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Local economic coalition launches action plan to create thousands of high-paying jobs by 2030

REACH

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- REACH, the Central Coast Regional Economic Action Coalition, has launched an ambitious plan that intends to create 15,000 high-paying jobs by 2030.

The plan, officially known as "REACH 2030," was unveiled during an online presentation Thursday morning.

The multi-faceted framework has been in the works for about 18 months, and is described as a 10-year project to "transform the quality of life on the Central Coast, and create a sustainable economy."

"What we know is that the status quo is not good enough," said Melissa James, REACH President and CEO. "If we want the people of the Central Coast today, and our kids tomorrow, to have the opportunity to build a life, a home, a family, and a career on the Central Coast, we must shift course. REACH was formed, and this plan was created, to meet a pressing need."

REACH, formerly known as the Hourglass Project, is a private sector-led coalition that works in collaboration with public, private, civic and educational institutions.

It's new action plan focuses on six key initiatives:

  • Foster the start-up, attraction and expansion of high-wage industries in agritech, cleantech & renewable energy, aerospace & defense, precision manufacturing and technology
  • Build a thriving space enterprise at Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Influence the transformation of Diablo Canyon
  • Champion regional planning in support of economic expansion
  • Spur infrastructure investment through collaboration and innovation
  • Expand and integrate education opportunities

The main objective is to create 15,000 jobs across the region with an annual salary of at least $50,000 a year.

REACH points outs that data shows that amount would provide workers on the Central Coast with an entrance to the middle class and enough financial security to remain here.

"This last year has been a sprint to develop the vision, the plan and partnerships to make a last impact on our region," said James. "Now, the marathon of building a better future for all of us begins."

James added that over the next several weeks, REACH will begin to dive in deeper into each of its six initiatives.

Up first, REACH has a workshop focusing on Vandenberg Air Force Base on August 5.

For more information about REACH, and REACH 2030, visit reachcentralcoast.org

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.