The Economic Development Corp. of Shasta County is partnering with local web developers and area schools to strengthen Shasta County industries’ digital presence.

In a new program, designated Project Hometown, the corporation will offer lower-cost websites and e-commerce engines to promote digital efficiency and accessibility.

But why Shasta County industries?

Keeping Up In A Mobile-Based Marketplace
In 2017, the creators behind Project Hometown conducted a study of 500 websites in Shasta County. The results of the analysis showed that the area’s websites were underperforming because they either weren’t updated or optimized.

“The goal of Project Hometown is to produce a framework and pathway for our local companies to not only participate in the growing digital marketplace but to excel versus companies in other communities,” said EDC President Tony Giovaniello.

Project Hometown’s founding members include Pacific Sky, a local marketing and design firm, and CloudWise Academy, a technical school. EDC and its partners believe that Project Hometown will help to boost the economic stability in the area and create more jobs.

The Need For (Internet) Speed: Student Assistance
Project Hometown’s founders chose to work with Shasta Union High School students who are interested in developing technical skills. A group of student interns get to develop these skills under the supervision of tech companies.

The students work on businesses’ websites to develop their online presence and ensure their products can be sold online.

“It’s all about getting a presence in the market,” said Giovaniello. “The reality is Amazon is a great thing for a lot of companies, but you’re also paying 45% of your margin to Amazon. We just want to get more than our fair share and start bringing in some dollars from outside of our community, which creates more wealth.”