Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
In 1999, the County Board of Supervisors adopted a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to guide local economic development investments, including those from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Entitled Prosperity! The North Coast Strategy, the CEDS laid out a strategy that prioritizes the needs of nine "base" industry clusters-those that export products and services to customers outside the region. This strategy applies the leading economic theory and research on how economies function and grow. Base industry clusters compete for customers globally and labor locally, thereby driving greater growth in wages, productivity, and jobs in the local economy. From 2003 to 2006, average wages in the total Humboldt County economy increased 13.4% (from $25,220 to $28,600). For the same period, average wages in the base industries increased 16.7% (from $27,663 to $32,277). Base industries are thus a natural target for strategic investment of limited economic development resources. Humboldt County's base industries include:
- Forest Products
- Education and Research
- Niche Manufacturing
- Dairy and Dairy Processing
- Specialty Agriculture
- Fisheries, Fish Processing, and Aquaculture
- Information Technology
- Arts and Culture
These industries were identified based on their export value, their concentration in the region, their competitive advantage in national and international markets, and their potential for future growth.
The local economy also includes
industries that grow primarily from the demands of the local population or
export businesses based here. They circulate capital within the local economy,
and provide critical services, jobs and resources for the economy, such as
health care, childcare, retail, and construction.
Support industries include:
- Business Services
- Health Care
- Child Care
- Real Estate
 Dr. Michael Porter, Director of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University School of Business. CA Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division.