Gonzales gets good press for its 'win-win' approach to sustainable development; Bright Futures partnership unveiled at Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit.

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  A Weekly Newsletter Promoting Monterey County: Open for Business
Business Council Members identified as (BCM)

Friday, Oct. 30, 2015

Edition 621

Last call: MBEP's State of the Region Conference takes place next week

Tickets are nearly sold out for the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership's first State of the Region Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Expert speakers and panelists will explore regional approaches and solutions in the areas of affordable housing, infrastructure, workforce, environment, health and public safety, during the daylong event at the Chaminade Resort in Santa Cruz. Register now for a shot at one of the last available spots or to get on the wait list.

Check out the agenda for a complete list of participating speakers and panelists.

The Monterey County Business Council, one of the event's sponsor and among MBEP's member organizations, was instrumental in the creation of MBEP, which focuses on economic development for the tri-county region. Several members of MCBC's executive committee, including MCBC President Mary Ann Leffel, Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz and Claude Hoover, also serve on MBEP's board of directors. MBEP's State of the Region event is an excellent example of the type of cross-sector collaboration that MCBC seeks to foment.

Gonzales's 'green  development' in the news

The city of Gonzales earned high-profile kudos this week in a Bay Area real estate publication. The article,  titled "City of Gonzales, small town thinks and acts big on green economic development,"  appeared in The Registry, a Bay Area news company focusing on real estate and related sectors.

Here's an excerpt from Irwin Speizer's compelling article:  

A strong breeze blows through the Salinas Valley, past vineyards and vegetable rows and small towns along busy Highway 101 until it reaches Gonzales, where it pauses to spin a commercial-size wind turbine that produces energy for one of the city’s main employers. The wind turbine stands as a symbol of achievement for a place that prides itself on a progressive can-do attitude that marries distinctly green policies with aggressive business expansion and development.

Those two aims are often at odds, particularly in California. But Gonzales, a city of about 9,000 people, has figured out a way to bolster economic development while simultaneously advancing a commitment to sustainable and green principles. The results are in the numbers: Gonzales saw its property tax base grow by 16.65 percent from 2014 to 2015; double that of the next closest municipality in Monterey County. It has done that while simultaneously reducing the city’s carbon footprint thanks to the addition of solar and wind power, creative recycling programs and other efforts organized under a city initiative called Gonzales Grows Green (G3). The G3 initiative is built around three principles: economic vitality through diversity in growth, environmental responsibility and social equity.

The article details the city's win-win approach to development, including the 350-foot wind turbine, which Gonzales built as a sustainable power source for the new Taylor Farms fresh vegetable processing plant, and other companies that have brought new jobs and taxes to the city while advancing the sustainability cause.

Read the full story online.

Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Cinematography.

Holman Highway roundabout project to start in February

Construction will likely begin in February on a Holman Highway roundabout project off Highway 1. According to a presentation to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County board on Wednesday, the much-anticipated $8.2 million project’s construction schedule has been planned to avoid major disruption during key summer periods, including the mid-August Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach and the associated Car Week events and activities.

The project is expected to start just after the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and be finished by the following year’s golf tournament after a year of work and traffic disruption .Most construction will occur at night and during off-peak midday hours.

TAMC associate transportation planner Ariana Green said four community meetings are planned — in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and at the County Government Center in Salinas — to get the word out to residents and businesses who will be affected by the project’s traffic disruption. 

Aimed at alleviating a chronically congested intersection, the first roundabout involving a state highway in Monterey County is backed by a public-private partnership including TAMC, the city of Monterey, the Pebble Beach Co., Caltrans, the Monterey Peninsula Air Pollution Control Board, and the county. It includes the Highway 1 exit and entrance, along with the entry to the Holman Highway and 17 Mile Drive.

Read the full story online.

Source: Monterey County Herald

Countywide partnership seeks to improve educational outcomes

A new educational partnership unveiled its plans to improve educational outcomes during the Monterey County Business Council's Higher Education & Research Leadership Summit in Monterey last week.

“It takes everyone in the room to make bright futures for our children,” Bonnie Irwin, vice president of academic affairs at CSU Monterey Bay, told the summit audience last week. “Let’s see what can you do in your workplace, what can you do in your community.”

The Bright Futures Education Partnership of Monterey County is tailored after similar efforts in other regions that have proven successful in raising educational attainment and other quality-of-life indicators. The lead conveners of the partnership are CSUMB President Eduardo Ochoa, Taylor Farms Chief Executive Officer Bruce Taylor, Monterey County Health Department Director Ray Bullick, Community Foundation for Monterey County CEO Dan Baldwin, and county Superintendent of Schools Nancy Kotowski. There are also 17 other members from the education, nonprofit and business sectors.

The efforts seek to address low achievement rates among the region's schools;  Of the estimated 7,000 children who entered kindergarten in 2014 in Monterey County, less than half are predicted to go on to college after they finish high school.  And that threatens the nation's economy, as research shows more than two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require a post-high school degree or credential by 2018.

“The question is, what impact could Bright Futures have on promoting regional economic development, and it’s pretty clear,” Ochoa told The Herald. “If we have a more educated labor force, we’re going to have more opportunities. The regional economy could chart a different, better path in the future. It would help diversify the economy, bring high value added skilled jobs to the region and attract new employers and new industries.”

Education also improves the quality of life for individuals who acquire it and the communities where they live, Ochoa added.

Hartnell and Monterey Peninsula College officials talked about what they’re already doing to improve the educational “pipeline.” Walter Tribley, president of MPC, said classes taught at the community college level to “remediate” students who are not ready for the full college experience yet should be not viewed as a failure.

Brian Turlington, executive director of the Monterey Business Council, said the partnership is on the right track.

“We have to gather energy, we are all in this together,” he said.

Read more about the partnership at its website.

Source: Monterey County Herald


Building Carbon Zero California, Inside Data Science conferences in November

Two other conferences of note in the region in coming weeks:
  • Building Carbon Zero California will be Nov. 13 in Palo Alto, featuring international climate change expert Dr. Diana Ãœrge-Vorsatz as keynote speaker, and discussions ranging from natural materials use, new technologies and the building industry’s influence in lowering carbon emissions  to reports from local occupants of high performance buildings. The afternoon sessions will dig deeper into economics, mechanics and data collected on a number of local projects. See for details.
  • The Inside Data Science 2015 Conference (IDS2015), Nov. 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, will draw speakers and attendees from academia, Department of Defense, Army, U.S. Air Force, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Navy, other government organizational representatives, as well as industry partners. Check the website for current topics, sponsors and speakers and registration info. The conference aims to combine federal, state, commercial and educational organization’s perspectives, in order to cover the full spectrum of analytical approaches and issues including cyber security, continuous evaluation, data discovery and more.   

Startup Monterey Bay Hackathon taking registrations for participants, app ideas

The Startup Monterey Bay Hackathon (formerly the Ideas of March Hackathon) is a three-day Mobile App development competition at California State University Monterey Bay (BCM) that brings together teams of students to develop prototype mobile Apps for non-profits and small businesses in the Monterey Bay area.  Local software engineers will be available along with student mentors to help teams during the weekend of Nov. 20-22.

For more information visit or register now. Participants will be provided with food all weekend to keep them fueled up for this intense hacking experience.  This year's event will be in the new Business & Information Technology building next to the library on campus. Cost is free to CSUMB students and $20 for all others.

Organizers are also looking for App ideas from local nonprofit organizations and small businesses.  Nonprofit organizations and small businesses that wish to pitch an idea for an APP should register here.

Internships let students conduct summer research with the Department of Navy 

Local STEM students and their families might want to keep information about two great opportunities to take part in challenging internships through the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) and Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP), which provide an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy laboratory during the summer.

The paid internship programs were brought to our attention by Dr. Raymond R. Buettner, Jr., PhD., associate professor of Information Sciences and director of the Joint Interagency Field Experimentation and the Consortium for Robotic and Unmanned Systems Education and Research at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Both internship programs aim to encourage participating students to pursue science and engineering careers, to further their education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and their participation in research, and to make them aware of Department of Navy research and technology efforts, which can lead to employment within the Department of Navy.

The Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) provides competitive research internships to approximately 475 college students (400 undergraduate students and 75 graduate students) each year. Participating students spend 10 weeks conducting research at approximately 29 Department of Navy laboratories.

 The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) provided competitive research internships to over 265 high school students this year. Participating students spend eight weeks during the summer doing research at 25 Department of Navy laboratories.

The deadline may have passed for the upcoming year but these programs will be around for a while and are an excellent way for our local STEM students to have an amazing internship.


Friday, Nov. 13 – MCBC Monthly Membership Luncheon (second Friday of the month), 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Bayonet & Black Horse Grill, Seaside. Special guest speaker will be Dave Stoldt, General Manager of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, who will give an overview of local water issues and where things currently stand with drought conditions, desalination projects and El Niño. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door. RSVP at Eventbrite  or call 831.216.3000. (BIO)

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, Dec. 11 â€“ Our next MCBC "Eggs & Issues" quarterly breakfast forum will take place Friday, Dec. 11. 7:30-9 a.m., Bayonet &  Blackhorse. Luis Alvarez of Alvarez Technology will be among the speakers discussing "Cybersecurity." Register now or contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington about sponsorship opportunities at  831.216.3000 or via email.

SAVE THE DATE: MCBC 21st Anniversary Gala and Annual Economic Vitality Awards, Feb. 6, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. To find out about  sponsorship opportunities, contact MCBC Executive Director Brian Turlington at 831.216.3000 or via email

By Invitation Only events identified as (BIO)...


"Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive." ~ Edith Wharton


"Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive." ~ Edith Wharton
Copyright © 2015 Monterey County Business Council, All rights reserved.

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