MODOC ECONOMIC VITALITY PLAN

MODOC ECONOMIC VITALITY WORKGROUP

April, 2006

VISION STATEMENT

We envision a Modoc County in which:

Growth is orderly, beneficial, and complementary to the existing communities, citizens, and natural resources of the county, The regulatory and economic environments are open and inviting to business and job creation, Agencies and organizations work together in a spirit of collaboration, The health, diversity and productivity of public lands are sustained to meet the needs of present and future generations by utilizing natural resources to provide economic benefits to the community, Educational systems foster our youth and encourage life-long learning, and Citizens are able to enjoy the small-town qualities of friendliness, community pride, quality health care, cultural enrichment, nurtured youth and civic involvement. It is toward this shared vision that we embrace the following Economic Vitality Plan, and it is against these principles that we measure prospective economic development endeavors.

ECONOMIC VITALITY PLAN GOALS

The following goals are proposed to help provide direction for an expanded economic development program in Modoc County. It is understood that many of these goals may take five years or longer to realize. In some cases, efforts to realize certain goals are never actually “completed” because these efforts entail such on-going tasks as the provision of support services or the continued maintenance of valuable community resources. These goals are proposed in the context of guiding implementation of the economic vitality plan with the understanding that, for the purposes of this plan, the Modoc Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has been identified as the primary organization in Modoc County to provide leadership in this effort. It should be emphasized, however, that the MEDC is not and can not be the only economic force in the county. The County of Modoc and the City of Alturas have critical roles in supporting economic development, and the general plans of both of these jurisdictions indicate concern for and commitment to this endeavor. The Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc. (AFWD) will continue to coordinate workforce development services and has resources to offer in partnership with the MEDC. Organizations like the North Cal-Neva Resource Conservation and Development Council will continue to be involved in projects relating to the utilization of natural resources. Local chambers of commerce and perhaps a future countywide “visitors bureau” will continue to be primary advocates for community and tourism promotion. These organizations and agencies are examples of the variety of players needed to activate and maintain a strong economic development team for Modoc County. The following goals were proposed for the Modoc Economic Vitality Plan:

A. Organizational Development Goals:

1. Continue expansion of the organizational capacity and constructive influence of the Modoc Economic Development Corporation and the Modoc Economic Vitality Working Group. 2. Continued improvement in the collaboration of local and regional organizations and agencies with state and federal agencies in support of economic development. 3. Continue to improve coordination and capacity of local organizations (such as chambers of commerce, rotary clubs and MEDC) with regional resources (such as Klamath-Lake-Modoc-Siskiyou working group (KLMS), Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, Superior California Economic Development, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Forest Service) to promote Modoc County for business development and tourism. 4. Improve collaboration and communication between Chambers of Commerce in Modoc County. 5. Continue to develop strategies and expand funding to support tourism promotion and development. 6. Explore developing a Modoc County Community Foundation or partnering with a regional foundation (Shasta Regional Community Foundation; Friends of the Library)

B. Business Development Goals:

1. Hire an economic development/grant writer to serve as a point person for economic development.

2. A supportive environment that encourages business development and entrepreneurial optimism in Modoc County.

3. Support/develop youth entrepreneurship programs (e.g. Junior Achievement)

4. Promote/Support local retail and service industry – (decrease retail leakage)

5. Expand provision of effective Small Business Development Center services.

6. Expanded services and resources (e.g., financing) for small businesses including microenterprise businesses and home occupations.

7. Improve customer service training (e.g. hospitality industry and others)

8. Effective support for the retention and expansion of existing local businesses.

9. Attraction of new businesses and creation of new job opportunities.

10. Improve/Increase local promotion (e.g. monthly events, weekly announcement to local business owners about local events this week)

11. Effective promotion of tourism as an important element of Modoc County’s economic development and

business environment (including “2-day” events).

a. Bird Events

b. Cowboy Poets

c. Cutter events

d. Equestrian events

e. Mountain Bike events

f. Hang Gliding

g. Indian Pow Wow’s

h. Summer plays

i. Casino events

12. Use of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) – changing the way it is used within Modoc County (not general fund)

13. Enhance services to existing and new businesses to meet their workforce and human resource support needs. (AFWD)

14. Expanded business loan resources, including marketing and coordinated promotion.

C. Product Development Goals:

1. Update and improvement of county-wide infrastructure to support economic development.

2. Promote the productive reuse of the Modoc County (e.g. Old Alturas Mill Site) and other closed and underutilized industrial and commercial properties.

a. Inventory of facilities/properties (building on an older study)

3. Improve access to information regarding recreational opportunities in Modoc County

4. Enhancement of the visual appearance of Alturas and other communities through community revitalization and improvement of the gateways to these communities to stimulate expanded commercial and tourism activity and to improve the attractiveness of communities to possible investors in new businesses.

a. Façade Improvement Program (see Bob Nash)

b. Community “clean-up” program

5. Expanded economic benefits from the utilization of the county’s wealth of natural resources consistent with local policies and standards for protection of the environment, community character and other resource values.

6. New businesses and related job opportunities using local agricultural and natural resource products.

D. Market Development Goals:

1. Expansion of the linkage and coordination between tourism marketing and business attraction.

2. Revitalized and enhanced communities that are attractive to possible investors in new businesses or small business relocation.

3. Strong support from local and regional media in promoting the positive elements of Modoc County.

4. Marketing lowest power rates in California

E. Workforce Development Goals:

1. Enhance workforce preparation services provided to job seekers to facilitate matching employer’s needs with qualified job seekers. (AFWD)

2. Enhanced educational opportunities through a linkage to community college and other expanded higher education resources.

3. Link high school educational programs and public library resources with the needs of the local community (e.g. tech prep).

4. Utilize the skills and expertise of the growing number of retirees who wish to remain in or re-enter the

workforce.

F. Community Development Goals:

1. Promote and encourage development of a long-term community housing plan.

2. Support and enhance provision of health care services throughout Modoc County, with an eye to projected demographic needs.

3. Enhance services to provide for the health, welfare, and social needs of Modoc County senior citizens.

4. Continue to support and enhance a full service library system throughout Modoc County.

5. Promote and enhance the resources available to veterans locally and regionally.

6. Support organizations and programs that enrich the culture and diversity of the community through

artistic, historical, and natural resource-related endeavors. (Historical society, MPAC, museum, The River Center, etc.)

PLAN OF ACTION

The following Plan of Action is proposed primarily as an organizational plan that would be implemented or otherwise supported by the Modoc Economic Development Corporation. However, as discussed in the previous section, there are many elements and needed activities in a comprehensive, countywide economic development campaign that require the leadership and support of a variety of agencies and organizations in Modoc County as well as partnerships with regional, state and federal agencies and organizations. Although this organizational plan does not attempt to identify all of the possible ideas and projects that may be proposed by various agencies and organizations to help improve the economic vitality of Modoc County, there are many actions identified in this Plan of Action that would be the responsibility of entities other than the MEDC. It is important to recognize these important elements of the overall economic development effort and to confirm support for these projects and proposals. The MEDC and all parties involved in promoting advancement of Modoc County’s economic vitality and workforce opportunities need to offer on-going support and cooperation to each other in these efforts. It should be emphasized, however, that nothing in this plan is intended to impose any obligation on any agency or organization. In naming certain agencies and organizations under the heading “Responsibility and Resources” in the Plan of Action, it is being respectfully suggested that these entities would likely have a concern with the identified issue and/or proposed project and that they may have a role, if they elect, to help implement particular actions. Whether or not any particular agency or organization will actually decide to support a proposed action identified in this plan and assist in its implementation, regardless of being named in this plan or not, is completely subject to the discretion of that entity. Of course, it should also be stated that all agencies and organizations having concern for particular issues and interest in proposed actions are encouraged and welcomed to be involved in implementation of the Plan of Action, even if they are not identified by name in the plan.

PLAN OF ACTION

Action Responsibility and Resources Time Frame

Completed?

A. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

1. Sponsor a Grant Writing Workshop USFS, BLM, RC&D, AFWD, SCEDD, City of Alturas, County 2006

2. Explore the formation of a community foundation MEDC, Economic Vitality Group 2006

3. Continue to improve coordination and capacity of local organizations with regional resources (such as KLMS, Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, Superior California Economic Development, BLM, and Forest Service) to promote Modoc County for business development and tourism. Chambers, Rotary Clubs, MEDC 2006-2010

4. Improve collaboration and communication between Chambers of Commerce in Modoc County. Alturas Chamber, Greater Surprise Valley Chamber, Big Valley Chamber 2006-2010

5. Support the expansion of the organizational capacity and constructive influence of the Modoc Economic Development Corporation MEDC, Economic Vitality Group 2006-2010 6. Support the improvement in the collaboration of local and regional organizations and agencies with state and federal agencies in support of economic development All 2006-2010

B. Business Development

1. Hire Economic Development/Grant Writer City, County, and/or Alturas Chamber Hire in 2006, evaluate within three years

2. Develop list of business opportunities in Modoc County to distribute to realtors and include in new business packet. Economic Development Point Person Upon hire 3. Establish a working group for new business attraction City, County, AFWD, Schools, MEDC, USFS, BLM June 2006

4. Coordinate conference on Resources for Small Business Start-up and Development SCEDD, MEDC, Local Banks September 2006 5. Provide Customer Service Training to local businesses. AFWD, SBDC, Chambers of Commerce 2006-2010

6. Encourage SBDC to enhance services to Modoc County through letter and/or meetings. Economic Vitality Group, MECD, SCEDD 2006-2010 7. Develop Effective County-Wide Event Calendar and Promotional structure All; Economic Development Point Person 2006-2010 8. Establish a Redevelopment Agency City, County 2008

C. Product Development

1. Develop/Improve map of recreation opportunities in Modoc County Chambers of Commerce, USFS 2006

2. Establish Community Clean-up Program (like Adin) 4-H, Social Services, Chambers of Commerce 2007

3. Conduct inventory of facilities and properties. County 2008

4. Façade Improvement Program and Architectural Guidelines City of Alturas 2006-2010

5. Participate in the public involvement process for federal agencies’ projects that have the potential to stimulate or provide economic benefits (i.e. Sage Steppe Restoration project, timber sales, biomass sales, recreation projects, etc. All As needed

D. Market Development Goals:

1. Establish a County Tourism Commission, possibly with a representative from each chamber in the county. County of Modoc 2006

E. Workforce Development Goals:

1. Establish a direction for Community College system MCOE & School Districts, Lassen College and others, Community 2007, with ongoing appraisals 2. Explore/Develop Apprenticeship Programs and/or Trade School MCOE & School Districts, Lassen College and others, Community 2008

GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

CALED California Association for Local Economic Development

CDBG Community Development Block Grant

CEDS Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

EDA Economic Development Administration

EDD California Employment Development Department

KLMS Klamath-Lake-Modoc-Siskiyou Working Group

MEDC Modoc Economic Development Corporation

MEVW Modoc Economic Vitality Workgroup

MPAC Modoc Performing Arts Council

RCD Resource Conservation District

RC&D North Cal-Neva Resource Conservation and Development Council

RLF Revolving Loan Fund

SBDC Small Business Development Center

SCEDD Superior California Economic Development District

USDA United States Department of Agriculture