Innovation isn’t something that’s come recently to Folsom. The truth is there’s been a long history of innovation here. One that continues to fuel excellence in Folsom today. 

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Aside from the apparent gold references, Folsom’s history boasts a lot of firsts. It’s the home of the first railroad in the west, connecting gold fields with the ports of Sacramento. It’s also home to the nation’s first powerhouse to generate long-distance power. 

Built in 1895 by HP Livermore, the Folsom Powerhouse was one of the country’s earliest alternating current power plants. It used water from the American River to create electricity that was transmitted 22 miles to Sacramento. While it was decommissioned in the early 1950s to make way for the Folsom Dam, it’s now managed by the State of California as a state park. Today, 125 years later, you can still see vintage generators and the control switchboard. Each of the enormous GE transformers could conduct up to 11,000 volts of electricity!  

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Livermore was one of the early tech pioneers in Folsom. It’s a tradition that continues today with tech giants like Intel. The link between hydroelectric engineering and innovating cloud computing and data may not seem obvious, but there’s a connection. Both took risks by trying something that had never been done before. Both required cutting-edge technologies. And both needed trailblazing leadership to guide the project to success. 

In 1982, Intel decided to call Folsom home and purchased 234 acres now home to its 1.5 million square foot campus and 6,000 employees. However, Intel needed space quickly, so landowners, developers, and the City of Folsom joined forces to meet the challenge. Together, they helped Intel build a 145,000-square-foot Lake Forest Tech Center office in just over four months!   

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Intel continues to drive technology in the Sacramento region, making Folsom the hub for tech employers. You’ll also find startups that scale, industry leaders like PowerSchool and Inductive Automation, and large corporate companies, including Micron and Toshiba. You’ll even find two of the oldest companies in Japan, Kikkoman Foods and Geikkeikan Sake.  

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We’re proud to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for companies of all sizes and industries. You’ll see that in the companies that choose Folsom, the educated and enthusiastic workforce, and in the wide array of community programs.  

Joe Gagliardi is the CEO of Choose Folsom, the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about the opportunities at ChooseFolsom.com

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Joe Gagliardi
Author: Joe Gagliardi