Via the Lompoc Record
City leaders have been discussing plans to bring a cooperative business opportunity to the unemployed and underemployed people of Lompoc. Nearly 20 concerned citizens, business people and experts came together last week for two information sessions that were held at the Valley of the Flowers church in Vandenberg Village.
Advisory group member John McReynolds opened the discussion that centered on how a cooperative business could help redevelop the economic foundation of Lompoc, which has an unemployment rate greater than 16 percent, reportedly the highest in the county.
Speakers E. Kim Coontz, executive director of the California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD), and Luis Sierra, assistant director, outlined the process of establishing a co-op in Lompoc, and gave updates on the plan created by the Lompoc Cooperative Advisory Group. The CCCD, which is based in Davis, is a nonprofit association that provides education and training on several types of cooperatives. It defines a cooperative as “an organization that is owned and controlled by the people who use its products, supplies and/or services.”
The Lompoc Cooperative Advisory Group is headed by former Lompoc City Councilman Bill Mullins. The seven-member group raised money for its membership in the CCCD by doing fundraisers, and has been working with the agency for almost a year.CCCD membership will include grant-writing services and other guidance.