West Business Development Center is proud to announce its participation in the second phase of the Mendocino County Economic Recovery and Resiliency Plan. This plan is the result of a grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) of $500,000 following the wake of the 2017 wildfires. 

The first phase of the plan included data gathering by the Economic Development and Financing Corporation (EDFC) who reviewed 11 economic indicators and interviewed more than 15 key business owners, industry leaders, and stakeholders. In January 2019, EDFC then held an Economic Summit in Willits that was open to interested community members. Data and input from all stakeholders and community members were put into a 28-page Economic Assessment Report, which can be viewed here. 

The second phase of the Economic Recovery and Resiliency Plan is called “MOVE 2030: Mendocino Opportunities for a Vibrant Economyâ€. West BDC will lead the development of a formal plan and roadmap for the next decade to ensure Mendocino County’s economic resiliency in the face of changing climate, demographics, and technology. The focus will be on three areas: understanding our assets, what is changing in our world, and how to collaborate to make change possible. Assessing priorities will be mapped to where the data from community input demonstrates the most need. 

Sheilah Rogers, Interim Director, EDFC notes, “What is important is the community has input into the next steps. We look forward to completing the information gathering process by meeting with community members in the cities and rural communities across the county, to hear directly from them, their issues and ideas. Getting everyone behind this initiative is important to both the plan’s success and our resiliency as a county.†

West BDC will explore what is currently shaping the economy of the region, what skills are needed to drive a new economy, and what assets can be expanded to make the county more resilient. Through data gathering from local and regional agencies, as well as town hall meetings, a formal roadmap will be created. Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO of West BDC, notes, “West BDC is looking forward to partnering with Mendocino County and city officials to explore how to create economic resiliency as we go forward in a rapidly changing economy and climate. Our goal is to create a plan of action that creates a more vibrant economy for all.â€

Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel J. Angelo says, “We appreciate the work done in phase one of the plan. We’re looking forward to partnering with West Business Development Center to review and prioritize all the information and lead the process to create a roadmap for the next ten years.†

Drafting a broadband implementation plan is also being addressed as part of MOVE 2030. Jeff Tyrrell has been hired by The Community Foundation of Mendocino County to partner on broadband research and planning, through the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County. 

To read the EDFC report from phase one of the plan, click here

Stay tuned for more updates on MOVE 2030, including ways in which you can have input into the process and planning.