A new chapter begins

This post marks an important milestone: The embarking of a single organization focused on strengthening the local economy as the EVC transitions into the regional economic action coalition of REACH.

This consolidation, announced in December, injects fresh momentum and a united voice into our work to fortify the region’s economic future.

REACH’s mission and vision are simple: Ensuring the Central Coast is a place where current and future generations have the opportunity to thrive by harnessing big thinking, bold action and regional collaboration. REACH has made incredible strides forging the cross-sector, bipartisan coalitions needed to take on Covid-19, the future of Diablo Canyon, expanding public and private space activity at Vandenberg and other shared regional challenges and opportunities.

We’re invigorated to continue and expand upon the EVC’s 26-year legacy in this next chapter as REACH. Your support through the years has been invaluable, and we look forward to your continued involvement in this vital mission in the months and years ahead.

A few ways the work of the EVC is carrying forward under REACH:

  • SLO Advisory Commission: A new body composed of EVC Board members, the commission will focus on issues specific to SLO County, advising the REACH Board and informing strategic action plans. Brad Brechwald will chair the commission for the remainder of 2021 and work closely with staff to build a robust forum for discussion and sharing information.
  • Board representation: EVC Board members Stacie Jacob and Jolie Ditmore will join the REACH Board of Directors, bringing their passionate leadership and visionary thinking to the consolidated organization.
  • Industry clusters: The EVC’s industry cluster strategy, centered on nurturing a half-dozen key industries, is integrating with the REACH initiative to foster the start-up, attraction and expansion of high-wage target industries.
  • Initiatives and policy work: Headway on broadband access, childcare and workforce training will continue through strategic priorities to break down the barriers to job creation and prepare our residents for future jobs.
  • Economic Dashboard: The dashboard, featuring 40 key indicators for SLO County, has been integrated into the extensive new Data Center on the REACH website and can be found at reachcentralcoast.org/economic-dashboard. The SLOCountyWorks talent connection site is also included in the Data Center.
  • Staff: It is a pleasure to announce that Maria Kelly is joining the REACH team as the SLO County Programs Director and will shepherd the SLO Advisory Commission and cluster work forward. Through the fall, a portion of her time will also be spent winding up the EVC.

Thank you, EVC Staff
We would like to acknowledge and thank the EVC staff, Valarie Koos, CFO, and Loreli Cappel, Senior Project Director, for their dedication and work in service to the EVC and the integration process.

REACH looks forward to working with Loreli in her new role as Deputy Director of Economic Development/Community Development with the City of Atascadero. Loreli’s work on talent and workforce development and many other programs has made a lasting impact. Thanks & congratulations Loreli!

Valarie will continue in her role alongside Maria as the windup of the EVC continues. She is the longest employee of the EVC and her commitment has been exemplary. Valarie is also a member of the Caliber Accounting team, and we look forward to staying connected via all our networks.


News from REACH