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City Beat First Ever Economic Blueprint Focuses on Economic Prosperity and Vitality By Edith Ramirez, City of Morgan Hill Economic Development Director, edith.ramirez@morganhill.ca.gov, 408.310.4633 T he City of Morgan Hill released its fi rst ever Economic Blueprint in April 2017 with the intent to further the community’s quality of life by attracting investment, development, and jobs that will ensure continued economic prosperity. This report is founded on guiding principles from the General Plan, Morgan Hill 2035, and incorporates feedback from over 400 residents, businesses, and community leaders engaged and invested in the future of Morgan Hill. Thoughtful planning has made Morgan Hill a desirable community within the Silicon Valley region. With its unique character and strong sense of community, Morgan Hill offers a superb quality of life. Historically, the community has been mindful to make strategic investments for Morgan Hill to thrive, including: • Leading in affordable housing – creating a community where one of every eight homes is affordable • Investing in protecting hillsides and open space from development • Leading the region in agricultural preservation policies • Pacing growth to provide for the development of infrastructure and ser- vices • Providing excellent housing and community amenities • Offering the region state-of-the-art recreational facilities • Attracting unprecedented investment in Downtown, making it a gem within the Silicon Valley area • Maintaining a high level of safety • Leading the region in water and agricultural land conservation Morgan Hill’s natural geography, along with events, recreational areas, and activities, attract nearly one million visitors to Morgan Hill annually. Complementing the strong visitor base is the robust dining destination that is evolving in Downtown Morgan Hill, and the region’s burgeoning wineries. The Economic Blueprint identifies four industries that are key to Morgan Hill’s future growth and further fiscal sustainability. By focusing on these areas of opportunity, the Economic Blueprint is intended to generate jobs, investment, and economic vitality, while providing goods and services to the community and new tax revenues for the City. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN The four industries are: Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing: Grow existing companies, attract new industry, and grow professional jobs. Retail: Grow retail offerings and strengthen commercial nodes. Tourism: Grow leisure, agriculture, wine country and recreational tourism. Healthcare: Grow and foster the medical service and diagnostics industry by attracting services and facilities. By articulating clear intentions to these industries, and developing implementation strategies, the City and its economic development partners (Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association, Tourism Alliance, Wineries Association, businesses, educational organizations, brokers, developers, service providers, and many others) will be better positioned to realize the dividends of a focused and collaborative effort. From the City’s perspective, a primary responsibility is to make land use and policy decisions that in return will attract investment, remove unnecessary barriers, achieve economic sustainability, and enhance the community’s quality of life. As the Morgan Hill community looks to have a focused plan around advancing the four industries, it is important to establish benchmarks to determine success. The Economic Blueprint provides a baseline of vital statistics that range from jobs and revenues to vacancy rates and industry-proven economic indicators. To achieve success in growing any of these industries will require the City to strengthen its partnerships as well as develop new ones. It will be imperative that the City and its economic development partners align efforts in supporting the four industries and thereby sharing in combined prosperity and success. The full City of Morgan Hill Economic Blueprint can be viewed at the following link https://cld.bz/5cgfQGe/58. Questions regarding Morgan Hill’s Economic Blueprint can be referred to Edith Ramirez, Economic Development Director at edith.ramirez@morganhill.ca.gov MAY/JUNE 2017 gmhtoday.com 25