Workforce and Training: AgPlus will help align the Central Valley’s cluster-related education and training assets to ensure that the workforce is prepared to fill projected job openings in food and beverage manufacturing by expanding the availability of career pathways and mentoring and career awareness programs.
Supplier Networks: AgPlus will include a comprehensive mapping of supplier networks in the Central Valley with identification of target priorities to address leakage gaps. Implementation Strategy Partners leading cluster initiatives will organize forums where firms can connect with one another. The AgPlus strategy will foster local/regional sourcing among industries as a more widespread business practice.
Research and Innovation: AgPlus will work to connect and enhance regional State of California-Designated Innovation Hubs (iHubs) by building additional capacity among small business consultants to enhance the region’s capacity to deliver SBIR and STTR grant assistance to firms. AgPlus will also work to leverage the networks of iHubs to promote and implement additional technology transfer and commercialization activities in the region.
Infrastructure and Site Development: Major plans are being executed for projects that will help to implement projects that will contribute to the economic competiveness of the region – and the U.S. as a whole – by improving efficiency, reliability, sustainability, and/or cost-competiveness in the movement of workers and goods and creating jobs. Examples include site development planning that will improve capacity in existing urbanized areas that have infrastructure, utilities, transportation access, and can serve as centralized hubs, while also contributing to the economic revitalization of the region’s rural communities.
Trade and Investment: AgPlus will increase trade literacy among businesses in the Central Valley by expanding existing training models and services. The Northern California Trade Center and the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce will develop resources such as international business mentoring programs and online platforms to facilitate export promotion and expand markets. AgPlus will also offer a ‘Made in Rural America’ export-focused regional forum to help rural businesses take advantage of new market opportunities.
Operational Improvement and Capital Access: The AgPlus Implementation Strategy will include assessing the feasibility of developing a regional finance fund for business and infrastructure, with a focus on supporting food and ag enterprises.