Assemblyman Jeff GorellOXNARD, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Speaking together in a joint press conference, state and local government officials joined community and business leaders today in announcing a collaborative effort to establish a new Oxnard / Port Hueneme Enterprise Zone that will encourage investment and create jobs in an area still staggering from the past decade’s economic recession.

The California Gold Team effort brings officials from the City of Oxnard, the City of Port Hueneme and the Port of Hueneme (Oxnard Harbor District) together with the Economic Development Corporation of Oxnard and the Chambers of Commerce from both Oxnard and Port Hueneme to call for state legislation to create the enterprise zone.

Submitted to the legislature in Sacramento on Friday, Assembly Bill 146 will establish the new enterprise zone for the City of Oxnard in partnership with the City of Port Hueneme and the Port of Hueneme. This reflects the local community’s shared goal of alleviating their higher-than-average unemployment and poverty, and the establishment of this enterprise zone will create new opportunities for local workers and jump-start economic growth by promoting new business and jobs. With an enterprise zone designation, the partnership between these entities will allow greater resources and marketing potential to drive local economic activity.

California State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) said the following: “I’m proud to announce today that I have introduced AB 146 to create this three-applicant enterprise zone. I co-founded Gold Team California with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom because I believe our state government must focus on creating jobs and improving the economy. Sacramento must also be more responsive to the needs of our local communities; and collaborative efforts, such as the Oxnard / Port Hueneme Enterprise Zone and the California Gold Team, can help restore Ventura County’s economic prosperity.”

“The city of Oxnard enthusiastically supports any effort to bring higher-paying jobs, particularly ‘New Economy’ jobs in high tech, biotechnology and medical research to the city and region,” stated Mayor Tim Flynn of Oxnard. “I strongly support and will work together with Assemblyman Gorell to form an Enterprise Zone in Oxnard, Port Hueneme and the Oxnard Harbor District to accomplish this goal.”

“The special challenges of our area show the needs for different economic tools to attract business investment and create jobs. We are committed to work with our partners in Oxnard and Port Hueneme to explore the development of an enterprise zone,” said Jason Hodge, Port of Hueneme Commission President.

“Our collaborative effort in identifying and establishing an enterprise zone assists our cities with an economic development strategy during these times of great change,” stated Sylvia Munoz Schnopp, City Councilmember for Port Hueneme. “As our city is home to the largest employer in the county, we know the enterprise zone has the potential to bring synergistic benefits to our region. We applaud Assemblyman Gorell in convening local jurisdictions to move forward on this legislation.”

“As we strive to emerge from the economic recession, these partnerships bring together business leaders with state and local government and can help reinvigorate a community that has faced real hardship,” stated Nancy Lindholm, President and CEO, Oxnard Chamber of Commerce. “An Oxnard / Port Hueneme Enterprise Zone will give us the tools to create our own new success stories.”