Former farmland is now harvesting economic benefits in Madera County.
Madera County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Bobby Kahn said, “The leading sectors are construction and education, I think they play off each other. Where you have strong construction, you have a lot of growth in your area, of course, your education facilities are going to grow.”
Madera County just ranked number one and tied with Calaveras County for non-farm job growth in the state. Kahn said the education field is hiring more people. Schools have been built and others are underway.
However, a lot of growth has been focused on construction along the Highway 41 corridor
“Riverstone is adding about 35 to 40 homes a month being sold, so that is a tremendous amount of growth out there. Tesoro Viejo is finishing its backbone infrastructure, you’re going to see houses coming out of the ground right there toward the fall of this year,” said Kahn.
Hundreds of people are working on the master-planned communities that will transform the landscape of Madera County. Kahn said in addition to construction, manufacturing is also steady in the county.
“You are seeing a resurgence in the manufacturing sector. All of our manufacturers are going strong and most of them are hiring. We are working with two right now that have substantial plans to add onto their facilities.”
More jobs are bringing more people to Madera County as well.
“Madera County is actually number one in population growth. That population growth also drives jobs,” said Kahn.
In addition to growth along the Highway 41 corridor, experts said construction has increased in Madera and building permits are up in Chowchilla. All positive signs of life after surviving the recession.