and approach gives us unique advantages:
- We see differently: Our multidisciplinary perspective helps us see challenges in unique ways.
- We think differently: We apply leadership and expertise to social issues—and find unique solutions.
- We act responsibly: Our passion and perseverance create lasting change.
- We make a difference at home and around the world: Our members can be found in your community and across the globe.
HOW DO WE WORK?
Our impact starts with our members—people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities’ toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization’s mission and values in their elected roles.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
We’ve been making history and bringing our world closer together for over 100 years. Since forming in 1905, we’ve taken on some of the world’s toughest challenges and helped a wide range of international and service organizations—from the UN to Easter Seals—get started.
HOW DO WE USE OUR FUNDS?
Responsible leadership means more than just doing good work—it means making the most out of every donation we receive.
WHAT CAUSES DO WE SUPPORT?
We have identified specific causes to target to maximize our local and global impact. At the same time, we understand that each community has its own unique needs and concerns. Through our network of resources and partners, we help clubs focus their service efforts in promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.