Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, collectively known as the ‘East Bay,’ occupy 1,450 square miles on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. The 2012 Census lists 2,231,290 residents with a larger portion of young families than the nation as a whole. Nationally, 22.8% are under the age of 25, while in the East Bay, 32.4%. With a major port, it is not surprising that the population is much more diverse than the nation as a whole. Nationally, 74.8% of the population is White, while in the East Bay only 54.1%. On the other hand, the East Bay’s percentage of Asians is 24.3% compared to 5.6% nationally, and the percentage of Latinos or Hispanics is 23.3% compared to 16.3 % nationally. At 12.8% the percentage of Blacks or African Americans is slightly less than the national average of 13.6%.
A large part of the East Bay population is also well educated. Leading a cluster of colleges and universities, the percentage of residents holding a Bachelor’s degree is over a third more in the East Bay than nationally (24.4% compared to 17.9%). The percentage of those holding a graduate or professional degree is almost half again as large (15.7% compared to 10.6%).
While other parts of the Bay area have reputations for specific industry sectors – wine, venture capital, social media, high tech manufacturing – the East Bay is more notable for its diversity. New industry sectors are represented here as well. Among many others, digital media is represented by Pandora, Gracenote, Pixar and Tippett Studio; software by Oracle, Workday and GE’s new Global Software Center of Excellence; biotechnology by Bayer Healthcare, Boehringer Ingelheim and Bio-Rad; and Fathom is a rising star in 3D printing – engaged in selling, servicing, designing and contract manufacturing.
The East Bay is off the charts, however in energy. Chevron leads a cluster of oil refinery companies and is active in developing alternative energy as well. Overall, the East Bay may have the most concentrated collection of research and commercial development in clean technology -- not only in alternative energy, but also energy storage, green transportation, building energy efficiency, grid management and other clean tech related industries.
The moderating influence of the Bay has blessed the East Bay with what one rating service has called the "best climate in the nation." With more land available for housing development than most other parts of the Bay Area, housing is relatively less expensive than other parts of the extremely competitive Bay Area housing market. The wide range of housing choices includes: affordable housing units, urban live-work lofts, family friendly suburbs, hill homes with bay views, exclusive retirement communities, and executive estates next to marinas, the Delta or surrounded by vineyards.
Along with population growth have come amenities such as Berkeley’s Arts District, Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, Oakland’s revitalized Uptown, and regional shopping destinations such as Walnut Creek’s downtown, Berkeley’s Fourth Street, and Livermore’s Paragon Outlets. For the sports fan, the East Bay is also home to major league baseball, NFL football and NBA basketball as well as Division I college sports at the University of California, Berkeley.
EDA works closely with Cal/EPA and other local partners to create the first Permit Assistance Center in the state, with continuous efforts to improve collaboration between business and regulatory agencies. One-stop permitting centers operating in the East Bay are an outgrowth of this effort (1995).
EDA resolves Port of Oakland channel dredging impasse by convening and building consensus among fishermen, conservation groups, shipping interests, and others to use spoils from dredging the channel 42 feet deep to create wetlands (1991). EDA continued support to dredge the Port of Oakland to 50 feet, enabling the newest and largest container ships to make deliveries directly from Asia and shorten the supply chain (2009).This effort increased the region’s competitiveness and brought in the biggest container ship to ever enter the San Francisco Bay (2012).
EDA convened key regional stakeholders to mitigate the Port of Oakland’s congestion impact on regional transportation corridors. This effort resulted in recommendations for relocation options for transportation and distribution facilities supporting the Port (2003).
In an effort to expand Bay Area rail service, EDA held discussions with Union Pacific to share the East Bay’s logistic needs. This resulted in Union Pacific expanding its tunnels in the Sierra Nevada that enables service by double-stacked rail cars and reduces delays caused by avalanches (2009).
EDA helped Miles Inc. /Cutter Biological, a Bayer subsidiary, obtain a precedent setting 30-year development agreement with the City of Berkeley, saving 650 jobs and generating hundreds of millions in new investment. The facility is now Bayer’s worldwide headquarters for biologics, employing 1,400 (1992).
EDA worked with three cities and the State to include Bayer’s facilities in Oakland’s Enterprise Zone. This effort created $10 Million incentive package that prevented Bayer from moving manufacturing out of the State and saving more than $100 Million in investment, as well as 1,400 jobs (2009).
EDA supported Kaiser Permanente with various site alternatives analyses to establish site requirements and evaluate alternatives for a new medical center in the Oakland-Emeryville area (1993).
EDA partnered with EDA member PG&E to pull businesses out of recession by training PG&E field staff to identify businesses in trouble or possibly relocating (1994).
EDA played a lead role in helping locate Hart Brewing (Pyramid Ale) in Berkeley: over $10 million invested and 110 new jobs created, while enhancing business clusters and development of the area (1996).
EDA initiated a series of international business retention and marketing trade missions that eventually include Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China (1998).
EDA played a large role in rescuing the existence of TeamCalifornia by volunteering to staff this entity when state staffing and fiscal support was lost. EDA coordinate its state marketing presence at industry tradeshows, ad campaigns, and online for three years until TeamCalifornia restructured to support and sustain itself (2003).
East Bay EDA was successful in obtaining ARRA stimulus funding by coordinating 3 Recovery Zone Facility Bond Projects totaling $26.3 Million, which impacted the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Newark and Alameda County (2010).
Years after the Loma Prieta earthquake, EDA worked with the city of Oakland, Citizens for Emergency Relief Team, and Caltrans on behalf of businesses relocating or otherwise impacted by the reconstruction of the Cypress freeway to resolve differences and reach an agreement on fair market compensation (1998).