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Meeting Minutes - 12/3/20

Minutes from the general meeting held on December 3, 2020


DVTI Meeting

December 3, 2020

Present: Beth Arman, Colleen Awad, Jim Blair, Ryan Buckley, Kevin Cabral, Ken Carlson, Heidi Gentry-Kolen, Jeanette Green, Joellen Heaney, Olivia Herriford, John Matthesen, Carlyn Obringer, Tamar Osman, Mario Tejada, Sean Trambley

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Ryan opened the meeting at 3:06 pm.

Sean Trambley and Colleen Awad introduced themselves.

Approval of November 5, 2020 minutes:

  • Motion: Jim Blair; 2nd: Carlyn Obringer; Unanimous

Public Comments: None

November Recap (Ryan)

  • Discussions on building toward a checkmark recovery. How can we capture those businesses leaving San Francisco and the South Bay and get the Diablo Valley to punch at or above its weight so business think of us when they relocate?

Standing Items: None


Other Items:

  • Business Survey: 27 responses. The survey might not be the best way to help DVTI prioritize, but is a good way to collect email addresses.

  • Survey Results Highlights:

  • Businesses desire industry-specific certifications and personalized training from their workers.

  • 9 out of 13 business recorded having technical workers.

  • Businesses want tech and marketing skills equally. There was interest in digital marketing.

  • Java is used by many respondents.

  • Most business are very likely to hire tech workers in the next 12 months. Many replied positively to hiring digital marketers in the next 12 months.

  • High speed internet and vibrant downtown are more important than lower rent and parking.

  • It was decided not to include a survey question about offering internships. Instead, Beth and Jeanette will discuss Jeanette’s list of desired internships in finance, accounting, engineering tech, data science, etc.

  • Post-COVID Roundtable Update: Ryan and Sean discussed how to capitalize on opportunities, rather than problems, caused by COVID.

  • The Diablo Valley is more desirable to residents and businesses now than before the pandemic.

  • DVTI will seek buy-in from elected officials, business owners, and elected leaders. Step one is city managers buy-in, then will organize roundtables (city zoning and planning, economic development and chambers of commerce, and planning commissions, councilmembers and supervisors).

  • Will host peer-facilitated virtual focus groups - we do the leg work to make it easy for participants.

  • Hope to convince stakeholders to be open-minded, flexible and willing to consider creative ideas.

  • Will develop a one-page document outlining what DVTI can offer in and outside of Contra Costa county.

  • Sean will meet with Eric Figueroa, City Manager in Martinez, and will discuss DVTI. Could open up opportunities to build coalitions with local politicians.

  • Ken: Gary will reach out to Ed on presenting at the Mayor’s Conference early 2021. Focus will be economic recovery related to COVID, and he will give a brief overview of DVTI.

  • Need to create a subcommittee to get this started. Beth and Jim volunteered, and Jim recommended Nichol. Will also need a designer – possibly a DVC student.

Web Development and Tech Sales Program:

  • Ryan discussed the two programs that DVTI would like to see implemented and would like to support: credit or non-credit; certificate or bootcamp style.

  • Ryan and Heidi will stay engaged regarding working boot camp components into CS’s upcoming web technology interdisciplinary AA. Ryan suggested going to the local community to see what the technical needs are.

  • The Workforce Board of Contra Costa County has funds to retrain those who lost their jobs due to COVID. They could be a valuable partner.

  • How we can connect like Year-Up at DVC? Year-Up elevates life experience through internships and propels them into the middle-class teaching networking, socialization, presentation, and job skills.

  • Ryan, Beth and Jim explore the DVC side, including looking at the professional selling course currently offered and having more formal discussions with the Business department.

Adjourned 4:00 pm


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The members of the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative include mayors, presidents of Chambers of Commerce, professors, real estate professionals, and local technology professionals and entrepreneurs. It is incubated at Diablo Valley College in Contra Costa County, California.

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