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HR group to hear update on new laws

Guest speaker Jonathan Fraser Light will present “What’s New and Changing for 2016,” an update on new and amended laws, at the next professional development meeting of the Human Resources Association of the Central Coast.

The meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo.

Because the annual legal update is longer than the usual monthly meetings, the program will start promptly at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 1:30 p.m., an association spokeswoman said.

With more than 30 years of experience, Light offers employment counsel and training programs to companies of all sizes to reduce liability and protect against lawsuits, the spokeswoman said.

He also serves more than 500 national, regional and local private and public employers on day-to-day and litigation-related employment issues, the spokeswoman said.

He holds an AV Preeminent rating, the highest assigned to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell, which provides information services for the legal profession.

The meeting is open to nonmembers. Registration will close at noon Friday, Jan. 8. To register, visit

For more information, contact Sara Kennedy at 489-0158, ext. 119 or

Furnace replacement workshop set

Santa Maria area residents interested in replacing their old furnaces with new, more energy-efficient models can attend the Santa Barbara County emPower’s free workshop set for Tuesday, Jan. 19, to get help selecting the right one.

The free workshop will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building, 313 W. Tunnell St.

Attendees will also learn about common issues that affect furnace efficiency as well as utility incentives and financing available for furnace replacement.

Local qualified contractors involved in the emPower program will be on hand after the presentation to answer questions.

Attendees can also schedule a free visit from an emPower energy coach for a comprehensive look at their home energy performance.

Dinner will be provided, an emPower spokesman said.

For more information and to make reservations, contact emPower Central Coast at 568-3566 or

Community West opening branch in SLO

Community West Bank announced it plans to open a new branch in San Luis Obispo in the third or fourth quarter of 2016.

Owned by Community West Bancshares, the Goleta-based bank’s full-service branch at 4464 Broad St. will be its first in San Luis Obispo County, a bank spokesman said.

It will replace Community West’s loan production office that opened in September at 1977 Santa Barbara Ave.

“There has been significant consolidation among community banks in recent years, and some of the regional and national banks have closed branches and cut back on service,” said Martin Plourd, Community West president and chief executive officer.

“There’s room in San Luis Obispo County for the flexible and responsive service that locally owned and operated Community West Bank provides,” he said.

With about $600 million in assets, Community West Bank has branches in Santa Maria, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Westlake Village.

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