Ventura County is projected to have modest overall long-term job growth, consistent with long-term population growth. Projected growth will occur in most major industry groups, with the largest growth in health care, professional services, education, and hospitality. Economic opportunities will come from both locally generated growth and trade generated through national and global markets.
Ventura County’s economy has traditionally had high concentrations of jobs and economic activity in agriculture and manufacturing, while recent trends have shown more rapid growth occurring in other sectors. The manufacturing and agriculture sectors are projected to continue growing slowly over the long-term, but as discussed above, these industries have many issues to resolve in order to retain their strength within the local economy. Policies to support retention and expansion of manufacturing industries are addressed below in Section 10.2, Goal EV-4, which supports expansion and retention of industry clusters. Other existing sectors that could be expanded include tourism and defense technologies.
- Tourism: Ventura County has numerous scenic destinations that draw thousands of visitors to the area. Local businesses that serve the tourism market include hospitality (accommodations and food service), agriculture, and recreation. Accommodations in Ventura County represent an underserved market, and potential opportunity for expansion in certain unincorporated areas. In addition, agri-tourism is another area of potential expansion.
- Military: Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) supports over 20,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, including active duty and reserve military, civilians, and contractors. These jobs include scientists, engineers, acquisition professionals, police and fire protection, tradespeople, airfield and port operations, and a wide variety of other fields. The base’s high-level operations, technological focus, and unique geography (including the 36,000 square mile Point Mugu Sea Range) are anticipated to keep the base in the Navy’s long-term plans, recognizing, however, that defense priorities can change. NBVC projects significant growth in coming years as an emerging hub for unmanned systems. Overall, NBVC generates about $2 billion in total economic benefit to Ventura County each year.
At a local level, population growth and increasing household income levels will support additional demand for local-serving businesses. The challenge in Ventura County will center on how new businesses and commercial developments address existing and future consumer needs.