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2017 has been an exciting and eventful year for the Lompoc Economic Development Committee. With successes to build upon, we look forward to continuing our vision of developing a strong positive image for Lompoc in 2018.

This past year brought several new volunteer members to the EDC, and with their help the committee presented Economic Vitality Awards (EVAs) to more than a dozen local businesses during 2017. These awards recognized businesses that invested in either starting, improving or expanding their operations.

The EVA recipients were selected from diverse sectors and included businesses such as The Beach Restaurant, Lompoc YMCA, Garcia Dance Studio, The Cypress Gallery and Embassy Suites, just to name a few.

This past September, the EDC (in partnership with Hancock College, LUSD, Santa Barbara County and the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce) hosted the first Pathways to Preparedness Summit. This idea, which originated during one of our committee meetings, was designed to bring together both the education and business communities.

The event also encouraged citizens to learn more about important programs in our area such as job shadowing, summer academies, CTSOs (career and technical student organizations), cooperative work experience (CWE), concurrent enrollment, and articulation. These programs exist to help students succeed as they make plans to enter the workforce. The summit was very well received by over 70 attendees and more than 25 people signed up to make an impact within a variety of programs.

Following the success of the “Pathways” summit, The Lompoc Economic Development Committee is hosting the 2018 Economic Vitality Forum. The forum will bring together those in the business community to discuss ideas for increasing access to higher-paying jobs, as well as, fostering opportunities for wide-ranging employment. This event is being held at the Dick Dewees Center on Jan. 10 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. The event is free of charge and breakfast will be provided, so please RSVP by emailing j_mcginty@ci.lompoc.ca.us or by calling 805-875-8226. We truly hope you can make it!

As we head into the new year, we reflect on the purpose of our committee. Our members represent industries across a wide variety of sectors including real estate, construction, health services, tourism, education, and banking. With this level of expertise and real world experience, our hope is to foster and implement ideas that will advance the economic future of Lompoc. With such diverse background, this committee is valuable resource to council as they navigate the challenges to better our community.

We are constantly looking to improve and expand our knowledge base. If you are thinking of volunteering and/or participating in discussions that impact our city, we hope you’ll consider joining the Economic Development Committee. We have a few openings coming up and would welcome additional ideas and perspectives from our community. We encourage you to attend one of our meetings to learn more about the topics we discuss. If you’re interested in joining the EDC, please download an application at http://www.cityoflompoc.com/government/committees/list.htm.

From all of us on the Economic Development Committee, we want to wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year. We’ll see you in 2018!

To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year, “like” the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook. Our minutes and agendas can be found on the City of Lompoc’s website.

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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.

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