Over the past six years, economic development has been deemed a priority from the Lompoc City Council in order to promote positive growth and development in Lompoc.

Correlating with economic development being a priority, Lompoc added an economic development element to the 2030 General Plan in order to establish a set of goals and policies to encourage economic growth in the city.

Adopted in the fall of 2015, the economic development element of the General Plan acts as a guide for economic development city staff as well as the Economic Development Committee which contains a consistent set of policies to retain local business, attract new business, and provide positive public services to businesses in Lompoc.

The element’s primary goal is to reduce the city’s unemployment rate. Reducing the unemployment rate in the city is a long term target, supported by the many objectives in the economic element. Economic development is a long term process which requires consistent effort in retaining and attracting businesses as well as building strong relationships with local businesses in order to foster a stable economy.

To reduce the unemployment rate, the economic development element provides various implementation measures to assist in carrying forth the economic development strategy. The EDC has also implemented an economic development strategy which uses the element in the General Plan as a more holistic guideline to long-term economic development goals. The Strategic Plan is more short-term and focuses on four specific targeted initiatives. However, these initiatives are reflected by overarching goals found in the economic development element.

The element includes both short-term and long-term goals for a strategy that should be updated ideally every three to five years in order to keep up with changing economic conditions and market force changes. The element provides readers with a list of the City’s overall broad economic development goals, and is followed by a breakdown of each goal with policies and implementation measures to guide implementing the goal. There are a total of six comprehensive goals, and twenty-three implementation measures for the economic development element.

The overarching goals of the element are as follows: 1) support regional destination uses that would stimulate economic development within the city; 2) retain commercial and industrial zoning to accommodate reasonable and sensible growth; 3) support and enhance travel and tourist opportunities within Lompoc and the surrounding area; 4) maintain and enhance a strong and diverse economic base; 5) business retention; 6) business recruitment; 7) attract entrepreneurs as a part of business recruitment.

Within each larger goal, there are smaller more focused objectives that have policies to help implement the goal. For instance, Goal 1 of the element states “Promote and enhance employment opportunities within the City and increase the quality of life for City residents by sustaining a strong and diverse economic base.” Policy 1.2 of this goal reads that “The City should attract new employment generating businesses that capitalize on Lompoc’s location and resources.”

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This policy is a guideline to help implement the goal of improving the quality of life by providing residents with a diverse economic base. Thus, the city partners with a retail recruitment consultant and maintains strong relationships with local commercial and industrial brokers in order to generate and attract new businesses.

Twice a year, economic development staff hosts a breakfast networking event with local commercial brokers to share updates in development and to keep in touch on the latest happenings in Lompoc. This, in conjunction with the retail recruitment efforts, is just one way a goal in the economic development element is being worked towards.

While long-term in nature, economic development staff and the Economic Development Committee members are working through each implementation measure to achieve long term economic success in the Lompoc Valley. To read the entire element in the General Plan, please visit http://www1.cityoflompoc.com/departments/comdev/PDF/GeneralPlan2030/Adopted/EconomicDevelopment.pdf.

To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year like the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook.

Building the Future Today is a column by the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. The column runs on the first and third Sundays of each month. To contact the committee, email lompocedc@gmail.com. Lompoc Economic Development Committee can also be liked on Facebook.

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