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Uplift Central Coast

A 6-county coalition advancing space + aeronautics

The six-county Uplift Central Coast Coalition — led by REACH, the Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) — is excited to announce its continued partnership to develop an application and secure our region’s share of California’s new $600 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF).

The purpose of CERF is to support new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians.

The CERF strategy is based on triple bottom line principles and values — economy, equity and environment — and calls for input from and ultimate benefit to disadvantaged, disproportionately impacted and under-represented communities.

Moving forward, our broadened Uplift Central Coast initiative will identify, prioritize and invest in a wide range of workforce and economic development projects, while contributing to a comprehensive approach to regional economic resilience. Our efforts and partnerships will continue to cover the six-county region: Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. Grants of up to $5 million per region will be awarded this fall to support inclusive engagement and planning efforts to inform regional investment opportunities.

If you would like to stay engaged, track progress, or participate with this coalition, join us!

Uplift Central Coast at a Glance

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the 60 finalists (chosen from a pool of 529 applicants) for their $1 billion “Build Back Better Regional Challenge”. Sadly, our Uplift Central Coast application was not one of them. We knew going in that the odds were slim, but that combining our forces would serve a great purpose in sparking the Uplift Central Coast Coalition. This is just the beginning of a long-term and growing partnership to foster the space and aeronautics industry across six counties, and we are actively positioning the effort to be competitive for the state's $5 million Community Economic Resilience Fund planning grants as well as other opportunities that will lift our Central Coast region. Stay tuned!

The region has the assets to succeed:

  • a burgeoning cluster of industry players and start-ups
  • highly ranked state universities with premier engineering and aerospace programs
  • strong network of community colleges and workforce development programs
  • critical yet underutilized national infrastructure at Vandenberg SFB

Uplift Central Coast connects those assets strategically for the first time to create a critical mass of companies fueled by university-incubated innovation and a robust pipeline of human capital.

The coalition expects to pursue a combination of federal, state, industry, and public-private partnership resources.

13

Coalition Members (and Growing!)

15+

Universities & Community Colleges

56

Military Bases, Airfields, & Airports

90+

Letters of Support

100+

Space & Aeronautics Businesses