Convene an EVSP Steering Committee to coordinate implementation of the EVSP and, as an initial priority, determine what organizations or organizational arrangements may need to be established to implement strategic actions that are not currently addressed by the County or the partner entities, or which require more coordination, etc. One fundamental question to be addressed is the extent to which individual cities may internalize any of the strategic actions for themselves, or perhaps include neighboring communities. Potential regional efficiencies could be identified from the standpoint of:
- The extent of alignment of economic development goals, target industries, and other considerations among Ventura County cities and the County.
- An understanding, and some level of consensus, regarding how the different cities and areas in the County support one another economically and/or compete, and the different capacities each place has in terms of either a supporting or competing role.
A.2 Establish Housing Solutions Coalition to raise public/policymaker awareness of housing affordability and availability issues
Focuses on raising public awareness of the critical connection between housing issues and Ventura County’s overall economic vitality (e.g., the direct influence on workforce availability and recruitment, etc.). The public awareness campaign should directly address NIMBYism* and other public opinions that have dampened political support for affordable housing development. Awareness of affordable housing issues needs to be based on an ongoing/sustained dialogue and education process (for both the public and policymakers).
*NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard.
Continue to prioritize investment in infrastructure, County services and other assets that are recognized strengths within Ventura County and critical to future economic vitality including public safety, healthcare, library services, environmental assets and other quality of life/business climate conditions. This action item is intended to maintain an appropriate level of attention on the elements identified in the statement, so that they continue to be viewed as assets, through ongoing enhancements, expansions, and other measures. Maintaining this attention will primarily be part of operational plans, capital improvement plans, and general plans, as well as interdepartmental and other coordination.
Continue to capitalize on the County’s strong agriculture sector by not only supporting basic agricultural activity but also promoting growth of related business opportunities (e.g. agritourism; “farm-to-table” movement related to restaurants and also household consumption; irrigation technologies; limit additional regulatory burdens on agricultural activity; etc.). These activities support tourism, agriculturally related technology and quality of life enhancements for residents.
A.5 Establish framework and policies for optimizing future use of remaining developable (or re-developable) land
A key element of this action item is the extent to which the County coordinates with cities on these procedures. At the most basic level of coordination, the County could prepare guidelines, backed by analysis and a strategic framework, for optional use by cities at locations where it is relevant to apply such considerations. Properties within the County’s jurisdiction could be planned for development as appropriate, within the strategic framework. At a more ambitious level, this would encourage infill/revitalization of sites, having the effect of increasing the land supply and achieving other objectives of the strategic plan.
Establish a countywide Arts and Culture Collaborative to define and coordinate economic vitality strategies focused on the local creative economy. This organization will have the specific purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the many activities, venues, other commercial and public establishments, installations, etc. related to the arts in Ventura County, recognizing the arts as a meaningful and unique asset.
Naval Base Ventura County and The Regional Defense Partnership-21st Century (RDP-21) will be key partners in both articulating and implementing this activity. Elements of this item will include insuring that local businesses are fully aware of procurement activities related to the Base, plus identification and in-depth examinations of industries directly related to Base functions and potential additional cluster relationships that could be enhanced or developed based on these core industries.
A.8 Identify spin-off opportunities from local airports, the Port of Hueneme and Channel Islands Harbor
The Camarillo Airport, Oxnard Airport, the Port of Hueneme (including the free trade zone (FTZ)) and the Channel Islands Harbor will be key partners in both articulating and implementing this activity. Elements of this item will include ensuring that local businesses are fully aware of procurement activities related to these facilities, plus identification and in-depth examinations of industries directly related to their functions and potential additional cluster relationships that could be enhanced or developed based on these core industries.
Identifies a number of organizations including business incubators located in both Ventura County and at nearby UC Santa Barbara, Startup Weekend Ventura County, Women’s Economic Ventures, EDC-VC/SBDC and umbrella groups such as VC Innovates and Ventura County Center of Innovation in order to understand the resources available to these organizations and any interrelationships, overlap or specific areas of focus.
This activity will focus on maximizing workforce connections by establishing a group of executive-level representatives of the County’s higher education institutions with the specific purpose of identifying their higher-education resources relevant to business development in general and specific sectors. The institutions will be able to assess the degree to which they interact directly with the relevant business community with respect to these resources, from the standpoint of both putting information out and receiving feedback from the business community.