Directly and indirectly providing for more than 8,200 jobs, or 4.6 percent of all jobs in the county, the base produced about $1.2 billion in goods and services in 2006, the study estimated.
On May 30, the Naval Base Ventura County 2006 Economic Impact Study was set to be released at the Navy, Business and Community Expo, an event intended to shed light on the importance of the base to the Ventura County economy, as well as to share information with companies interested in doing business with the base.
Covering 6,000 acres along the coast and adjacent to Oxnard and Camarillo, the operations at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme – the two bases that make Naval Base Ventura County – lay relatively hidden from daily life in the region.
The study may help to give area residents an understanding of both economic stimulus and opportunities spurred by the county’s quiet contributor.
“Naval Base Ventura County has a significant economic influence on Ventura County. This report details the positive impacts and explains how NBVC is a good neighbor to the community economically,” said Capt. Brad “Brick” Conners, commanding officer of Naval Base Ventura County. “I believe it is important to provide this information publicly for a better understanding by all.”
The study was commissioned by the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County, which oversees the distribution of funds for workforce development in the county, in cooperation with the Ventura County Economic Development Association, or VCEDA, and the naval base.
“It’s a tremendous source of talent, of economic development, and of community participation and contribution that has been a very important but relatively quiet partner for decades in the county,” said Cheryl Moore, director of the Workforce Investment Board. “Really the Naval Base Ventura County is woven through the fabric of our institutions and our culture but many people have been unaware of it.”
Moore said the expo may help to inform business owners in the region about the wide range of needs and interests of the base, and how they may be able to form working relationships with it.
Of the total goods and services produced by the base, $950 million was spent within the region in 2006, representing 1.5 percent of the total value of all goods and services produced by the county that year.
The study determined for every dollar of output attributable to the base, another 86 cents were generated by associated activity.
The base supported 8,216 jobs totaling an estimated labor income of $377 million, the study determined.
Nearly 4,400 jobs were directly created by the naval base: 1,208 were an indirect result of base operation and more than 2,600 jobs were induced by the base, the report stated. About 19,000 personnel work for or are stationed on the base.
“We often talk about the diversity of business and business opportunities in the county,” Moore said. “There’s not necessarily a dominant sector but they have a lot of strong sectors. The naval base helps to focus on what these multiple sectors can do to work together on a common end or shared goals.”
More than $166 million in taxes were generated by the base, and state and local coffers received about $70 million of that. About $1 million were paid to three area school districts related to the education of children on the base.
In addition to the opportunities for talented workers to take jobs associated with the base, Moore said current base employees bring high skill levels to off-base jobs, should they choose to take jobs outside of the Navy but stay in the area.
Perhaps the best way to measure the impact the naval base has had is to imagine the region without it. For Ventura County Economic Development Association President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Buratto, that was hard to do.
“The easiest answer is we would not have realized the economic impact of the base, but it goes beyond that,” Buratto said.
“NBVC is the fifth-largest base in the country. The work in electronic warfare, naval weapons systems and testing and evaluation of a host of technologies have added immeasurably to our national defense … The employees and military personnel have enhanced our quality of life through their volunteerism and involvement in our community.”