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County in Central California Launches Study to Broaden Economic Base

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Business leaders and stakeholders from eastern Kern County in central California, which extends to the Western Mojave Desert, last week met to kick off a project to expand and diversify the region’s economic base.Austin, Texas-based TIP Strategies is leading the study, which is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA). The area’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, the petroleum industry and the military, with Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base both located within its borders.Tom Stellman, president/CEO of TIP, and John Karras, a project manager for the firm, said their aim was to deliver a “game plan” with specific ideas and suggestions for economic diversification and development. OEA wants to strengthen communities’ economies to help them withstand a possible military downsizing and to better support the military, Stellman said, reported the Daily Independent.The study will target several communities in the region, including Ridgecrest, which sits outside China Lake. The project also will include an analysis of the workforce and talent leakage to neighboring regions to help identify the area’s best economic opportunities for growth.The result of the study will be an economic diversification strategy that will identify specific courses of action aimed at refining economic development initiatives and expanding the economic base of eastern Kern County, according to the presentation from TIP.“The most important piece is to go from strategies to essentially a blue print, a game plan, a guideline,” Stellman said.last_img

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