- Economic Development
- Community Profile
We say that we are "one of California's hidden treasures." Our community pride, beautifully landscaped streetscapes and preserved historic buildings are just a few reasons why we are a hidden treasure. The historic downtown, with its variety of shops and government offices surrounds Civic Park to form the heart of Hanford.
The City of Hanford is the County seat for Kings County and as such, is able to provide all the services expected of a professionally-run City. Hanford's primary base economy is services, government and agriculture. Agriculture represents an annual gross value of $1,718 million in Kings County. Milk, cotton, and tomatoes are the top three commodities in the county, with 2010 values of $556.0 million, $244.4 million, and $134.9 million, respectively.
The City was named after James Madison Hanford in 1877, who was a Paymaster for the Central and Southern Pacific Railroad. The company honored him with the namesake as a reward and thank you for Hanford's honesty and exemplary service during his forty year tenure. Mr. Hanford never lived in Hanford, but he took great interest in the city. After experiencing fourteen years of destructive fires in the downtown, the City incorporated in 1891, in order to improve the fire fighting services as well as provide utilities and paved streets.
The City of Hanford is a business-friendly community that promotes responsive and properly planned growth. Being a part of the Kings County Enterprise Zone and Hanford Community Redevelopment Area allows us to remain attractive to businesses and developers.
Located in the south San Joaquin Valley, Hanford enjoys typical California weather with mild winters and warm summers. The average temperature in January ranges from a high of 54 degrees to a low of 34 degrees. In June, the average high is 91 degrees and the average low is 58 degrees.
The majority of the rainfall comes in the winter months beginning in November and extending through March. During this time, an average of over 1 inch of rainfall occurs each month. Rain drops off to less than one-half inch for the remainder of the year with June, July and August being our driest months. The annual average rainfall for the City of Hanford is 8.2 inches.
At an elevation of 249 feet, Hanford experiences an average wind speed of 6 mph from the northwest. Hanford's climate includes an average of 196 sunny clear days, 74 partly cloudy days and 95 cloudy days.
Location and Access
Located in the Central Valley of California, Hanford lies equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco, which places us three hours from two of the largest retail markets in the world. Highway 198 connects these metropolitan areas to Hanford via Interstate 5 and State Highway 99, which are 30 miles to the west and 15 miles to the east, respectively. Highway 41 connects Fresno with Highway 101, and is located 7 miles west of the City.
The city is 16.27 square miles. Major north-south arterials within the City include Highway 43, 10th Avenue, 11th Avenue, and 12th Avenue. Major east-west arterials within the City include Highway 198, Houston Avenue, Hanford-Armona Avenue, Lacey Boulevard and Grangeville Boulevard.
Air access for commercial service is provided at both Visalia's Air Terminal which is located 15 miles to the east and at Fresno's Air Terminal that is located 35 miles to the north. Commuter jet service is provided at the recently improved Hanford Airport with its 5200'runway. Air freight companies are largely located in Visalia and Fresno.
Alternative modes of transportation are available within the City. Amtrak trains connect Hanford and the Central Valley to the rest of California and the United States. Public transportation is available through the Kings Area Rural Transit system. In addition, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) and San Joaquin Valley Railroad transverse the City providing supplies to its rail customers.
The City of Hanford has a current 2011 population of 54,950 people with an average growth rate of 2 to 3% per year. Located in the most rapidly growing region of California, we have a diverse population that is largely comprised of people with white (62.5%), Hispanic (47.2%), and black (4.9%) ethnic compositions. Many other ethnicity's exist in smaller numbers within the city, which means that many Hanford residents have strong language skills in Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese and other languages. Kings County's population is largely comprised of people with white (54.3%), Hispanic (50.2%), and black (7.2%) ethnic compositions. Males account for 49% of the population and females account for 51%.
Growth will remain strong in the future as the City of Hanford is projected to have a population of 70,177 in the year 2020. The California Department of Finance has projected that by the year 2030, Kings County will have a population of approximately 250,516.
Hanford is the county seat for Kings County that has a population of 153,365. Kings County grew at an average rate of 1.8% per year since the 2000 Census. Other cities in the area include Visalia (15 miles east) with a population of 125,770, Lemoore (7 miles west) with a population of 24,835, Lemoore Naval Air Station (14 miles west) with a population of approximately 7,500, and Corcoran (15 miles south) with a population of 24,154.
The median age in Kings County is 31.1 years. The average number of people per household is 3.19. The median household income for a family of four in Hanford was $44,104. The 2000 per capita income is $17,416. The median age in Hanford is 30.6 years.
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The small town atmosphere, safe environment, and variety of activities in and around Hanford make Hanford a popular destination for tens of thousands of visitors each year. The favorite location for visitors is downtown Hanford because of its historic buildings and walking tours, beautiful civic center park with the carousel, and Freddy, the 1950 Studebaker fire truck. Amtrack provides several train trips per day from Sacramento north to the Bay Area and south to Bakersfield.
There are a variety of lodging choices in Hanford that includes eight motels and one inn with a total of 285 rooms.
Meeting rooms are available for 10 to 400 people. Local hotels, restaurants, service organizations and municipal facilities such as the Civic Auditorium can provide a suitable location for any event.
Within Hanford there are many delicious restaurants to tantalize the taste buds. They include fast food restaurants, coffee houses, over 40 casual dining locations, and two formal dining locations. In addition, there are bakeries, ice cream parlors, and pie shops to satisfy that sweet tooth.
The business climate is bright in the City of Hanford. Many programs exist to attract new businesses and aid in the success of the existing ones.
The majority of the City is located within the Kings County Enterprise Zone and Recycling Market Development Zone. The enterprise zone offers tax credits and incentives to businesses of all types and sizes operating within the enterprise zone. Some of these include the Hiring Credit which provides a state tax credit for hiring employees meeting certain criteria, the Sales or Use Tax Credit which allows manufacturers to take tax reductions for equipment purchased for use within the enterprise zone, and Business Expense Deduction which allows businesses to take tax deductions for property purchased for use within the enterprise zone.
Businesses within the Recycling Market Development Zone qualify for low-interest loans to manufacture new products or undertake projects that reduce waste resulting from the manufacturing of a product.
Affordable financing is available in the City. The City of Hanford has a low-interest City Wide Business Loan Program, and Downtown Business Loan Program. The City can assist with the many state financing programs available such as Industrial Revenue Bonds.
The Kings Industrial Park is a part of the Hanford Community Redevelopment Area that means that the city can assist new or expanding businesses in the park as well. This 1,000 acre development is fully serviced with all infrastructure and utilities in place. Lot sizes range from 3 to 60 acres. The BNSF railroad runs north-south through the park, providing rail service to its users.
The City of Hanford will fast-track any development in the Enterprise Zone or Redevelopment Area.
Hanford's trade/service area extends past the county limits to Fresno (35 miles north), Visalia (15 miles east) and Bakersfield (80 miles south).
The retail sales tax in the City is 7.25%. The property tax for industrial properties is 1.0979%. There is no utility tax. State corporation income taxes are at 9.03% of net income from California sources. There is no business inventory tax in the state.
The City has the most modern utilities available for its customers. Drinking water and waste water treatment services are provided by the City of Hanford. Electricity is provided by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison. AT&T provides telephone services that include ISDN and all other necessary high-technological services. Many cellular and long-distance services are available as well. Gas service is provided by Southern California Gas Company and cable television service is provided by Comcast.
The City of Hanford is in an excellent position to provide affordable, yet high quality labor in the quantities needed by potential businesses. The 2010 average unemployment rate in the County was 16.5%, compared to the State's 12.4% unemployment rate. In Kings County, this translates to over 10,000 people looking for work within a reasonable commuting distance. This is good for potential businesses because it means there is a larger pool of qualified applicants available from which to choose the best employees.
The labor trend is that unemployment is expected to decline or remain stable as the overall improvement in the national economy filters down to the City of Hanford. Many organizations including KingsWorks and the Kings County Job Training Office are striving to train these people so that they are prepared to re-enter the work force with success.
Skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labor is abundant in the City of Hanford. First, within a 15-mile radius of Hanford are two junior colleges that can provide additional labor opportunities for potential employers.
Secondly, the area is primarily agricultural in nature, so temporary seasonal work is a way of life. The agricultural season ebbs after the harvest that occurs around October and November. These farm workers are highly motivated because of their strong desire to make a future for themselves and their families. Finally, located fourteen miles west is the Lemoore Naval Air Station that offers a great opportunity for quality labor. Not only do many Navy spouses live and work in Hanford, the area is a desirable retirement location for many military personnel. Many of these people are well educated, and all of them are hard-working and have a good work ethic due to their military background.
In the City of Hanford, according to the 2010 Census, 74.5% of adults over the age of 18 have their high school diplomas, 14.4% hold Bachelors Degrees, 3.9% hold Graduate Degrees, and 24.5% have some college or hold Associates Degrees. In Kings County, the rates are slightly lower, where 68.8% have their high school diplomas, 10.4% hold Bachelors Degrees, 2.7% hold Graduate Degrees, and 28.9% have some college or hold Associates Degrees.
Hanford enjoys a largely non-union environment. The Kings County Wage Survey shows the wage ranges and minor union presence in Kings County. Of the 325 firms that were surveyed in the County, only 6 or 2% had union affiliations. The majority of the unions can be found in the schools and medical facilities. We are not located in a Right-to-Work state.
Hanford has a variety of shopping centers to meet the needs of the community. These include a 625,850 square foot mall which includes JCPenney, Sears, Forever 21 and a new Kohls as anchors, a 250,000 square foot plaza anchored by Wal-Mart, a 212,000 square foot plaza which includes Orchard Supply Hardware and Staples as anchors, and Hanford's historic downtown which is home to numerous unique shops. Two new shopping centers, anchored by Wal-Mart Super Center and Target encompassing 598,000 square feet. Other tenants include Michaels, Petsmart and Marshalls.
Quality of Life
The City of Hanford is a charming community that is famous for its historic preservation. Our award-winning downtown is the envy of many cities in California. Its Civic Auditorium, old Courthouse and jail building, historic carousel, and Superior Dairy ice cream restaurant as well as the safe and clean atmosphere attract visitors from all over the world. The City prides itself on its positive image as a smaller city where people have a strong sense of community and where they want to raise their children.
Our community boasts crime rates that are the lowest in the valley and one of the lowest in the state. We are enjoying a crime rate that is at its lowest in 20 years. This is due to our Community Oriented Policing Program that is proactive in nature. Some of our successful programs include D.A.R.E./Partnership with Hanford Elementary School District, Problem-Oriented Policing (POP), Neighborhood Watch Program, and School Resources Officer Program/Partnership with Hanford High School District.
There are a variety of child care facilities within the City of Hanford to suit almost every family. Public and private caregivers and those with religious affiliations are available in Hanford to provide care for children.
The Courthouse, built in 1896, is located in the beautiful Civic Center Park.
It is adjacent to the County Jail, or Bastille, which was built in 1897. The Courthouse now houses restaurants and shops.
Education is a priority in the City of Hanford. The City is served by 16 public and private elementary schools, 3 junior high schools, and 3 high schools, with a total of 8,785 K-8 students and 3,656 high school students.
Kit Carson Elementary School offers computer lab for children as young as Kindergarten. Pupil-teacher ratios averages 20.1:1. Average class sizes hold 28.5 students. The elementary schools STARS for Language Arts averages 44.6, for Math averages 50.2, for Science averages 39.3 and Social Studies averages 32.0.
Pioneer Middle School was awarded the honor of being a California Distinguished School in 2007. In the middle schools, STARS for Language Arts averages 49.0, for Math averages 49.7, for Science averages 52.7 and Social Studies averages 40.3. Over sixty % of the eighth grade students scored in the Proficient or Advanced range in Algebra on the California Standards Test.
Hanford's high schools support proficiency in the elements of the Central Intellectual Purpose: communication, critical thinking/problem solving, research skills, technology, and ethics. In the high schools, STARS for Language Arts averages 38.5, for Math averages 11.0, for Science averages 40.2 and Social Studies averages 42.0. The pupil/teacher ratio at the Hanford High Schools is 20:1. The drop-out rate was 4.9% in 2007-08. A Hanford High School senior was awarded a President's Volunteer Service Award for his exemplary service.
Opportunities abound for adult education as well. The College of the Sequoias and West Hills Community College, two junior colleges with 14,500 students, have branch campuses in Hanford and Lemoore allowing students to complete AA degrees in Hanford. The College of the Sequoias is constructing a new campus and Vocational Training Center. In addition, four four-year and advanced degree universities with approximately 20,000 students lie within a 35-mile radius of the City of Hanford. These include California State University Fresno, with limited bachelor and masters programs offered in Hanford and Lemoore, Chapman University in Lemoore, Columbia College, Fresno Pacific in Hanford and Lemoore, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Lemoore.
There are numerous vocational training schools in the area that teach vocational education from computer technicians to welders to heating/cooling specialists. Within a 35-mile area, this totals dozens of schools with over 39,000 students. Educators work with economic development professionals in order to assure that the students are trained for the existing job types in the area and to assure that employees continue to improve their work skills.
Hanford residents find that most of their health care needs are met within the city. There are 2 hospitals, 3 clinics, 91 physicians, 30 dentists, 13 optometrists and 7 chiropractors. One of the hospitals is expanding to a 175,000 square foot facility with 144 beds in late 2010. In addition, the city has all the necessary health care support businesses such as pharmacies, home care, convalescent hospitals, etc. to provide our citizens with a rounded health care program. The two hospitals, Hanford Community Medical Center and Central Valley General Hospital have a total of 108 beds. They are both 24 hour emergency facilities with a multi-faceted offerings.
Both hospitals provide the most up-to-date comprehensive health services to the county. Central Valley General Hospital's Neonatal Intermediary provides a necessary service to the children of the area and has that connection with Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno. Their new spiral CT scanner is state-of-the-art technology that will significantly improve the level of health care received in the city. Hanford Community Medical Center provides a holistic approach to health care offering services from the basic acute services to their cath lab to JobCare occupational health services. A 9,000 square foot cancer center provides state-of-the art radiation therapy.
Housing / Cost of Living:
A variety of housing opportunities can be found in Hanford, from the affordable to the luxurious. New single family homes start as low as $204,000 and range up to $500,000, with an average sales price of $195,000. The existing house market is just as varied and affordable. Home sizes range from 900 square feet to over 5,000 square feet.
Rental housing is plentiful and affordable in the city as well. There are approximately 6,500 apartments available within the county. Rents range from $400 to $950 for one to four bedroom units.
There are over 400 senior housing units located within the city. Targeted for active seniors, the units are available for persons of all income ranges. These mostly new units provide a variety of services including transportation, recreational activities such as gardening, crafts and shopping trips, and some meal service. For seniors needing a little more assistance, there are approximately 6 assisted living developments that provide medical attention.
Recreational opportunities are great for all types of people and all interests! For local entertainment, there are movie theaters, concerts in the park, and the Chinese Moon Festival. Golfers will enjoy one public golf course and one private golf course within 5 miles of the city.
The charming Civic Center Park provides the backdrop for numerous activities including arts and crafts fairs, big name jazz or country music concerts at the Fox Theater. The Thursday Night Market Place which includes live music, booths, and a certified farmers market attracts thousands per week from May to October. The Renaissance Faire draws over 20,000 faire goers each year during the first weekend in October. Programs include the award winning "Daddy Daughter Date Night", concerts in the park, the return of the "Melco Dances" an early dance craze which swept the areas of Kings and Tulare Counties in the 60's. The Antique Show, the annual Christmas Parade, Mothers Day Art Show, Next Big Thing Talent Show and the restored carousel are a few of the reasons to visit or live in Hanford.
Hanford has 14 parks and green areas which encompass over 150 acres of property. Freedom Park has the fully accessible "Endless Dreams Playground", disc golf course and water spray playground. There is youth baseball and football at a fully lighted year-round facility, youth and adult indoor basketball and volleyball programs, over 40 acres with 17 fields for both youth and adult soccer, and a new state of the art 5 diamond softball complex for adult and youths. The city also operates Longfield Center, a full size gymnasium with amenities such as a weight room, pool tables and meeting room provided at no cost.
Regional recreational activities can be found as close as a two hour drive away from the Hanford area. Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Yosemite National Park are located to the east and northeast of Hanford in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Two hours to the west is the Pacific Ocean, Monterey, and other beaches. The San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles area attractions are within a three hours drive as well.
Water activities are popular in the Central Valley because of the variety and close proximity to rivers and lakes. Water recreational areas include Riverland at the Kings River (10 miles north), Kaweah Lake (40 miles east), Lake Success in Porterville (45 miles southeast), as well as the many lakes and reservoirs in the Fresno area.