In Ventura County
Lying along the Pacific Coast, Naval Base Ventura County is the county’s largest employer with more than 11,000 military and 9,000 civilian employees, most of whom live in southwest Ventura County where the installation is situated. Nearby Oxnard, with 207,254 residents, is the county’s largest city. Other nearby cities are Camarillo (population 67,608) and Port Hueneme (population 22,423).
NB Ventura County is a major economic driver for the county, with an annual economic impact of $2 billion, according to the 2010 Naval Base Ventura County Economic Impact and Community Involvement report. Of the $2 billion in total economic activity, the base contributed $79.5 million in state and local tax revenues and $1.1 million in federal impact aid to support local schools. Total payroll was $711 million. Military retirees and veterans living in Ventura County contributed $302 million in jobs, industrial output and taxes to the local economy in 2010, the most recent year the report was available.
Ventura County, linked by U.S. 101 to Los Angeles County to the southeast and Santa Barbara County to the northwest, has a population of 850,536, according to the 2016 U.S. Census. In 2013, the county supported 314,300 wage and salary civilian jobs. In August 2016, unemployment in the county was 5.8 percent, compared with a statewide rate of 5.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics.
The county’s gross domestic product totaled $70 billion in 2011, with more than 25 percent from manufacturing. Within manufacturing, leading industry clusters included pharmaceuticals ($7.9 billion), computers and electronics ($3 billion), machinery manufacturing ($1.1 billion) and biomedical devices ($561 million).
While overall manufacturing employment declined slightly in Ventura County because of state and national economic conditions, the county has maintained its relative concentration of manufacturing industries. The second-largest economic sector in the county is financial services, including insurance and real estate, with $13.7 billion in output. While this industry underwent corporate restructuring during the recession, the county has not seen a dramatic decrease in employment compared with other parts of the country.
Agriculture and food processing make up a significant industry cluster, with an estimated total output of $3.3 billion. More than 60 percent of the agricultural crop value in the county is fruit, some of which is exported around the world. Ventura enjoys some of the highest per-acre agricultural production values in California.
The Port of Hueneme is an important part of the economic infrastructure; it is a major import site for vehicles from Asia, and bananas and other produce from South America. It also exports American automobiles, agricultural equipment and produce. As one of Ventura County’s primary economic engines, the port moves $7.5 billion in cargo annually, ranking in the Top 100 nationally among U.S. ports.
Oxnard, the population center of the county with over 200,000 people, is strategically located along U.S. 101 in west Ventura County, about 62 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and 35 miles to the southeast of Santa Barbara.
Oxnard combines a coastal setting and small-town charm with its position as a hub of manufacturing, agriculture, financial services, defense, international trade and tourism. Incorporated in 1903, Oxnard works strategically to strengthen and support all sectors of its economy. Local assets include master-planned industrial parks, prime commercial and retail sites, a highly rated regional medical center and hospital, a flourishing community college, a well-trained workforce and the amenities of a coastal community. The moderate climate, fertile topsoil and generally adequate groundwater supply lead to year-round agriculture production in the surrounding Oxnard Plain.
Oxnard is well positioned for sustainable growth and is a prime location for entrepreneurs, investors and businesses that want to start, expand or relocate their business or project.
The city covers about 27 square miles, with the Pacific Ocean as its western border and the cities of Ventura to the north and Camarillo to the east. Naval Base Ventura County, consisting of Naval Air Station Point Mugu and Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme, is just south of Oxnard.
Port, Rail and Transit Access
Oxnard, as well as all of Ventura County, is accessible to major markets, with a transportation infrastructure that is constantly being improved to meet the needs of the growing community. Transportation in and around Oxnard is easy because of the city’s location near major California highways and because of the Oxnard Transportation Center, the city’s hub for rail and bus service, including Amtrak’s intercity trains and Metrolink commuter trains to the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas.
Goods are moved by highway, rail and the port. U.S. 101, one of the state’s major north-south freeways, passes through the center of Oxnard and is the primary route for commercial truck lines, contract carriers and noncommercial vehicles. Twenty-seven miles east of Oxnard, State Route 126 connects with Interstate 5, providing access to the state’s only continuous north-south interstate route. California’s Route 1 channels travelers along the state’s scenic coast. The Union Pacific Railroad connects Oxnard to all major West Coast destinations and markets.
The Port of Hueneme, the only deep-water port between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, facilitates the movement of products such as fresh fruit and produce, automobiles and heavy equipment, and is a major international trade resource.
For those arriving by air, Oxnard is about 75 minutes northwest of Los Angeles International Airport and 50 minutes west of Burbank Bob Hope Airport. Oxnard has a general aviation airport owned by Ventura County — Oxnard Airport, classified as a non-hub commercial service airport. It lies just west of downtown Oxnard and is near the beach and other attractions. The airport has fixed-base operators providing services such as aircraft charters, aircraft maintenance and pilot supplies, and hosts several car rental agencies and shuttle service to Los Angeles International Airport. There are no commercial passenger flights at this time.
In 2014, Oxnard’s median income of $62,349 was slightly higher than that of the state and lower than the county’s median household income of $77,335. Although household incomes declined during the recession, they are now on an upward path, according to the 2013 City of Oxnard Community Profile.
Ventura County residents enjoy near-limitless opportunities for year-round recreational activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, fishing, golfing and more. Residents find easy access to vast open spaces, beaches and coastline, agricultural areas and mountains plus natural wonders such as the Los Padres National Forest, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Point Mugu State Beach.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county covers 2,208 square miles that divide by terrain into the fertile Oxnard Plain, home to the cities of Oxnard, Camarillo, Port Hueneme and much of Ventura; small coastal mountains, such as the Santa Ynez Mountains, Simi Hills, Santa Monica Mountains and the Piru Mountains; and the intermountain valleys of the Transverse Range. The Santa Clara River Valley is the most conspicuous valley; other valleys include the Conejo Valley, the Simi Valley, the Santa Rosa Valley, the Tierra Rejada Valley and the Las Posas Valley.
The climate, though mostly mild and dry, varies because of the topographical differences. Annual precipitation is small, so conserving water and obtaining water from additional sources outside Ventura County are vital concerns. The Santa Clara River is the principal waterway. Lake Casitas, an artificial reservoir, is the largest body of water. Most of the population of Ventura County lives in the southern part of the county, the major population centers being the Oxnard Plain and the Simi and
The highest peaks in the county are Mount Pinos (8,831 feet) and Frazier Mountain (8,017 feet), in the San Emigdio Mountains, and Reyes Peak (7,525 feet). The uplands are well-timbered with coniferous forests and receive plentiful snow in winter. Mount Pinos is sacred to the Chumash Indians. To them, it was “Iwihinmu,” and as the highest peak in the area with a spectacular view in three directions, was considered the center of the universe.
Fifty-three percent of the county’s total area is made up of national forest. Of the lands outside national forests, about 59 percent is agricultural and 17.5 percent urban.
North of State Route 126, the county is mountainous and mostly uninhabited and contains some of the most unspoiled, rugged and inaccessible wilderness remaining in Southern California. Most of it is in the Los Padres National Forest and includes the Chumash Wilderness in the northernmost portion, adjacent to Kern County, as well as the large Sespe Wilderness and portions of the Dick Smith Wilderness and Matilija Wilderness; both of these protected areas straddle the line with Santa Barbara County. All the wilderness areas are under jurisdiction of Los Padres National Forest.
Ventura County has some of the world’s most productive farmland, and agriculture is a vital part of the economy. The mild climate and fertile soils enable farmers to grow and harvest a variety of high-value crops on a year-round basis. More than $1 billion in farm sales and 20,000 jobs are generated every year by Ventura County agriculture. Crop production, processing, shipping and other related industries add $1.25 billion to the local economy every year.
Naval Base Ventura County
Naval Base Ventura County, with its geographically separated facilities at Port Hueneme, Point Mugu and San Nicolas Island and its 36,000-square-mile Sea Test Range, maintains a strong military presence within the county. The installation employs about 20,000 military and civilian personnel, making it the largest employer in the county, and it also supports an additional indirect workforce. Its overall economic impact in the community is $2 billion annually.
The Port of Hueneme is also an important asset as a deep-water “break-bulk” facility that provides Ventura County with a port of entry and with foreign trade zone status. The city’s strong transportation infrastructure includes a municipal airport, a regional transportation center, rail service and direct access to U.S.101 and Pacific Coast Highway 1. It is well-served by municipal and regional utilities for water, wastewater, energy and telecommunications at competitive prices.
At the national level such websites as www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, www.jobs.com and www.indeed.com have extensive search capabilities as well as resume tips, forum support and professional networking options.
The National Military Spouse Network, a networking, mentoring and professional development organization, has a wealth of career information at its website, www.nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org. The group aims to help military spouses build a meaningful, sustained career path and offers a library of articles that touch on topics from entrepreneurship, resume tips, self-promotion and more as well as a membership-only discussion forum. The organization also features companies that are military spouse-owned or military spouse-friendly on its Homefront Business Listings page.
California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
800 Capitol Mall, MIC-55
Sacramento, CA 95814
The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency is a cabinet-level agency that coordinates workforce programs. California’s one-stop career centers are in local communities to help you explore job options, search for job openings, get your resume and interviewing skills ready and find the right training classes, in addition to offering many more services. Explore the Employment Development Department’s job-seekers website at www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training or visit America’s Job Center of California (formerly One-Stop Career Centers) at www.edd.ca.gov/Office_Locator to find a center near you.
State of California
Employment opportunities with the state of California are posted online. Search by category, department or location and apply online.
Ventura County Government Center, Human Resources
800 S. Victoria Ave.
Ventura, CA 93009
Jobs are posted online with salary range, job description and benefits information. Click on the job posting you are interested in and click “Apply” to complete an online application. Instructions are provided. Job seekers can also call the state Employment Development Department office at 805-382-8610 for job listings throughout Ventura County.
601 Carmen Drive
Camarillo, CA 93010
Find postings of current openings, and download an application form, which may be filled out online, printed and returned to the city.
300 W. Third St.
Oxnard, CA 93030
From the main menu on city’s website, click “Job Hotline” under “Contact” to connect with job opportunities and the city’s online application process.
250 N. Ventura Road
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
Find salary schedules, job descriptions and benefit information for current job postings. To download an application or to apply online, click on the appropriate link under “Tools.”
420 E. Santa Clara St.
Ventura, CA 84037
Click on “Job Information” link for current job postings, which include salary range, job description, minimum qualifications and benefits. Click on the “Apply Online” icon to complete an online application.
An employment agency can offer posts ranging from high-level administration to warehouse work. Many employers use agencies as their human resources department. Agencies advertise, interview, test and manage payroll. A temp-to-perm arrangement allows the employer and prospective employee to evaluate each other before committing to permanent employment.
Municipal and regional chambers of commerce include local employment agencies in their member lists, along with contact information. See Page 22 for a list of chambers of commerce in Ventura County.
Always keep your resume up-to-date and have different resumes that target specific industries and highlight your skills that fit their job descriptions.
Compile several reference lists with a good variety of people and former business associates. Be sure to first ask each if you can use them as references.
Compose a comprehensive, catchy and succinct cover letter of no more than a page (this is no place to ramble). It will introduce you and your desire to work for the company. Have a knowledgeable friend check it for errors; misspelled words and bad grammar hint at carelessness and indifference. Know what the company does, and highlight skills, work experience and education that apply to the position. Be aware that many employers now accept only online applications so get comfortable with computers.
Maintain a positive, professional and broad-based presence on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn; almost all employers search social media sites to vet job candidates, and your absence there will raise red flags. Also be very, very aware that images and comments posted spur-of-the-moment can be searched out forever and come back to haunt you.
Be prepared for an interview at any time. When you submit your application, a supervisor may want to talk immediately, or the phone may ring with a call from a hiring director. Compose — and rehearse — your one-minute self-promotional speech on who you are, an achievement or two and your strengths. It’s not vanity to make a good first impression. If a supervisor wants to know why she should hire you, be ready.
Always follow up with thank-you letters and calls. Even today, a letter as well as the quick-response email will separate you from a surprising number of the other applicants — to your advantage — and keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Judicious calls display your continued interest. Writing out beforehand what you want to say helps. So does rehearsal.
Be aware that due to the usually huge numbers of applicants, most companies are able to follow up only with candidates in whom they are interested. Don’t take it personally if you’re not notified that you didn’t get the job.
Naval Base Ventura County Civilian Opportunities
For information about service jobs including openings in the MWR Department, Child/Youth Program and Navy Gateway Inns & Suites (non-appropriated fund positions) for Naval Base Ventura County, visit http://navylifesw.com/ventura/about/jobs, which provides current openings and a downloadable job application form. Applications may be turned in at Building 1180 at Port Hueneme or mailed to the address below, faxed to 805-982-5454 or emailed to NBVC_MWR_HRO@navy.mil .
For more information, call the Port Hueneme Human Resources Department at 805-982-3108.
MWR Department Code N92V
Port Hueneme Site
311 Main Road, Suite 1
Attention: Human Resources
Point Mugu, CA 93042
Search for jobs at Ventura’s Navy Exchange at www.mynavyexchange.com.
California Small Business Development Center
The California Small Business Development Center offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the tools and guidance needed to succeed in today’s challenging economic climate. Visit http://californiasbdc.org. Or visit the Ventura County Economic Development Collaborative’s office in Camarillo at 1601 Carmen Drive, Suite 215. Call 805-384-1800 or visit http://edc-vc.com for more information.
In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of BusinessUSA, a one-stop platform for small businesses to get the services they need to make good hires and to grow. The service now offers more than 200 online classes, videos and chat transcripts, as well as information on how to start a business, obtain financing, look into exporting, expand, find opportunities, learn about health care changes, be aware of taxes and credits, get help with hires, and ferret out regulations and green opportunities. BusinessUSA is especially interested in increasing ownership among veterans, women, the socially and economically disadvantaged, Native Americans and Alaska Natives.