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|Articles - April 2012|
|Thursday, March 22, 2012|
Page 1 of 3
BY LINDA BAKER
Fueled by the twin public and private sector engines — Oregon State University and Hewlett-Packard — Corvallis has been in a golden economic spot for most of the past three decades. But in recent years, the recession, coupled with steady job cuts at HP’s local campus, has tarnished a city ranked as the most innovative in the country. Today, Corvallis suffers from stagnant wage and job growth, a lack of economic diversity and a steep decline in the manufacturing sector, according to an economic development report released in late 2011.
“We were in a very privileged situation and frankly didn’t have to try very hard,” says Elizabeth French, a vice president at engineering and construction firm CH2M HILL and chair of the Corvallis Economic Development Commission, a 9-member committee formed last year to address the city’s economic challenges. “We had HP here, a stable employer with great benefits that employed thousands of people. But we put too many eggs in one basket.”
To help diversify the local economy, the city council in January approved an ambitious economic development plan that would make business a priority of city government. That plan is not the only significant new initiative adopted by the city over the past year. Last summer, the council also signed a memorandum of understanding with OSU — the first in city history — aimed at addressing short- and long-term issues triggered by growth at the university, where enrollment has increased from about 19,300 in 2006 to 25,000 today.
Collectively, these efforts underscore a few of the fiscal and livability challenges facing Corvallis, as well as the potential for the city to capitalize on its assets to resolve those challenges.
Blessed with riverfront parks, a popular library and a relatively healthy downtown, Corvallis also has one of the state’s lowest unemployment rates — 6% — and one of the highest percentages of PhDs in the workforce of any U.S. metro area. Despite these strengths, some key economic indicators are lagging. At its peak, Hewlett-Packard employed 7,000 workers; that number has now fallen to about 2,200. Corvallis ranked 310 out of 365 metropolitan statistical areas in percent of income growth between 2009 and 2010. Public school enrollment is declining and only two major employers are growing: OSU and Good Sam Medical Center, which employs about 1,700 people.
Friday, November 14, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?
Monday, September 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.
Friday, October 24, 2014
A majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
BY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
Businesses spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence political decision makers by piling money into campaigns.
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