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Paso Robles City Press Releases

Posted on: September 10, 2021

Paso Robles Receives Rural Innovation Grant

Rural Innnovation

Partnering with Hispanic Business Association and Sandbox Paso to create tech jobs

PASO ROBLES, CA, September 10, 2021 – The City of Paso Robles in partnership with the Hispanic Business Association has been selected from among 40 communities nationwide to receive fully-funded participation in the Rural Innovation Initiative for 2022 to create digital entrepreneurship and tech jobs for rural communities of color.
Four communities were selected for the grant, to help continue efforts to build inclusive digital economies that support and serve their local Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latinx, and people of color populations. This opportunity is valued at $30,000 per community and in addition to Paso Robles, was also granted to Chambers County, Alabama; Sierra Vista, Arizona;; and Liberal, Kansas.

The grant is being supplied by the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), which was founded in 2017 to address the dramatic opportunity gap between rural and urban communities that grew out of the Great Recession.
CORI received interest from more than 40 rural communities from across the country before conducting interviews and making their selection. During the selection process, preference was given to communities whose populations are no more than 60% white non-Hispanic. Selected communities are between 5,000-50,000 in population and not suburbs of urban areas, have fiber internet in the downtown area or broadband servicing at least 75% of the population, and have a postsecondary institution in the region.

The grant funds Paso Robles receives will be used to create digital economy ecosystems supporting scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation for rural communities of color.

“The Hispanic Business Association Board and membership is excited to partner with the City to develop a collaborative and inclusive vision for the economic future of Paso Robles.  Diversifying our economy and creating technology opportunities will ensure that our Paso Robles community continues to be a great place to live with ample opportunities for all members of our community.” - Maria Garcia, HBA Treasurer and Paso Robles City Councilmember

"We are so excited to have Paso Robles join the Rural Innovation Initiative as our first community partnership in California. What impressed us most about Paso Robles is the strong and diverse leadership that will be driving this effort, including the City, the Hispanic Business Association, North County Cuesta College, the Library, a local entrepreneur, and other key players. Their combined passion and expertise are an unstoppable combination. We look forward to working with Paso Robles to develop an inclusive digital economy that will produce more tech jobs and startups in the community."  - Leah Taylor, Head of Digital Economic Development, Center on Rural Innovation


Media contact: Paul Sloan, Economic Development Director,

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