Led by REACH, the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and the Economic Development Collaborative (EDC), the Uplift Central Coast Coalition works to attract investment and expand opportunities for California’s Central Coast. The partnership comprises a growing collection of industry, government and education partners across Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Committed to long-term collaboration, Uplift plans to pursue a combination of federal, state, industry and public-private partnership resources to fund a growing range of strategically aligned initiatives. Learn more
Digital skills are required for many critical processes for work and home life. Without digital skills, community members’ ability to interview for a job, access payroll systems, enjoy work from home flexibility, communicate with others or reserve tickets online is limited. Businesses cannot remain safe from cyber security threats, invest in new technologies or effectively market their offerings. To address these needs in Ventura County, the Ventura County Digital Upskilling Training Program will provide NO-COST digital skills training to 400 entry-level workers, current workers and small businesses, entrepreneurs and employers over three years and place many into well-paying jobs. Thanks to the dedication of Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, this program will develop a rapid Digital Upskilling pilot that can be expanded across California.
On April 4, 2022, EDC was designated as Ventura County’s and Santa Barbara County’s Inclusive Innovation Hub (iHub2) by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate. EDC iHub2 provides small businesses support and encouragement through specialized high-tech assistance services, industry-specific workshops, mentoring, networking events, technology resources at the FATHOMWERX Lab, funding options through the EDC and its loan network, equity funding networking and high-tech node building events. Learn more
The Economic Development Collaborative has awarded an Employment Training Panel (ETP) contract to offset employer costs for customized, job skills training! In addition to providing no-cost business consulting and access to low-interest loan funding, the EDC now works with employers in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties to provide access to ETP funding and subsidize the costs of their employee training. Learn more
Broadband is essential infrastructure for cities and communities. Having high speed internet connectivity has a major effect on business growth, retention and attraction. Key activities of the initiative include an assessment of the region’s broadband infrastructure, outreach and education for improving leadership and stakeholder awareness of the need for investment in fiber resources, advocacy for the adoption of local policies that facilitate broadband deployment, and the identification of gaps in service and solutions for closing them. Learn more
An enormous amount of research and data shows that investing in early child education pays some of the highest returns on investment, for educational achievement, for lifelong earnings and productivity, and for the avoidance of social costs relating to poverty and criminal justice–all of which impact economic vitality. EDC creates access to capital for new child care centers. In partnership with and funding from First Five Ventura County, the EDC operates a loan program that gives entrepreneurs access to the capital needed to create or expand preschools and childcare centers. Learn more
Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are among the nation’s leaders in agricultural exports, both have high concentrations in high tech sectors that are globally distributed, yet too few firms optimize global markets and there is extraordinary opportunity for innovation and growth. The goal of the EDC’s World Trade Center Initiative is to encourage expansion of world trade activities in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, to foster greater business participation in world trade and to increase international business to the region. Learn more
Most new net job growth is generated by entrepreneurship. Supporting entrepreneurship and building resources for business success are indispensable elements of the regional economic development strategy. The EDC working with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, serves as a hub for entrepreneurial development at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) and throughout the Santa Barbara region. Goal of the EDC’s partnership with the Scheinfeld Center is to enhance the capabilities of both the EDC and the Scheinfeld Center, strengthening outreach and service delivery to Santa Barbara area entrepreneurs. Learn more