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|Sunday, February 01, 2009|
THE CENTRAL QUESTION
What will replace Central Oregon’s collapsed housing-reliant economy? The answer is multifaceted — and hopeful.
BY ABRAHAM HYATT
Welcome to Central Oregon, where the economic news is grim and the bottom is nowhere in sight. It’s no secret why: The one major engine behind the region’s fast-paced growth was the housing boom. When that evaporated, the reverberations slammed through the region, hitting some of the biggest employers, like wood products manufacturing, particularly hard.
“There’s no natural grouping of industries that will propel [a rebound],” he says. “We become too tied up in what specific industries are going to lead us out. What’s more likely is that we’ll bottom out and then our general growth over time will lead us out.”
“They’re going to be small drivers, not like what you see over here in the [Willamette] Valley,” Penwell says. “But these are firms that are still going to be growing from 50 to 150 employees.”
Within the various niche industries, the sporting goods mini cluster — like the high-tech sector — is often mentioned as having a growing role. Jennifer Woods, a senior international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, lists some of the fastest growing: Metolius Mountain Products (rock climbing equipment), Ruff Wear (outdoor gear for dogs), Greatoutdoors.com (online retail), Kialoa Canoe Paddles, and Entre Prises (climbing walls and handholds). Many of them, she says, are finding work on the international market to balance out what’s happening at home.
Economic growth is only possible if there’s a place for businesses to grow or move into. Over the past several years, Redmond has aggressively expanded its urban growth boundary, which has allowed it to respond to the need for manufacturing-ready land far quicker than its neighbors, Jackson says. That expansion process is crucial for cities, he says, because the enterprise zones that are subsequently created are one of the only tools a city has in attracting and keeping businesses. Prineville and Madras are following in the footsteps of Redmond.
Despite public agencies’ efforts to stimulate growth, the overall economic market sometimes dictates success or failure. The best example of why Central Oregon’s economy will be rebuilt by many different industries instead of one major player lies in the aircraft cluster. The sector was once considered an economic rock star, providing thousands of jobs that ranged from manufacturing planes to making safety and utility equipment for helicopters and airplanes.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Floor plans embrace the great wide open.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER
Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.
Friday, May 15, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
How conservation stimulates the local economy.
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Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
Bend energy leader brings passion for efficiency and renewable energy to the nonprofit.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.
Colette Young to lead staff at Southwest Portland branch.