2 years in growth, Bitwise is simply constructing a number of beauty particulars (and a pandemic) after opening
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – You heard about the revenge of the nerds – geeks who get cool after school. Well, there’s nothing nerdy about the newest digital-powered store on 18th Street. If a company can have a personality, Bitwise Industries is an extrovert – and one of the cool kids.
It is written on his face: The psychedelic exterior of Bitwise literally pops out and introduces itself. But on Wednesday the company also showed its insides.
Private offices, co-working spaces, classrooms, zoom cabins, kick-back areas, a tap room, a backyard terrace.
Who says programmers and code writers lead lonely lives? Bitwise, based in Fresno and now Bakersfield, looks about as collaborative and interactive as you can find it these days.
Bitwise Vice President Amy Thelen, the company’s senior officer in Bakersfield, says Bitwise’s goals are nothing short of transformative for Kern County’s workforce. She said the days of local businesses and institutions crowding out web design and data integration jobs will soon be over.
“For every tech job you add to a community, it takes four additional support jobs,” she said. “So we want the money to go back to our church. I speak to people in the chamber, people in town … for a long time they outsourced technology projects, for example website redesign or data integration or developed an app for them.
“And so, Bitwise, after our classes we have a tech shop where students often go to tech consulting and get their first job. And they build websites for businesses or public bodies or whatever it is. The point is, the money can go straight back into our economy. “
The Turk’s Building, as they call 1701 18th St. due to its earlier incarnation as a business machine shop of that name, is 98 percent complete, with only cosmetic details left.
So what’s the stop? Thelen says some tenants are already in place, but as for the public opening, they are waiting for the pandemic to return sufficiently satisfactorily. Until then, restricted occupancy and masks apply all around.
The other half of Bitwise’s advance in Bakersfield, Vincent’s Building, as it is initially called, may be ready for occupancy by spring 2022 subject to the same restrictions. This half of the company will mainly consist of classrooms.
And awkwardly in between is the Porterfield Hotel. Maybe that’s a story for another day.
This section of downtown Bakersfield was one of the busiest in town long before Bitwise decided to move in and make it livelier.
The pandemic changed all that. But after a pandemic – whenever that may be – that’s a different story. The promise Bitwise made two years ago looks increasingly realistic.