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Community leaders announce B3K Prosperity Initiative

Economic development strategy to attract investment in regional economy, promote, growth, prosperity and inclusion

A coalition of business, government, education and civic leaders today announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of local industries, diversifying the economy and creating more quality jobs in Bakersfield/Kern to support inclusive economic development.

The initiative, named “A Better Bakersfield and Boundless Kern: Regional Action for Economic Prosperity” and referred to as “B3K Prosperity,” brings together a non-traditional group of business, government and community stakeholders for an unprecedented collaboration.

B3K Prosperity is led by a core team composed of representatives from the Greater Bakersfield Chamber, Kern Community Foundation, Kern Economic Development Corporation, City of Bakersfield, County of Kern and California State University, Bakersfield.

In a joint statement, the partnering organizations said today:

“The future vitality of our region depends on attracting investment that diversifies our economy, creates good, quality jobs and addresses issues of social and environmental justice, so that every person in the Bakersfield-Kern region can prosper.

“By aligning and harnessing the collective power of our efforts, we’re setting the stage for pivotal change throughout Bakersfield and Kern County. We believe that inclusive economic development – attracting quality jobs that pay sustainable wages and diversifying our economy – is key to positive transformation for our region. B3K Prosperity is the path to take us there.”

In addition to this core team, B3K Prosperity is guided by a steering committee that includes more than 100 diverse stakeholders from the region’s business, government and civic institutions, and an executive committee composed of 25 steering committee participants.

The B3K Initiative also has been designed in partnership with the Economic Development Strategies that are being developed by the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern and this process will inform and strengthen those initiatives and ensure continued collaboration and unity of efforts.

The initiative is also strengthened by the support and engagement of the State of California’s Regions Rise Together initiative, which recognizes the distinct assets, challenges and needs of the state’s regions and the urgency to build a “California for All.”

B3K Prosperity has engaged experts from the Brookings Institution, one of the top organizations working with regional coalitions across the United States to address issues of economic competitiveness and inclusive growth, including five other regions in California.

The group has already launched extensive quantitative and qualitative research into the region’s economic performance, with a particular focus on identifying pathways to good and promising jobs. As the project continues, Bakersfield/Kern residents are encouraged to participate and add their input to B3K Prosperity by joining various workgroups or responding to B3K Prosperity survey, outreach and stakeholder engagement activities.

Later this fall, the initiative will release a Market Assessment providing a clear, data-driven view of regional challenges and opportunities to guide local decision-making.

In Spring 2021, B3K Prosperity will produce several tools to attract investment and promote growth, prosperity and inclusion, such as:

• A map of existing economic development programs, initiatives and organizations.

• A strategy report with goals, objectives, tactics and performance measures.

• An operating plan with local commitments to act and implement.

• Investment prospectuses to seek immediate support for projects.

• A structure for ongoing governance, sustainability and maintenance of B3K Prosperity.

Residents and stakeholders interested in learning more about B3K Prosperity are encouraged to visit http://www.B3KProsperity.org, where they can sign up to receive official communications and request to participate in future engagement opportunities.

B3K Prosperity is a regional initiative that brings together diverse business, government and civic stakeholders to collaborate on a future vision of growth, prosperity and inclusion for the Bakersfield/Kern region. Our goal is to create and implement a strategy for inclusive economic development that creates opportunity for growth and addresses issues of social and environmental justice, so that every resident of Bakersfield-Kern prospers. For more information, visit http://www.B3KProsperity.org.