Resilience Roadmap

A comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties

Mapping out a Resilient Regional Economy


The Resilience Roadmap is the two-county region’s first-ever CEDS, a federally recognized plan that lays the course for collaborative action and investment in the region and its residents over 5 years.

The 60-page plan was developed under the guidance of a 30-person Strategy Committee with input from more than 400 cross-sector stakeholders.

The Roadmap expands on the work of REACH 2030 by identifying specific actions that a range of players in government, higher education, nonprofits and industry can take both collectively and in their own spheres toward a more diversified, inclusive and resilient Central Coast economy.

Cover of the Resilience Roadmap


What is a CEDS and why do we need one?

A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, is a federally recognized 5-year plan. The U.S. Economic Development Administration considers a CEDS:

  • a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem
  • an important vehicle for regional coordination
  • a prerequisite for many types of funding — not just for the region as a whole but for a range of Central Coast jurisdictions, community-based organizations and projects

Not only does having a CEDS make the region more competitive for investment of all kinds, it also helps clarify regional funding priorities and opportunities by centralizing economic development goals into one plan.

How does this differ from REACH 2030 and other plans?

The Resilience Roadmap builds on REACH 2030, which had served as the region’s interim CEDS, fleshing out the goal of a diversified, inclusive and resilient Central Coast economy with dozens of specific actions. But it also differs in a few ways.

  • It was developed under EDA guidelines for a federally recognized plan
  • It’s a 5-year plan, while REACH 2030 spans 10 years
  • It encompasses the full two counties of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara (REACH 2030 initially spanned SLO and Northern Santa Barbara County, though our mission has since expanded to the full two counties.)

Dozens of local community strategic plans have been reviewed as part of developing the Resilience Roadmap. Aligning goals, strategies, and action items with other regional planning efforts for greater coordination, collaboration, and impact was a key consideration.

Is this a REACH plan? Who is responsible for implementing it?

REACH serves as the CEDS administrator and oversaw development of the regional strategy with participation from several hundred cross-sector stakeholders.

But like all CEDS, the Resilience Roadmap is designed to be implemented by multiple organizations and multiple partnerships across the two-county region.

Regional, county, and city economic development practitioners, as well as stakeholders implementing workforce and economic development programs and philanthropy, all play a role in moving the recommendations forward.

Who was involved in developing it?

Developing the CEDS was a wide-reaching community effort involving more than 400 participants from a broad spectrum of industries and sectors.

A CEDS Strategy Committee (listed below), composed of 30 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors throughout the two-county region, steered the process.

Four industry councils — Agriculture and Agtech; Clean Tech and Renewable Energy; Aerospace, Defense, and Precision Manufacturing; and Technology — along with dozens of roundtables, focus groups and interviews, provided valuable insight and feedback.

REACH, as the CEDS administrator, facilitated the process with consulting support from Austin-based TIP Strategies, which has worked on CEDS in dozens of communities across the country, and data analytics from Lightcast.

Where’s the funding from?

An EDA grant under its Nuclear Closure Communities program and required community matching provided by the Counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo and Bank of America.


What's next?

The Strategy Committee has begun implementation planning, working to identify lead and supporting regional partners for each of the identified strategies.

And REACH is setting the stage for the first key initiative — expanding career pathways into high-wage industries — with new research and analysis forthcoming in spring 2024.

Explore the data

The Roadmap is backed by robust data gathering and analysis, available in two easy-to-use online databanks.

Demographic data

The Economic Explorer presents comparative data on population trends, education, income, housing and other socioeconomic factors.


Workforce data

The Workforce Analysis puts detailed data about the region’s employment trends, labor supply, and in-demand jobs and skills at your fingertips.


Funding support


Strategy Committee


  • Dr. Richard Beswick, Cottage Health Research Institute
  • Greg Bland, Bank of America
  • Dawn Boulanger, Workforce Development Board County of San Luis Obispo
  • Michael Boyer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast
  • Jackie Carrera, Santa Barbara Foundation
  • Sam Cohen, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians
  • Erica Crawford, Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce
  • Kirsten Deshler, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jim Dunning, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Laura Fiedler, County of San Luis Obispo
  • City of Santa Barbara
  • Jon Hooten, Allan Hancock College Foundation
  • Lee Johnson, City of San Luis Obispo
  • Marjie Kirn, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments
  • Judy Mahan, Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Beya Makekau, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Steve McCarty, McCarty Davis Commercial Real Estate
  • Kathy McCorry, South County Chambers of Commerce
  • Jasmine McGinty, County of Santa Barbara
  • Kristen Miller, Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce
  • Glenn Morris, Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Kindred Murillo, Santa Barbara City College
  • Julie Sinton Pruniski, REACH
  • Pete Rodgers, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments
  • Sara Sanders, San Luis Obispo Council of Governments*
  • Luis Servin, County of Santa Barbara Workforce Development Board
  • Paul Sloan, City of Paso Robles
  • DeVika Stalling, Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
  • Dr. Jill Stearns, Cuesta College
  • Bruce Stenslie, Economic Development Collaborative
  • Roxanne Taggart, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo*

*Indicates proxy representative