The new company's future matters to local business and civic leaders, who said the Santa Rosa facility is more than simply the county's biggest tech employer. They maintained that the 1972 arrival of Hewlett-Packard changed the county for the better, creating a highly-trained workforce that was infused with an ethos of giving back to the community.

"To me it's been one of the greatest gifts to Sonoma County, the talent that H-P brought here," said Ben Stone, executive director of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

The business here began under the influence of what became known as "the H-P Way" — core company values that emphasized collaboration, innovation and an aversion to layoffs that set the company apart for its humane treatment of employees.

H-P also became known for community involvement. Its employees repeatedly became the largest group of contributors to the local United Way's fundraising campaigns — a commitment that Nersesian said his workers continue today. As another example, in the mid-1990s a local H-P official chaired the statewide committee drafting math standards that for years have been used to guide instruction for California's 6 million public school students.

Agilent still employs one of the county's better-paid workforces. The typical employee here receives about $100,000 a year in salary and benefits.

The company remains "at the top of businesses that every community wishes they had," said Santa Rosa Mayor Scott Bartley.

"These are the jobs everybody wants," Bartley said, "but they're the hardest to attract."

If you're missing a pet

If you're missing your Sonoma or Napa pet, check with Sonoma & Napa Fires Missing and Found Pets on Facebook, or call/text 707-349-6005.

Community-based, grass roots effort

— For photo albums click here
Hundreds of lost, found, and roaming pets are posted and albums are updated every day.
☆ MATCHING: The team will look for matching postings, and notify you.
☆ CONNECTED TO RESCUE: People doing rescue in burn zones are posting pictures and updating the team.
☆ FIND PETS BEING FOSTERED by Good Samaritans — they may only be posted on Facebook.
☆ UNIFIED EFFORT: No need to be overwhelmed by keeping track of numerous links.
☆ FLYERS: The team prints and distributes flyers of your postings to key locations.

More info:


Read all of the PD's fire coverage here