REACH, the Regional Economic Action Coalition, has been awarded a $450,000 grant to help stimulate job growth in technical sectors and compensate for the loss of jobs that will result from the closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the grant under its Nuclear Closure Communities program to help mitigate the economic and social impacts of the plant’s closure and decommissioning starting in 2025, a REACH spokesperson said.
The grant requires a match in local funds, and San Luis Obispo County has contributed $150,000 for that purpose, the spokesperson said, adding that Santa Barbara County will soon consider a similar amount, and Bank of America also has granted $70,000 toward the match.
REACH plans to use the funds to launch industry consortia that will catalyze job growth in general technology, agriculture technology, clean technology and renewable energy, and aerospace, defense and precision manufacturing.
The REACH 2030 plan identified those industries as potential prime drivers of high-wage jobs in the region.
The coalition also plans to broaden REACH 2030 into a two-county comprehensive economic development strategy, which is expected to open up new funding sources, the spokesperson said.