With new funding by both private and public investment partners, Vandenberg Airforce Base is now a regional hub for commercial and military space missions.
In fact, the base was named as one of six candidates to host STARCOM, the Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command, according to REACH Central Coast.
UCSB and Cal Poly both contribute homegrown talent to this effort with leading science and aerospace engineering programs. In May 2023, the Cities of Lompoc and Santa Maria, UC Santa Barbara, Allan Hancock College and Cuesta College have joined with Space Launch Delta 30, REACH, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), Cal Poly, Deloitte, and Santa Barbara County to focus on expanding the space workforce pipeline and accelerating innovation.
At the same time, Goleta is solidifying its position as the tech hub of Santa Barbara County, with a growing population of high-tech and manufacturing companies, including advanced manufacturing companies such as Transphorm and Teledyne FLIR (a world leader in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of thermal imaging infrared cameras). Goleta is also home to Google’s first quantum data center!
The proximity to UCSB provides Goleta access to a continuous supply of talent, and is now a location of choice for start-up tech business. In a recent article, UCSB has been quoted saying Goleta is the #2 California startup city outside the bay area. UCSB offers the Master of Technology Management (MTM) program, which is designed to catapult engineers and scientists into leadership positions — within both startups and established companies. This 9-month, accelerated program has been designed to teach the frameworks, skills, and techniques necessary to hone innovative ideas into successful business ventures.
The City of Goleta’s newly published Economic Development Strategic Plan states Goleta is “Home to vibrant innovation and technology-based sectors, such as photonics, infrared, quantum computing, bio-med, software, nanotech, and defense/space, as well as a leading-edge research university”. One of the key imperatives of the plan is to “Amplify the reputation of Goleta as a world-class center of innovation and technology”. You can visit the City of Goleta’s website to learn more about their economic development efforts and resources.
Further down the coast in Santa Barbara, HG Insights is a recognized market leader in both sales and marketing account intelligence. Elizabeth Cholawsky, CEO of HG Insights, and American Riviera Bank’s new Vice Chairperson of the Board, was recently recognized as Executive of the Year at the South Coast Business & Technology Awards in June. Carpinteria is also home to a multitude of tech companies, such as LinkedIn Learning and Procore construction management software.
As a result of this explosive growth, attracting and retaining qualified employees has been identified as a primary concern. The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate for solutions to issues related to affordable housing and workforce development, key issues identified by the tech sector. In April, the Chamber hosted the second annual State of the Cities event at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, where a new video was showcased, dubbed Techtopia, to highlight the amazing contributions of the tech industry here on the Central Coast.
We invite you to hear more about the thriving technology industry here on the Central Coast of California, where our Chief Risk Officer, Laurel Sykes, sits down with Randy Berg of Transphorm to learn more about this unique network of innovation right here in our backyard, and how our community's younger population could benefit from programs and new job descriptions that are now available on the Central Coast.
Stay tuned next month for Part 2 in the series where we will also discuss industry challenges, including some creative new ideas to address the critical need for workforce development.Previous: Community Bank vs. Fintech