Ray Rodriguez, owner of Cork Tree Restaurant and Casuelas Café, has lived in the Coachella Valley since 1965 and operated his restaurants for over two decades. Ray believes that an independent 4-year CSU locally would generate positive benefits for the Coachella Valley. Specifically, from a business standpoint, Ray knows that a CSU would undoubtedly elevate the level of employees within the Coachella Valley. This is vital for the restaurant industry as Ray has seen the employee pool become very thin over the last few years—a sentiment shared by many in the restaurant industry.
Additionally, Ray believes that a local independent CSU would increase the number of customers frequenting his restaurants as parents will visit their children and take them to meals to celebrate college milestones, including orientation, graduation, etc.
As many high school students in the Coachella Valley are already highly competitive athletes, Ray feels that a local independent CSU would immediately make the Coachella Valley competitive in collegial sports on the national level. The type of notoriety this would bring to the Coachella Valley would be unparalleled.