Four Phases of B3K
Since B3K’s beginning in early 2020, we have been keeping track of our progress. These 4 stages represent goals set, milestones reached and the future direction of B3K.
Where We Are Now
B3K is currently in the Implementation Phase of our action plan. The current goals of this phase are:
Developing a more inclusive governance structure
- Leadership Council formed to provide funding and guidance
- Appointed J.P. Lake as Executive Director to become self-sustaining
- Pursuing a permanent governance structure
- Building out the Deep Prosperity Committee
- Setting up a metrics dashboard
- Stakeholder and committee engagement
- Pursuing grant opportunities at a regional scale (CERF) through the Kern Coalition, a partnership of KCCD, CAPK, B3K, the Labor Council, and Building Healthy Communities Kern
B3K does not claim credit for bringing these opportunities to Kern County. However, we do want to acknowledge that B3K played a significant role in the following accomplishments:
- Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a Canadian-based asset management firm, invested a half-billion dollars to support a local oil producer’s plans to develop carbon management projects in Kern County. Our region is on its way to becoming a West Coast leader in carbon capture and sequestration as it is highly considered for CCS related work due to its various depleted oil and gas reservoirs, existing gas infrastructure and local industrial expertise.
- Bakersfield’s energy innovative efforts and a $150,000 deal has North Carolina company SineWatts Inc. sold on making a move to the Central Valley. SineWatts is not only bringing their beneficial developing battery-charging technology to California but they also represent the most significant success to date in a campaign to cultivate a local startup culture with the potential to support a high-tech local workforce.
- Local oil producer California Resources Corp. pledged a total of $2.5 million for carbon management-related initiatives at the Kern Community College District and Cal State Bakersfield and to invest in local students and a sustainable future. The money will be split in two ways. KCCD will receive $1.94 million over the course of three years and CSUB will get $560,000 over the course of two years.
- Valley Strong Credit Union filled out an application to open Kern County’s second locally based community development financial institution. If the U.S. Department of the Treasury approves this CDFI, it would set up a revolving loan fund that could create an abundance of financial sources to startups and local business owners typically disregarded by conventional lenders and help B3K Prosperity achieve its goal of inclusive economic growth.
- CSUB’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) was chosen to receive the 2022 U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center Grant. This grant will support the CEI Accelerator Program in a multitude of ways by providing $141,800 annually which brings in $709,000 over a period of 5 years, vastly assisting students coming out of the entrepreneurship program to transform their ideas into real-word businesses in the Kern region and more.
- Kern Inclusive Entrepreneurship Hub filled its first cohort that will start October 1 and will run each Saturday for the following five weeks. This bootcamp will provide a pathway to transform a small business or business idea into a successful enterprise. Kern Inclusive Entrepreneurship Hub is looking forward to reopening the program for a second cohort of business owners early next year.
- M8 Systems, an ag-tech startup in Irvine is considering establishing operations in Bakersfield. The company proposes to locally engineer, assemble, test and sell automated irrigation systems that would use sensors and control systems to help farmers use water more efficiently. Founder and CEO of M8 Systems, Max Safai, is hoping to hire six people in Bakersfield by the end of this year and by the end of 2024, twenty M8 employees could be working locally and the company would move its headquarters to Bakersfield.
The following accomplishments align with B3K’s strategy (B3K does not claim credit for bringing these opportunities to Kern County):
- State review for a Canadian-led plan to build a more than $1 billion energy project near Rosamond is advancing.The energy project, proposed by Canadian company Hydrostor, would allow 400,000 homes to be powered for possibly eight hours by electricity that has been stored and by releasing compressed air buried below 500 acre-feet of water.
- California’s energy future is in good hands as The California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL) is focusing on turning a $50 million line item in the current state budget into a workforce-training nexus for carrying out climate-friendly activities.
B3K implementation teams are in the process of activating tactics outlined in the strategy to create more quality jobs and access to them. Here are some of B3K’s Implementation Teams’ accomplishments so far:
- The Entrepreneurship Team has merged with the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE) to institutionalize the programmatic activity underway, such as the certification of AltaOne Federal Credit Union as the first community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Kern County.
- The Aerospace Team is setting up a Talent-to-Industry Exchange to bridge employer needs and educational/workforce offerings. This will enhance the reliability of the local talent pipeline and broaden access to good and promising jobs.
- The Advanced Manufacturing Team launched the Manufacturing Alliance of Kern County, which brings together regional manufacturing firms to collectively problem solve on shared issues related to workforce development training and recruitment, employee retention, business support, regulation, etc.
- The Business Services Team is identifying best practices from around the country in anchor institution procurement policies to inform a local review and enhancement of policies to enable greater utilization
- The Energy and Carbon Management Team continues to build on the momentum underway in Kern, including the CSUB Carbon Symposium in April, the announcement of the U.S. Department of Energy Community Local Energy Action Program grants awarded to the County of Kern and City of Bakersfield and Chevron’s announcement of a carbon capture and storage project at the Kern River Eastridge Cogeneration plant.
Where We Are Going
- Inclusion – An open invitation to ensure that prosperity reaches the entire community.
- Engagement – Expanding our coalition of volunteers. You have a say in how we design the structure for this new phase.
- Action – Project manager to be hired. Brookings institute ramping down over time. Implementation Teams executing plans.