Monterey County

Monterey County is located on the Pacific coast of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 415,057. The county seat and largest city is Salinas. The County borders the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Cruz County to the north, San Benito County to the East, and San Luis Obispo County to the South. Unincorporated lands on the former Fort Ord are within the jurisdiction of Monterey County.

Monterey County has a rich military history including the Presido of Monterey, Naval Post Graduate School, and former Fort Ord. The coastline, including Big Sur, State Route 1, and the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula, have made the county world-famous. The city of Monterey was the 1st capital of California under Spanish and Mexican rule. Regional economic drivers include tourism in the coastal regions and agriculture in the Salinas River valley.

Dave Spaur, CEcD, EDFP
Economic Development Director
(831) 755-5390

City of Salinas

Salinas, California, is a global AgTech hub located in the backyard of internationally-renowned technology epicenter, Silicon Valley. From the perspective of native son and iconic American author John Steinbeck to the pioneering problem solving that led to the invention of iceberg lettuce and bagged salad, Salinas has a global reputation as a city where agriculture, technology and innovation converge and blossom. Here, forward thinkers have created a unique “smart farming” initiative to address the 21st-century challenges facing the world’s most critical industries and issues – from precision agriculture and food safety, to energy efficiency and water conservation.

Andy Myrick, , CEcD
Economic Development Manager

City of Seaside

The City of Seaside is an ocean-side community that overlooks the beautiful Monterey Bay on the Central Coast of California, approximately 115 miles south of San Francisco.

Founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1954, this 10 square-mile city continues to grow while holding on to the rich values upon which it was established. Young families and retirees are drawn to the community, providing a healthy residential mix of people and solid sense of community.

Seaside’s convenient location gives residents and visitors an opportunity to experience all of the amenities that the Monterey Peninsula has to offer…from wine tasting to whale watching…and everything in between. Explore the breathtaking beauty and abundant sea life of the Monterey Bay

Kurt Overmeyer
Economic Development Manager

Fort Ord Reuse Authority

The Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) is responsible for the oversight of Monterey Bay area economic recovery from the closure and reuse planning of the former Fort Ord military base. The former Fort Ord was/is located on the California coastline near the Monterey Peninsula consisting of 45 square miles/28,000 acres.

FORA implements this legislatively mandated mission by overseeing replacement land use; assuring compliance with adopted measures; removing physical barriers to reuse; financing and constructing major components of the required infrastructure and basewide demands; and protecting identified environmental reserves. FORA exercises its planning, financing, and monitoring responsibilities under state law authority to meet these objectives in the best interest of the Northern Monterey Bay Community.

Josh Metz
Economic Development Manager

City of Watsonville

 If the Pajaro Valley were a county, it would rank 5th in agricultural production in California. Primary crops grown include strawberries, apples, fresh flowers, cauliflower, broccoli and artichokes. Watsonville food processors freeze and distribute more fruits and vegetables than any other single area in the United States. More than $280 million a year is spent on transporting fresh and processed farm crops to worldwide destinations. While agriculture and food processing are the mainstay of the Pajaro Valley economic structure, the City’s economy has been diversifying with an influx of electronics, manufacturing and service firms, in addition to the establishment of distribution centers for non-agricultural products.

The main industries in Watsonville are agriculture, construction, and manufacturing. The City is home to several large national company headquarters within City Limits such as Driscoll’s Strawberries, Martinelli’s, California Giant, Monterey Mushrooms, Graniterock, Granite Construction, West Marine, Vendwize, and Fox Racing Shox.