The global, national, and regional economy has experienced dramatic changes in the last several decades. The U.S. economy has evolved from an emphasis on manufacturing to one increasingly based on innovation, creativity, technology, information, and global trade. These changing economic conditions provide both challenges and opportunities for the Hayward economy. With its centralized Bay Area location and a variety of economic, community, and transportation assets, Hayward possesses a strong foundation to develop a robust, diversified, and stable economy with a diverse range of employment, shopping, and cultural opportunities for local residents.
The Economic Development Element contains goals and policies to improve the local economy of Hayward by diversifying the economic base, supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, expanding employment opportunities through business retention and expansion programs, and collaborating with local colleges to develop a college-town economy and culture. The Economic Development Element also includes goals and policies to improve the image and reputation of Hayward so that it is recognized as the most desirable and business-friendly place to locate and conduct business in the East Bay.
For Hayward to reach its full economic potential, the City must address the related challenges of crime and public safety, traffic congestion, underperforming public schools, and community blight. For these reasons, several other General Plan elements contain goals and policies that directly and indirectly support economic development, including the Education and Lifelong Learning Element, Land Use and Community Character Element, Mobility Element, and Community Safety Element.