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Discovery Channel show spotlighting Manteca
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Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw is about to help Manteca score big in marketing the community as a place to expand a business.

A film crew with Today America - a cable TV news format show geared toward educated and affluent viewers - will spend about 10 hours in Manteca today filming for an upcoming segment on leaders in economic development.

On camera interviews are planned with Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford, longtime businessman and resident Ken Hafer, relative newcomer Joanne Jameson, and Nate Reed who grew up in Manteca.

Footage will be gathered of Del Webb at Woodbridge, Bass Pro Shops, Library Park, Big League Dreams sports complex, the downtown murals, the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, housing construction, and infrastructure construction as well as photos of various amenities and activities provided by the city that run the gamut from community celebrations to the BMX Park.

The segment on Manteca that is identified as a “hidden economic gem” will be shown nationally on the Discovery Channel that reaches more than 100 million viewers nationally as well on a number of ABC and FOX affiliates across the country.

Bradshaw won’t be in Manteca. Instead, he’ll do the voice over for the final five-minute segment.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin said she was contacted by Today America after they did research and kept coming across various economic endeavors connected with Manteca. Among them was the community building and selling 300 homes a year throughout the foreclosure crisis when cities around it were lucky to build a dozen homes annually if that.

Manteca is using $20,000 in economic development funds from an account created using bonus bucks paid by developers to help Today America with the project. In return, the city will get copies of the video that they plan to use to market Manteca to businesses looking to relocate operations as well as at events such as the International Shopping Center Conference conducted annually in Las Vegas.

“It is a huge advantage for us being able to be aggressive when most other communities can’t be,” McLaughlin said of the recession. “When things are hot, everyone is competing for the same business.”

She added that getting Manteca front and center just as the economy shows signs of picking up while delivering the message that the city is ready to accommodate new employment centers with sewer, water, and amenities gives the city an edge.

“It won’t be a big recovery but we want to position ourselves to get the most out of it,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin noted that geography and transportation works in Manteca’s favor but it is the infrastructure and development that Manteca has put in place - right down to a virtually unheard of 52 city parks serving a city of 70,000 - that can sell Manteca to potential employers.

The city manager said the video will help get that message out.