Calipatria is a community with an affordable stable labor force. Government entities and agricultural industries account for well over half of the total jobs in the area. Employment is also found in geothermal operations and less common agricultural ventures such as aqua culture. Areas of job growth are expected in: cattle feeding, aqua culture, agriculture services, small scale food processing, geothermal power production and prison employment.
The city is adjacent to a surprising array of recreational activities. Anza Borrego State park is nearby and offers opportunities for sightseeing, hiking and camping. Weist and Ramer lakes have room for swimming, jet skiing and boating. Mexicali offers south of the border experiences. Plus, the Colorado River is nearby for boating, swimming and fishing.
The site that brings thousands of visitors, from all over the country, annually is the Salton Sea and its bird sanctuaries. The Imperial Valley is located on one of the most important flyway corridors for migrant waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds. Thousands of birds spend the winter at the Salton Sea Nation Wildlife Refuge. Bird watching and sightseeing are very popular at various park sites along southern and eastern beaches of the sea.
Also bringing economic power and growth to Calipatria is the new state prison. It is a maximum security unit, opened in 1992. Located on 300 acres northeast of town, the prison houses about 4,000 inmates and employs nearly 1,000 workers. Its operating annual budget is nearly $70 million.