On Jan. 21, some 80 business, community and educational leaders met to kick off a project that has evolved from a column in this newspaper into something called the Green Coast Innovation Zone.
It was a rare moment when the leadership of all three counties — Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo — were in the room together talking about what our economy will look like after the Great Recession. It was co-hosted by the Ventura County Economic Development Association, Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara and the Economic Vitality Corp. in San Luis Obispo.
The reason for the Green Coast Innovation Zone Summit was simple: It turns out that our area is a natural hub for green or clean technology that could actually replace at least some of the jobs lost in the recession. And there’s a terrific set of resources available to retrain laid off workers for jobs as solar panel installers or other new energy occupations.