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The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most populated and impoverished regions in the United States with a population of 3.9 million and a poverty rate of 20.8%. The Valley is more populous than 24 states, while maintaining a poverty rate greater than 74% of counties in the US and having some of the lowest levels of private sector investment for economic development in the state. The San Joaquin Valley warrants a higher amount of community resources due to its size, need, growth potential, and ability to collaborate regionally (e.g. California Partnership for the SJV, SJV Housing Collaborative, SJV Broadband Consortium, and SJV Regional Policy Council). To increase resources for affordable housing, small businesses, neighborhood revitalization, financial counseling and other social services for the low to moderate income population, San Joaquin Valley stakeholders (CBOs, banks, regulators and local government) have created a regional collaborative to speak as one voice in order to enable a long-term comprehensive focus on the Valley and improve the socioeconomic well being of its residents.
The strategic focus of the collaborative will be to encourage partnerships between Valley CBOs and financial institutions, while advocating for the Valley's development needs to regulators and legislators at the state and federal level. Through research, roundtable meetings, advocacy and dispersion of information, we hope to resolve the issues that impede community development and support programs and services that will have the greatest impact on the residents of the San Joaquin Valley.