Workforce Development Board Hosts Resource Event, Wrapping Up Business Survey

The San Benito County Workforce Development Board hosted a successful, free business resource event and continues with a business outreach and survey program to help sustain and grow commerce in San Benito county.

The “Ask the Experts” Business Resource event hosted by the Workforce Development Board in mid-June drew dozens of business owners and managers and non-profit organizations from throughout the county and more than 25 business resource experts from throughout the state. With an overall goal of sustaining and growing existing businesses, the complementary event provided the avenue for attendees to network, share tools, tips, best practices and programs to help local businesses and organizations thrive. 

During the event, attendees had the opportunity to network and connect with 25 business resource experts and their organizations that provide free and low-cost services from employee training and assessment, loan programs, business management, innovation and planning to water, waste and energy reduction.   

In addition, the County Workforce Development Board is continuing their "At Your Service" business outreach, survey and support program. More than 100 local business have already participated. Business owners and managers are encouraged to complete an online survey hosted at or contact program manager Kristina Chavez Wyatt at 831-524-0408 or [email protected] for an on-site meeting. Businesses who complete the survey may opt in to a drawing to be eligible to receive five hours or more of business marketing support valued at $1,000 complimentary of Farmhouse Communications.

The County Workforce Development Board is working to improve access to resources and programs available to the business communities located in San Benito county and its primary cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista, and to identify businesses that may be at risk and in need of support services and immediate solutions, in order to retain and expand businesses within San Benito County. To accomplish this task, the Board is conducting these business outreach and engagement programs to help improve services to sustain and grow businesses in San Benito county with the support of the Rapid Response and Layoff Aversion program of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  

Local business resource experts and event participants included:

California Workforce Development Board– Supporting the emergence of effective statewide and regionally driven sector initiatives in policy development, supporting the workforce system, assessing performance and reporting. 

California Employment Training Panel (ETP)– Providing employers funding for job skills training for frontline, incumbent workers in companies challenged by out-of-state competition

America’s Job Center- Easy, one-stop access to the state’s employment-related services, helping employers find qualified workers and job seekers find good jobs- posting job openings and recruiting candidates. Job seekers can get assistance in assessing skills, finding job opportunities and training, prepping a résumé, and much more.

Employment Development Department (EDD)– Supporting and connecting local communities with state programs involving unemployment insurance, disability insurance, payroll tax collection, and job training/workforce services

Workforce Development Board of San Benito County– Providing employees, training programs and hiring incentives to area employers.

CSUMB Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)– Providing entrepreneurs and small businesses with high quality education, consulting, support for innovation and tools necessary to build successful, sustainable businesses

El Pajaro Community Development Corporation– Promoting the development of micro-businesses by helping low-income minority entrepreneurs with instruction, bilingual/bicultural business training, business incubation, professional consulting and coaching. 

Gavilan College– Community Education, Contract Training & Business Resources- Business and career training courses (business, management, accounting, IT & software development and more) on campus and online

AMBAG Energy Watch– Providing energy assessments and audits, equipment installation, efficiency programs, services & financing, PG&E programs & services.

Recology San Benito County– Commercial waste reduction and recycling programs

Water Resources Association of San Benito County– Water conservation tips, resources, rebates & programs

San Benito County Integrated Waste Department– Waste disposal, diversion, hazardous waste & landfill management

Monterey Bay Green Business Program– Providing promotion, incentive and assistance programs to businesses to help conserve energy & water, minimize waste, prevent pollution and shrink their carbon footprint

City of Hollister Finance & Business License Department– Doing business in the city? Opening a new business? Thinking about starting a business from your home? Want to know what you might need? Contact them today!

Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)– Providing counseling and education for businesses to help procure, compete, and win government contracts free & easily

California Coastal Rural Development Corporation– Servicing the financial needs of small businesses and farmers, providing direct loans and loan guarantees. 

Fresno Community Development Financial Institution– Providing small business loan funds to grow businesses and jobs in underserved communities.

Monterey Bay International Trade Association– Providing trade promotion services to the California, U.S. and foreign country business communities.

Hollister Downtown Association– Working hard to create a vital downtown district through beautification programs and community events, ensuring that Downtown Hollister becomes an economic, cultural, educational, governmental, and social center that respects that past, present and future through its blending of people, places, and possibilities.

San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau– Promoting local businesses and our community, benefits and resources to support member businesses for a strong community and regional economy, civic, cultural and educational climate.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Central Coast– Promoting and supporting the success of Hispanic businesses on the Central Coast.

Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County– Supporting business growth and investment and strengthening the local economy in San Benito County.

San Benito County Business Council– Promoting policies and practices that provide outstanding pro-business legislative and local policy; facilitating intergovernmental cooperation, collaboration & consolidation; supporting, expanding and enhancing the local job base; and promoting community wellness & sustainability.

San Juan Committee– Promoting economic vitality while maintaining the charm and history of San Juan Bautista. 

For more information, business resources and to take the survey, see

Kristina Chavez Wyatt

With more than a decade of community engagement, business advocacy, public relations and government affairs experience, Kristina Chavez Wyatt specializes in building and favorably positioning projects, programs, products and organizations via building coalitions of support through grassroots community engagement. She currently focuses on developing and executing strategic communications programs, building relationships, economic development strategy, business advocacy and navigating processes of government. Kristina formed Farmhouse Communications in 2011 following serving as a senior account executive for prominent national public affairs firm Meridian Pacific, Inc. and a central coast public relations firm Armanasco Public Relations, Inc. where she specialized in community relations, government affairs and media relations with a primary focus on PR, public affairs, land use and environmental policy, hospitality & tourism development, business advocacy, agriculture and grassroots community engagement. Kristina serves as Executive Director of the San Benito County Business Council, as a community engagement consultant in business development, energy, land use, agriculture and public policy sectors. She also serves as a Client Advisor for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC). She is active throughout the Central Coast region in Farm Day agricultural education programs, area Chambers of Commerce, Farm Bureaus of San Benito, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, Rotary Club of Hollister and California Women for Agriculture. She was appointed by Governor Brown in July 2014 to serve as a Trustee of the 33rd Agricultural District/San Benito County Fair. Kristina has been recognized as the 2009 Salinas Jaycees Outstanding Young Citizen, the 2010 Central Coast Young Farmers and Ranchers Member of the Year and 2010 Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year. Under her leadership, Farmhouse Communications was honored by the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau as 2015 Service Business of the Year. Kristina’s work in community engagement as a member of the project team on the City of Salinas Economic Development Element was lauded in May and July 2015 by the American Planning Association Northern California and California State Chapters with awards of excellence for economic development planning and in April 2016 with an Outstanding Award in planning by the Association of Environmental Professionals. Kristina is a 5th generation Californian, raised in Gilroy. She is a graduate of Gavilan College and the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Agriculture and lives in Hollister with her husband Craig Wyatt who works as an agricultural crop production supervisor, their twin daughters Hailey and Molly and dog Rabbit.