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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.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
This year has been so dry we were caught napping when it finally started to sprinkle. Hopefully you didn’t get caught in a downpour while eagerly awaiting — don’t deny it — our curation of Oregon-grown wet weather wear.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released a report on the vitality of rural Oregon this week. Media reports focused on the number of Californians moving to the "Timber Belt," but the document contained other interesting insights regarding regional challenges and successes.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | ART DIRECTOR
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