The SLO Chamber today announced the launch of their new, free Family-Friendly Workplace Accelerator program which will provide resources and support to all SLO County businesses to foster a strong local workforce through family-friendly policies.

The program, supported by investment from both the County of San Luis Obispo and First 5 of San Luis Obispo County, was designed to help businesses attract and retain a strong, inclusive workforce through the implementation of policies that do not necessarily require significant financial investment. Family-friendly policies may include, but are not limited to: flexible scheduling, accommodations and support, health spending accounts and child care support. 

“The County is proud to support this leading-edge program that will so greatly benefit our county’s children and their families, and ultimately help attract top talent to San Luis Obispo, fostering a more diverse and inclusive workforce,” said District 2 Supervisor and First 5 Commission Chair, Bruce Gibson. “With the help of the Family-Friendly Workplace Accelerator Program, we can get more parents back to work with peace of mind and stimulate our local economy.”

According to a recent Cuesta College funded study, nearly 1,400 parents in SLO County are unable to work because of family obligations. Businesses that make even simple changes to their policies and practices will be able to reach this untapped workforce. When these parents are able to get back to work, the gross regional product of our County could increase by more than $108 million each year.

To achieve this goal, Christina Lefevre Latner, a community leader and Cal Poly lecturer with more than twenty years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, will join the SLO Chamber. Lefevre Latner will spearhead the Family-Friendly Workplace Accelerator Program in her new role as Workforce Development Manager.

“Increasing family-friendliness is essential to our goal of supporting business success, growing our economy, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce,” said Jim Dantona, SLO Chamber President/CEO. “We are thrilled to have Christina join the Chamber in this new role, using her vast experience to get this much-needed program off the ground.” 

Lefevre Latner joins the Chamber with an impressive 20-plus year career in providing direct services, developing and implementing programs, promoting outreach, performing evaluations and conducting policy analysis. She has been lecturing part-time at Cal Poly for the past six years in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and has worked as a consultant for numerous Central Coast organizations such as First 5 San Luis Obispo County, the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, CAPSLO, and the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department. 

“I am honored to be joining the Chamber and for the opportunity to lead this new, innovative program,” said Lefevre Latner. “Our goal is to ensure that our business community has the knowledge and resources it needs to attract top talent, ensure a family-friendly workplace, and support a strong local economy in the process.”