Uplift Central Coast

A 6-county coalition advancing space + aeronautics

Map of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

Cultivating a space + aeronautics ecosystem from Santa Cruz to Ventura

A growing coalition of government, education, and industry partners led by REACH, MBEP and EDC has united to accelerate the Central Coast’s aerospace technology corridor and create thousands of good-paying jobs by:

  • Advancing industry-identified requirements for workforce development from K-16, offering equitable pathways into the growing sector
  • Creating two innovation districts, one for polar space launch at Vandenberg Space Force Base and one for drone and air taxi development in Monterey Bay
  • Building infrastructure and construction projects that will unlock business and job growth
  • Establishing a network of three aerospace incubators to support new business formation, university partnerships and entrepreneurship
National Science Foundation Type 1 Regional Innovation Engines Program

The Uplift Coalition submitted a concept outline which has since been accepted. We have been invited to submit a formal planning proposal to lay the groundwork for a six-county Central Coast Space and Aeronautics Innovation Corridor, building upon the work that we did for the Build Back Better challenge.

Uplift Central Coast at a glance

The region has the assets to succeed:

  • a burgeoning cluster of industry players and start-ups
  • highly ranked state universities with premier engineering and aerospace programs
  • strong network of community colleges and workforce development programs
  • critical yet underutilized national infrastructure at Vandenberg SFB

Uplift Central Coast connects those assets strategically for the first time to create a critical mass of companies fueled by university-incubated innovation and a robust pipeline of human capital.

The coalition expects to pursue a combination of federal, state, industry and public-private partnership resources.

REACH, as the lead agency, recently submitted a $70 million grant application under the Biden Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge that would create nearly 10,000 jobs, catalyze growth for 150+ companies, spur more than $500 million in investment, train and upskill 2,000 workers per year and reach more than 30,000 K-12 students per year.


coalition members (and growing)


universities + community colleges


military bases, airfields + airports


letters of support


space + aeronautics businesses