Strategies for Economic Development & Job Creation
Five key strategies, with multiple tactical actions and projects, will result in changing the current path of the economy:
Strategy 1. Grow High-Value Economic Base Businesses
In Lake Havasu City 57% of the businesses are Solopreneurs, less than 4 employees, and 72% have less than 10 employees. One of the largest categories of business licenses is “mobile businesses” individuals working out of their home. In Lake Havasu City a career option is starting your own business. The next step is to grow it.
Strategy 2: Increase the Total Number of Economic Base Jobs
To compliment the focus on entrepreneurs a new campaign will be launched focusing on a business attraction strategy, expanding the jobs base, targeted to small owners/entrepreneurs and ‘lone eagles’ in the niche markets of recreational equipment (marine, sporting and vehicles), firearms, and advanced machine shops and fabrication, and businesses with less than 50 employees, see Appendix G. Target Cluster Research.
Strategy 3: Increase Productivity of Economic Base Workers
To increase worker productivity, PED and Mohave County Workforce Development will outreach to existing industry cluster businesses through roundtable meetings to identify specific skill sets needed by workers for the company to increase their productivity and competitiveness in the market, called sector-based strategy/training. Based on the industry cluster needs, specific training programs can be designed to assist in up-grading incumbent workers and for new hires.
Strategy 4: Create “catalyst projects” that act to stimulate new investment and development
Increasing new venues, opportunities and investment for the service and visitor sectors is equally as important in Lake Havasu City to change the dynamics of economic trends. This can be accomplished through catalyst project(s) that would spur revitalization and investment.
Strategy 5: Plan and set course for business climate improvements
The business climate sets the stage for positive economic development and growth. The business climates relates to business-friendly policies of the City which include ratifying the General Plan Update in the general election, adjusting zoning and finding solutions to encourage development such as public/private partnerships.
Strategies for Education & Talent Supply
The strategy to change the current downward trend in academic achievement over the next five years and create a skilled and employable talent pool to attract new businesses requires focused attention in the following five key areas:
1. Pass School Funding Measure(s)
Funding for education and talent development is essential to the economic prosperity of the community and essential to reinstate LHUSD’s ability to upgrade its current physical facilities and equipment and to provide funding for critical technology upgrades for teachers and students.
2. Retain Teachers
Fortunately Lake Havasu City teachers are committed and provide excellent education with the tools they have, as evidenced by their ability to maintain higher graduation rates and higher than average test scores with fewer resources. Retaining teachers has been a challenge. Turn-over has been at it highest and although the test scores are higher than state averages, they are on the decline.
3. Build Robust Career Pathways
Integration of Career Pathways creates a robust contextualized learning experience in schools that engage students and young adults to seek and learn more about the career opportunities offered by local businesses and opportunities to explore, create, and nurture entrepreneurial experiences through job shadowing, internships, on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
Career pathways are designed as a series of structured and connected education programs
4. Develop Sector-Based Training
Pillar 1 Economic Development and Job Creation identifies specific industry clusters to target for recruitment and strategies for growing and expanding Lake Havasu City’s existing sectors14 for job creation.
5. Create a Strong Business/Education Collaborative
Strategies for Tourism
Strategies to maintain and strengthen the important tourism economy of Lake Havasu City incorporate the work done over the past years in distinct but interdependent areas:
1. Place Development—Transform Lake Havasu City into a more attractive place for residents, workers, and visitors.
Place development involves investing in amenities that will transform Lake Havasu City into a more attractive place for residents, workers and visitors; a place that offers more of the services and ameni-ties they desire. Extending Lake Havasu City’s natural beauty to community aesthetics and comfort will aid in its ability to continue to attract visitors and provide seasonal and year-round residents with an even more exceptional quality of life.
2. Tourism—Increase the number of visitors and encourage them to extend their stay by promoting Lake Havasu City and its events to target audiences and in target markets.
To maintain and improve the impact of tourism on the Lake Havasu City economy, two things are needed: more visitors (both new and repeat), and longer stays from these visitors. Strategy 1 is about place development—projects, developments, and improvements that will attract more visitors to stay longer. Strategy 2 is about marketing and promoting the city to visitors, which will eventually include new activities and attractions resulting from place development.
3. Hospitality Excellence—Provide Hospitality training and create a culture of hospitality excellence.
Beyond place development (Strategy 1) and destination marketing (Strategy 2), the success of this in-dustry and the ability to increase visits and extend stays depends heavily on the education and skills of the local workforce. Strategy 3 is designed to build an exceptionally strong foundation of hospitality and customer service skills in Lake Havasu City.
Strategies for Water
There are three key areas of focus for this Pillar, all of which are long-term and on-going efforts to protect and maintain water for Lake Havasu City’s future.
Strategy 1: Reduce the Draw on the City’s Water Entitlement
Current water allocations can also be protected and maintained by using less of it through conservation, reclamation and reuse of wastewater that reduces the draw on the City’s water entitlement. If the city is unsuccessful in acquiring more water, this strategy becomes even more critical.
Strategy 2: Implement Water Research
Over the past several years, the lake environment has shown signs of change that pose potential threats to the health of the Colorado River and Lake Havasu. These threats, initiated by the establishment of non-native quagga mussels, include limitations to access of domestic water supplies, explosive invasive aquatic plant growth impacting water supply access and water craft navigation and the development of massive toxin producing cyanobacteria (algae) blooms.
Strategy 3: Protecting and increasing the City’s domestic water rights
An on-going, long term action that involves multiple agencies, local, state and federal.
Strategies for Community Engagement
Three strategies for this pillar will ensure Vision 20/20 is 1) implemented, 2) continues with a five-year focus on progress and 3) remains a living document that is continually reviewed, updated, revised based on current conditions and measured. The following are key strategies:
1. Organizational Foundation
Vision 20/20 is a community-driven revitalization action plan, allowing community members to interface and engage in the Vision 20/20 transformation at any level (e.g. as a public arts participant only, in the overall implementation of a Pillar, by providing feedback at a Town Hall meeting, or by posting comments on the website).
2. Connecting and Communicating
Strategic communications is embedded in the Community Engagement Pillar to keep the public informed, report on progress and successes, have an open feedback system, encourage citizens to engage and continually advocate for the five Pillars of Change.
3. Measuring Progress
Key milestones and performance measures are included with the strategies and tactical implementation schedules for each Pillar.
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