Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional member-supported nonprofit organization consisting of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. Founded in 2015, our mission is to improve the economic health and quality of life in the region. Together with our members, we tackle some of the biggest issues facing the Monterey Bay region through our four initiatives.
Housing: In 2016, MBEP launched our housing initiative to support an increase in the supply of all housing at all income levels in the Monterey Bay region. Our initiative starts with a broad, regional coalition of individuals and organizations to advocate for the construction of all types of housing through our MBEP Action Center.
Broadband: For the past few years we’ve worked with members and partners to promote a thriving tech ecosystem in the region with meetups, co-working spaces and access to education. MBEP has been working on gaining access to high-speed internet for all residents in the Monterey Bay region. It’s not just about connectivity – internet access must also be affordable. MBEP works closely with the Central Coast Broadband Consortium on our broadband initiative, and we are in constant contact with the Governor’s office and the CPUC to advocate for coverage in our region.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought lack of internet service to the forefront due to the necessity of distance learning and remote working. As a response, we published this paper that includes policy recommendations and legislative requirements. MBEP is uniquely positioned as a convener in the region to bring the city and county governments, County Offices of Education and ISPs together to take action and improve broadband coverage.
Workforce Development: MBEP’s Workforce Development Initiative seeks to create positive change through collaborative approaches that bring new resources to the region, amplify the impact of best practices, encourage the growth of start-ups and other companies, and help ease the transition of students to the workforce. We partner with all the major educational institutions in the region, and are promoting MBEP’s free online resources on Monterey Bay Career Connect to connect students and employers to remote internship opportunities via Monterey Bay Internships portal and comprehensive Employer Toolkit, and displaced workers with necessary tools, such as job seeker resources, career assessment, resume builder, and local labor market data and live job postings on Monterey Bay Career Coach. Additionally, we’re working with Degrees When Due, an equity-based completion initiative designed to increase degree attainment in collaboration with local higher education institutions by re-engage their student populations identified as "some college, no degree" in the U.S. Census data.
You can learn more about all of our workforce development projects that are helping our region’s economy and community recover in our Workforce Development Initiative Snapshot.
Climate Change/Transportation: One of the main dynamic forces facing humanity is climate change, an issue that affects our regional well-being, from our economy to the air we breathe and how we live. Climate change is an issue interwoven across our initiatives in housing, transportation, technology, and workforce development.
We advocate for the increase in active transportation options as we build on the current momentum to shift away from driving to active modes of travel. This will also decrease CO2 emissions which reduces the impact of global warming and climate change.
We work with jurisdictions to implement elements from our Blue Paper, especially recommendations 4 and 6 which focus on updating planning documents to facilitate higher density housing & reduced impact fees. In light of the recent fires, the need to build higher density housing near transportation corridors is becoming even more urgent. We are also working with our members to provide technical assistance and identify areas of improvement/expansion regarding climate action planning and program implementation.