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Housing, jobs among topics at Santa Barbara Co. economic forecast

Posted at 7:21 PM, Feb 10, 2020

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Aera Energy hosted an exclusive economic update for Santa Barbara County Monday.

At the event, CEO of regional program "The Hourglass Project", Melissa James presented their recently developed jobs action plan for the Central Coast region.

James talked about how 86 percent of youth believe they will be unable to afford and work on the central coast. She also found that 1 out of 529 residents feel housing is affordable on the central coast.

James introduced a plan called "Reach 2030", which consists of ideas about job creation, building on existing industry strengths, pairing with local governments, creating innovative hubs, and preparing residents for future jobs.

Founder of Beacon Economics LLC, Chris Thronberg also spoke at the event. His presentation focused on economic trends, including what went wrong in the past and how today's economy is steady and doing well.

"What's gonna make things better is reasonable conservation, understanding that running around with your hair on fire screaming end of the world is not how to solve our problems, we have a amazing economy we live in a amazing place it's not complicated but you have to take off the hysteria hat", says Thronberg.