FCM & Contra Costa Workforce Board Launch Pop-Up Business Resource Centers
Coming out of a strategic retreat in 2022, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County (WDBCCC) identified four key priority areas that supported the Board’s rebranding and positioning of “achieving equity.” One of these priority areas was to develop a Business Resource Center (BRC) that embraces Racial Equity Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) principles and […]
Coming out of a strategic retreat in 2022, the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County (WDBCCC) identified four key priority areas that supported the Board’s rebranding and positioning of “achieving equity.” One of these priority areas was to develop a Business Resource Center (BRC) that embraces Racial Equity Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) principles and serves those wishing to start and grow a business. FCM facilitated this work through a subcommittee of members from the Business Economic Development (BED) Committee to determine the vision for the BRC and execute it successfully.
In the business planning phase, FCM conducted a community mapping process to identify potential partners that could join a network to serve businesses across Contra Costa County from a wide perspective. The mapping process uncovered six key areas of services to support businesses including: Entrepreneurship & Business Start Ups; Funding & Loans; HR Regulatory & Legal Assistance; Workforce Talent & Training; Growth Services; and Networking.
FCM CEO/Founder Celina Shands said, “The committee for the BRC knew that having a bricks and mortar location was a costly endeavor to fund and maintain. It also restricts businesses that may not have time to drive to one location in such a large county. The concept of pop-ups was a great solution as we can leverage all our partners’ locations, as well as their events, resources, tools, and information.”
The pop-up centers, called Think Contra Costa, is a county-wide professional network of organizations that will focus on starting, growing, and retaining companies within Contra Costa County. The goal is to make it easier for entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes to tap into what they need to succeed, both virtually and at in-person pop up events throughout the county.
There are several factors which led to the demand for this initiative, including retaining a diverse and talented talent base. Compared to the rest of the Bay Area, approximately 42% of residents commute to neighboring counties for work, leaving Contra Costa with a shortage of skilled labor (Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report, May 2022). Housing shortages, homelessness, and a lack of affordable housing contribute to the specific issues in the county.
Contra Costa is affected by the same issues other California businesses are facing, from data privacy and security, digitization, inflation, supply chain issues, California employment laws, and the disadvantages minority business owners continue to confront, who account for 20% of all U.S. business owners, and 45% in California.
“We have extensively examined the themes facing entrepreneurs and business owners in our region. Think Contra Costa provides a dependable resource that will meet them where they are physically and at any stage in their business cycle, to keep local businesses not only open and surviving, but thriving,” shared Tamia Brown, Executive Director, WDBCC.
You can view the website at https://thinkcontracosta.com/
If you are interested in developing a coordinated business engagement strategy in your region, contact us for a consultation.
Share this article
Thought Leaders in Workforce, Education & Entrepreneurship