Jonanne Jameson strolled leisurely down the walking path in Library Park.
Children laughed and jumped on the playground behind her as parents watched. A young couple sat beneath a tree as the summer sun started to make its presence known.
And Jameson – a relative newcomer to the community – looked as natural as possible as she walked straight towards a video camera that was panning her every step for a television series that will showcase Manteca as a growing an emerging community in the heart of California’s Central Valley.
She was definitely ready for her close-up.
With NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw doing the voiceover for a five-minute segment that the city will be able to shelve and distribute to companies that show interest in either relocating or coming to Manteca, City Manager Karen McLaughlin is excited about the prospect of having something digital that can be sent out in addition to traditional packets.
Focusing on the community as a “hidden economic gem,” the segment will reach 100 million viewers on networks like The Discovery Channel in addition to ABC and FOX affiliates across the country.
It won’t be unlike the video that the City of Lathrop had made several years ago that former NFL Broadcaster Pat Summerall appeared in – outlining the economic vitality of the area by playing up its proximity to major freeways and showcasing its commitment to expanding its business base.
“They had contacted us about being a progressive community here in the Central Valley with a nice balance, and we’ve spent the last several months working to get everything set up,” said Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin in between stops.
Manteca is tapping into $20,000 in economic development funds provided by developers to help Today in America with the project – giving them the rights to use it as they see fit to market the city at events like the International Shopping Center Conference in Las Vegas that has helped secure retail merchants in the past.
“What we’re really looking forward to is having a great development tool that we’re going to be able to use when businesses express interest in coming to Manteca.
“We don’t have anything like this right now and all that it’ll end up doing is lending extra credibility to the city.”
A cameraman spent 10 hours at locations throughout the community Wednesday to showcase Manteca’s diverse offerings – from The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley to Big League Dreams to longtime local businesses like Hafer’s Home Furnishings.
Bass Pro Shops customer Jack Parks said that since the funding is coming specifically from developers who paid to get an advance on their sewer allocations and not from the general fund that is used to pay for police and fire protection, and that it could end up bringing local jobs to the community, he was all for it.
“They’re still building houses here and I think that says a lot about Manteca,” Parks said. “Now if only we had jobs that people don’t have to commute for. Maybe this is something that’ll bring just that.”