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|Archives - February 2009|
|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.
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?
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.
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.
Monday, October 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Oregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
BY DIANE BUISMAN
Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.
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Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
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Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
Barran Liebman’s annual employment law seminar is an industry classic.
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More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.