Shot of the Katcho Achadjian Government Center

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties Team Up for Economic Development Efforts.

Author: Administration/Economic Development
Date: 9/13/2023 12:12 PM

The County of San Luis Obispo and County of Santa Barbara have joined forces and economic investment to create the “Resilience Roadmap”, a first-of-its-kind Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

It is a federally recognized 5-year plan that allows for federal, philanthropic, and other types of economic investment into our region. This draft of the united economic strategy is now available for public comment.

The Strategy was developed thanks for a 30-person cross-sector strategic committee and input from more than 400 stakeholders, and expands on the work of REACH 2030, a plan to create 15,000 jobs paying more than $50,000 by 2030.

The Resilience Roadmap identifies dozens of actions for building a resilient Central Coast economy by pinpointing three large-scale initiatives.

  • Launching new career pathways into aerospace, precision manufacturing, technology, agriculture and ag-tech, clean tech and renewable energy;
  • Igniting the regions entrepreneurial ecosystem, through transportation, water, and high-speed connectivity that are essential to business expansion in the area; and
  • Establishing a regional coalition to boost attainable and affordable housing.

“As a board we want to encourage economic stability and growth in our beautiful county, and we can’t just rely on tourism or one or two corporations to deliver that.” said John Peschong, Chairman of the County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors. “That’s why this partnership and the plan’s intent to build a regional economy is so important. Public input is vital toward this unique effort, which aims to develop economic opportunities so future generations can live and thrive on the Central Coast.”


The County will partner with REACH, which will facilitate development of the plan and act as administrator of a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Nuclear Closure Communities program. The program required community matching funds which are being provided by the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, as well as Bank of America.


“The Resilience Roadmap lights the path for building our regional economy from within and raising the quality of life for everyone who lives and works here,” REACH President/CEO Melissa James said. “It advances the REACH 2030 vision of a Central Coast where current and future generations have the opportunity to thrive by laying out specific actions that a range of players in government, higher education, nonprofits, and industry can take both collectively and in their own spheres.”


Public comment is encouraged on the document and open through October 12. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to: REACH/CEDS comments, PO Box 13201, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406. A printed copy of the draft CEDS is available upon request. Please refer to the page number or section heading when submitting a comment. Copies of the document will also be available in Spanish at


All comments will be reviewed and considered by the Strategy Committee, which will then revise the draft strategy before submitting it to the EDA for approval. That should happen in early 2024. The Strategy Committee will also oversee the implementation of the Roadmap.



REACH is a regional economic action coalition created to ensure the Central Coast of California is a place where current and future generations can thrive. With a mission to increase economic prosperity through big thinking, bold action and regional collaboration and the goal of creating 15,000 good-paying jobs by 2030, REACH serves the Central Coast region spanning San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.