As the capital of the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno County is the economic engine that drives commerce for a four- county region, including Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare Counties. Just as Fresno County is the center for healthcare, education, institutions, and commercial aviation, the county will also become the hub of high- speed rail. Attracted by ample business opportunities and quality cultural arts and entertainment, residents from surrounding areas regularly commute to Fresno. The location of the HMF in Fresno County will further propel the region’s economic engine, catalyzing the Fresno’s strategic plan for sustainable economic growth.
Based on similar HMF’s around the world, the project cost could be estimated at $800 million. According to the City of Fresno Economic Impact Study, over a five- year period, an HMF of that scale will create and sustain almost 5,000 jobs in a variety of industries including, but not limited to construction, manufacturing, and transportation. Based on an estimated total employment of 2,300 new workers for the Fresno County HMF, and based on a conservative average salary of $47,000/yr., direct payroll revenues from the facility will amount to over $110 million annually in Fresno County, with almost 75 percent of that revenue going to residents of the City of Fresno. Add to that another 2,700 indirect jobs, and the payroll impact alone is over $200 million annually.
This data alone demonstrates that the Fresno County HMF will create high-paying, permanent jobs, and attract new companies in an underserved region of California.
Historically, Fresno County and surrounding communities were the heart of California’s agricultural economy. In recent decades, markets have shifted leaving many parts of the Central Valley with struggling economies. Jobs are especially scarce with chronic unemployment hovering at over 15 percent. The impact of building the HMF in Fresno County would be immense and sustained. For the Authority, that translates into an abundance of readily available workforce candidates to support the facility’s employment needs. With a four- county ripple effect, impacting higher than average unemployment rates, and with the ability to draw from a large workforce pool, locating the HMF in Fresno County would be the Authority’s most practical choice from a labor perspective, while providing California’s most economically challenged region with much needed jobs.