Last year, officials of Western Saw of Oxnard were considering a move out of the county.
Instead, the saw blade manufacturer acquired a $3.6-million tax-exempt industrial-development bond from the state, expanded its local operation and increased its staff from about 50 to 100 employees.
In terms of job creation and retention, Western Saw is one of the top success stories identified in the 1997-98 fiscal-year-end report issued by the Greater Oxnard Economic Development Corp. In all, according to the report, Oxnard's industrial employee base was expected to grow by more than 1,100 jobs during the period.
Other firms topping the job-creation list include Haas Automation, a machine tool manufacturer expected to add about 250 jobs; and Tubed Products, a maker of containers for health and beauty supplies, which plans to double its staff to 200 once its facility expansion is completed.
About 325 of the 1,100 industrial jobs were created with the relocation of companies from outside the city. The increase in employment opportunities brought to more than 4,000 the total of manufacturing jobs created in Oxnard over the past five years, according to the EDC.
"The major reasons we've been able to attract or expand business is a reflection of the fact that Oxnard is a good place to do business and the city had the foresight, years ago, to provide industrial land suitable for development with an infrastructure to take advantage of it," said Pat Sweeney, vice president of the EDC.
Sweeney said a look at remaining available land would suggest that jobs will continue to be created.
"There's a 200,000-square-foot expansion underway and a 600,000-square-foot expansion currently under construction," he said. "The mere fact that the buildings are under construction would indicate that more than developers think growth will continue. Bankers have to believe it. It's a further reflection that we don't see an end to this in the near future."