Joby Aircraft

James Irvine Foundation Grant Funding


June 30, 2022

Media Contact: Josh Metz, Executive Director
Phone: ‪(831) 264-8299

Monterey Bay Drone, Automation & Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative Receives $1.5M Research & Development Grant from James Irvine Foundation to support on-going work advancing new pathways to high road jobs in the Monterey Bay/Salinas Valley region.

Marina, CA. The Monterey Bay Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative, working in partnership with the CSUMB Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) and Joby Aviation, was awarded a $1.5M Research and Development Grant from the James Irvine Foundation to support the Foundation’s on-going Priority Communities Initiative in the Salinas Valley. The grant will provide for increased capacity curating an emerging technologies cluster in the Monterey Bay region orienting industry, academia and governments towards these future growth sectors; fund a workforce training cohort program focused on advanced manufacturing and aircraft mechanics; and support completion of an advanced manufacturing workforce training facility feasibility study.

“We are grateful for the support of the James Irvine Foundation enabling Monterey Bay DART to expand our programs supporting this exciting emerging technology sector, and for the active partnership of CSU Monterey Bay and Joby Aviation. Not only is Joby pioneering an entirely new air transportation system with zero operating emissions, they continue to expand their footprint here in the Monterey region, providing an incredible opportunity for our communities. We hope this work can yield broad industry and community benefit,” said Monterey Bay DART Executive Director Josh Metz.

As part of the $1.5M commitment, Joby Aviation will receive $400,000 to develop training and apprentice programs focused on manufacturing and quality.

“The Central Coast of California is Joby’s home, and we are committed to making meaningful career opportunities available here,” said Bonny Simi, Head of Air Operations and People at Joby. “This grant from the James Irvine Foundation is a tremendous vote of confidence in the local workforce, allowing us to develop and offer meaningful training and apprentice opportunities that provide career onramps to the diverse population of our region.”

“This partnership is a perfect example of CSU Monterey Bay supporting continued economic development in our region. Working with Monterey Bay DART and Joby Aviation is inspirational for our students and faculty, and contributes to our goal of supporting Joby’s and the DART emerging technology cluster success in our region. We are grateful for the support of the James Irvine Foundation” said University Corporation Executive Director, Lawrence Samuels.

“To achieve our vision of an economy that works for all residents, the Priority Communities initiative supports local efforts to create good jobs and more equitable economies. We are excited to support this growing regional partnership focused on innovation, job creation, and equitable access to opportunity in the region. The deepening partnership between Monterey Bay DART, Joby Aviation and California State University Monterey Bay represents the robust regional coordination, alignment, and partnership across academia, industry, and government needed to leverage existing opportunities create new quality jobs in the region,” said The James Irvine Foundation Priority Communities Initiative Director, Jessica Kaczmarek.

Monterey Bay Drone, Automation & Robotics Technology (DART) Initiative. Monterey Bay DART is a 501 c3 organization working to align industry, academia, and governments towards these growth sectors for new venture formation, jobs growth and community vitality. More information can be found online at

Joby Aviation. Joby Aviation, Inc. (NYSE:JOBY) is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world. To learn more, visit

CSUMB Institute for Innovation & Economic Development (iiED). The iiED supports the founding, funding, and growth of new ventures in the Monterey Bay Region. iiED is an institute of the College of Business at CSU Monterey Bay. To learn more, visit

James Irvine Foundation. The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s grantmaking is committed to a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $1.98 billion in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $2.5 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $105 million in 2019. To learn more, visit