What We Do
Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) envisions a thriving region with quality jobs, excellent education, and first-rate health care while preserving the natural beauty of our beautiful natural environment. MBEP’s strategy is to create and implement initiatives aligned with this vision in housing, broadband, workforce development, and climate change. We do this by convening local leaders, promoting equitable economic development, and providing data to inform positive change.
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Our Current Initiatives
In 2016, MBEP launched our housing initiative to support an increase in the supply of all housing at all income levels in the Monterey Bay region. Our initiative starts with a broad, regional coalition of individuals and organizations to advocate for the construction of all types of housing. A brief list of accomplishments includes:
- Launched Monterey Bay Housing Trust funding 500 new affordable homes
- Published Housing White Paper, resulting in fourteen new policies that are improving housing affordability
- Launched Action Center, resulting in 2,029 new homes
- Implemented Farmworker Housing Action Plan, resulting in 2,200+ beds
California is facing a broadband access crisis, with far too many residents left without adequate and affordable broadband service. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought lack of internet service to the forefront as a critical need for our region and the State. MBEP works closely with the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, and we are in constant contact with the Governor’s office and the CPUC to advocate for coverage in our region. MBEP is uniquely positioned as a convener in the region to bring the city and county governments, County Offices of Education, and ISPs together to act and improve broadband coverage.
Working with students, educators, and employers our Workforce Development Initiative seeks to create positive change through collaborative approaches that bring new resources and programs to the region, amplify the impact of best practices, and support work-based learning to ease the transition of students to the workforce, to develop a strong workforce for our region.
The evidence that the climate is changing is undeniable and makes clear the need to take additional action now. From housing and land use policies, wildfire risk, sea-level rise, transportation corridors, and vehicle emissions, to energy grid infrastructure and corporate responsibility, the policy choices and individual actions will in many cases require regional dialogue, a coordinated approach, and collective action.
CONVENING LOCAL LEADERS TO DRIVE PROGRESS ON CRITICAL ISSUES
MBEP has become a recognized leader in putting on widely attended events with relevant and actionable content. In the spring we host our annual Regional Economic Summit, and in the Fall our State of the Region conference. We also bring stakeholders together on a quarterly basis by topic and area of expertise and host additional events including the Central Coast Climate Series, election forums and housing mixers.
REGIONS RISE TOGETHER SALINAS: INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
In February 2020 with the support of CA Forward and the James Irvine Foundation, MBEP convened a group of leaders to embark on an inclusive economic development initiative, called Regions Rise Together Salinas, that seeks to:
- Achieve inclusivity and prosperity for ALL residents in the Salinas Valley,
- Synchronize and leverage existing efforts,
- Enable & empower communities through the co-creation of investment plans, and
- Demonstrate that our region is investment ready & investment-worthy.
Digging into what inclusive economic development really means for our region forces people to think differently about our structures and systems that enable and perpetuate racial inequity. This project is leading to critical racial equity conversations that address existing constraints and inform our investment priorities.
USING DATA TO CREATE CONSENSUS AND INFORM ACTION
MBEP has developed robust data and analytic tools that are used by our members and others to track progress and inform decisions with our Regional Dashboard and Data Trackers:
- Agriculture and Tourism: employment figures for ag, crop production, fishing, spending on tourism, top attractions, lodging information, and visitor spending
- Health & Wellness: healthcare employment, county health rankings, crime statistics, the incidence of obesity, recreation, means of transportation to work, and revenue by county and hospital
- Marine Science Education: educational attainment, degrees awarded by an educational institution, community college attendance, marine science staff by an institution, and marine science degrees
- Higher Education: student ethnicity, fields of study, headcount, age groups, and faculty counts
- Tech Ecosystem: wireline internet speeds, household connectivity, educational attainment, science and engineering degrees, top degrees, occupations, and wages