"Heart of the Bay" Hayward is known for its central location in San Francisco Bay and also for its accepting, diverse environment. Currently, the city is focusing on creating a pedestrian-friendly downtown area that is modern and welcoming. Praised as one of the best-wired locations in the country, Hayward offers a wi-fi network in its downtown area. Hayward also offers a free Access Hayward smartphone application.
Hunt-Wesson Food opened in Hayward in 1895. The Hunts began their now-famous tomato production in Hayward and operated several additional production facilities in the area until their closure in 1981 because there were no longer enough agricultural lands around the plant to make production economically feasible. Until that time, the air around Hayward reportedly smelled of tomato ketchup for three months out of the year.
The main campus of California State University, East Bay is located in Hayward as well as community college, Chabot College.