FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative and CSU Monterey Bay Awarded $1.95M Grant by the James Irvine Foundation
Marina, CA – 10/12/23 – The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative and CSU Monterey Bay are thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of a $1.95 million funding award from the James Irvine Foundation. This generous grant will propel their collaborative mission forward, building upon momentum established during the 2022-23 period, and helping DART achieve ambitious program goals and objectives over the next two years.
In 2022-23, with the invaluable support of the James Irvine Foundation, the Monterey Bay DART Initiative, working in collaboration with Joby Aviation, the CSU Monterey Bay Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, and the University Corporation as fiscal agent, made significant strides in strengthening industry and community-based organizational partnerships. Key outcomes of the initial funding round include: Establishing the DART-Joby Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program (AMAP) pilot, completing a regional workforce training center feasibility study, and supporting the expansion of Joby’s prototype manufacturing capabilities at the Marina Airport.
“We are grateful for the expanded support of the James Irvine Foundation, as well as the continued partnership of our many regional partners – especially Joby Aviation and CSUMB, and Monterey County, City of Marina, UC Santa Cruz MBEST, the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative, and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership,” said Josh Metz, MBDART Executive Director. “We look forward to extending these partnerships and engaging new ones to realize the economic development potential of these exciting technologies, rightly applied to solving critical issues of our time, while creating a more inclusive economy on the Central Coast and beyond.”
Goals for the awarded program funding, spanning from October 2023 through September 2025, include: Extension of the DART-Joby AMAP and initiation of a new DART-FarmNG AMAP, Deepening partnerships with community-based organizations (CBO’s), and further Increasing DART organizational capacity.
“Our partnership with DART has enabled us to forge deeper connections within our community, paving the way for new upskilling opportunities and career onramps that are tailored for the diverse population in our region.” said Cody Cleverly, Workforce Development Lead at Joby Aviation. “With this funding, we are poised to build on that momentum and establish a scalable framework that can be deployed across industries to close skill gaps, empower workers, and uplift entire communities.”
“We’re glad to be able to partner with DART to promote advanced manufacturing jobs for workers in our region and to support exciting local firms like Joby and Farm-NG,” said Jennifer Kuan, associate professor of entrepreneurship and economics in CSUMB’s School of Business Department and interim Executive Director of Innovation and Research for iiED.
The Monterey Bay DART Initiative is profoundly grateful to the James Irvine Foundation for their unwavering support and commitment to our mission. With this significant grant, we are well-positioned to continue our work in advancing technology-driven career opportunities, fostering community engagement, and contributing to the growth and development of our region.
### About Monterey Bay DART Initiative
The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation, and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative is a pioneering organization committed to fostering innovation and creating high-road career pathways in the fields of drone, automation, and robotics technology. Through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and educational programs, we aim to empower underserved communities and drive economic growth in the Monterey Bay region.
### Media Contact:
MBDART Executive Director