Jobs in Lake Forest, California, United States
Location and Population. Lake Forest is a medium-sized city located in the Saddleback Valley in southern Orange County, with an estimated population of 83,240 in 2016. Its ethnic make-up is predominantly Non-Hispanic Whites (53%), although there are also sizable shares of Hispanics (25%) and Non-Hispanic Asians (15%). The share foreign-born is 25 percent. Median household income and cost of living are both high, and unemployment is low. The poverty rate has been low, but it increased significantly between 2008 and 2015.
Origins. This was an unincorporated area known as El Toro until December 1991, when it incorporated as the city of Lake Forest. El Toro Road from the I-5 Freeway to the foothills was the epicenter of the Saddleback Valley from the late 19th century to the end of the 20th century. However, the area gradually deteriorated, and most of the shops closed or moved to other cities. After Lake Forest incorporated, the city, together with the property owners of some ageing strip malls, developed the Arbor commercial district. This has upgraded the quality of both shopping and residential areas around El Toro Road. The city also contains two man-made lakes in the foothills, surrounded by condominiums, custom homes and sport facilities, each managed by an autonomous club – Lake Forest Beach and Tennis Club and Sun and Sail Club. In 2000, Lake Forest expanded its city limits to include the master-planned developments of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills on the city’s northeastern boundary.
Economy. Nearly half of the adult population has at least a bachelor’s degree and most residents of Lake Forest are employed in white collar jobs. Many people living in Lake Forest work in sales jobs, management occupations, and office and administrative support. Besides local retail and service businesses, Oakley Eyewear and Panasonic Avionics are both large employers within the city limits. Highly-skilled professions tend to use Lake Forest as a bedroom community and work elsewhere.
Character. Lake Forest is comprised of 15 distinct neighborhoods. The population is predominantly white, upper-middle class, conservative and nominally Christian. The city is still young and its cultural identity is defined by these well-to-do residents. Many live in the foothills and attend Rick Warren’s famous megachurch – Saddleback Church – which is located there. Having been an unincorporated area within Orange County for so long, city residents still rely on the county for many services and amenities.
What Makes Lake Forest Special
ARTS AND CULTURE
Modjeska Playhouse: Small theater featuring quality productions by a local company.
Regal Cinemas Stadium 22: Local multi-screen movie theater in Foothill Ranch.
SHOPPING AND FOOD
Bigshots Billiards Bar & Grill: Local hangout with pool, darts, big screen TV, full bar and food.
Foothill Ranch Towne Center: Large open air plaza with many large retail stores, smaller shops and services, and dining options.
Frisby Cellars Winery: A tasting room for award-winning craft wines from fruit sourced in Paso Robles and Santa Barbara Wine Country and then cellared and bottled in Lake Forest.
Heritage Hill Historical Park and Museum: Several buildings from different historical periods in Orange County relocated to the park and appropriately furnished. Free guided tours explain the history and special holiday events recreate times past.
SPORTS, RECREATION, OUT-OF-DOORS
Artemis Defense Institute: Advanced simulator firearms training available to civilians in a former law enforcement training facility.
etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest: A free public skateboarding facility for community residents, open to others for a small fee. This park offers a variety of lessons and classes for skaters plus camps and campouts, movie screenings and film camps, and charitable events.
Lake Forest Sports Park and Recreation Center: An indoor center opened in 2014 across from Saddlebrook Church, housing activities rooms and a gymnasium where many indoor education and recreation programs are run. Outdoors there are 2 playgrounds, 2 basketball courts, 5 soccer fields, 5 baseball/softball diamonds and numerous trails.
Serrano Creek Community Park: Eucalyptus park with lots of seating areas and walking trails.
Serrano Creek Ranch Equestrian Center: A boarding stable for horse owners, with access to nearby forest and wilderness riding trails.
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