Current Projects


  • Oregon Economic Development District listserv
  • Mid Columbia Workforce and Economic Development Partners listserv

Economic Development Needs Assessment. This report presents the results of a statewide economic development needs assessment of Oregon communities. The primary objective of the needs assessment was to better understand economic development professional’s perceptions of the following: key assets and barriers to local economic development, the relative emphasis and perceived effectiveness of economic development strategies, the extent and impact of organizational coordination, and technical assistance needs.

Bioenergy Facility Permitting Guide. This guide focuses on the siting and permitting elements of bioenergy facilities. The guide focuses on the range of permits required (which range from solid waste, to air quality, to land use and many others) to obtain approval for bioenergy facilities. The guide is targeted at local governments and entrepreneurs that are exploring the feasibility of developing bioenergy facilities.

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The Cow Creek Tribe has a broad range of successful business enterprises, and is in the process of establishing a business incubator in Roseburg. Despite the considerable success of the Tribe’s casino, lodging, truck stop, communications network, and other business enterprises, the Tribe has never prepared a formal economic development strategy. This CEDS represents the Cow Creek Tribe’s first effort to systematically plan for their economic future. Working closely with a tribal steering committee, the CPW team will lead the planning process.

The work for this project can be characterized in two ways. First, the team will lead the steering committee through a strategic planning process that involves collecting and analyzing community input. Second, the team will conduct an economic profile, analyzing data from the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other sources. Together, these two elements form the basis for the CEDS document that will reflect the Tribe’s vision and plan for future economic development.

Latino/a Owned Small Businesses and the Revitalization of Main Street. This project will help the City of Woodburn better understand the challenges that Latino/a small businesses face, provide strategies for planners and economic development coordinators to assist these businesses, and better understand how these businesses act as anchors and placemaking agents in the community.

Economic Impacts of the Solid Waste System in Eugene, Oregon. We have been assisting the City of Eugene with elements of a review of the city’s solid waste management plan and policies for the past two years. In 2011, we conducted research related to developing strategies to increase markets for reuse of construction and demolition (C&D) materials. The city is using the results of this work to refine strategies related to C&D recycling and to work with local contractors to seek approaches to divert more material from local landfills and find economic value in those materials.

In 2012, we will work with the city as well as faculty and students in the UO Economics Department to conduct an assessment of the economic impacts of the solid waste system in Eugene.

Ski Oregon: Skier Profile and Economic Impact Analysis. Working with Ski Oregon ( and Travel Oregon, we will evaluate the economic impacts of the Oregon ski industry. The project will include a survey of visitors to all 13 Oregon ski areas during the 2011-12 ski season. The survey will provide Ski Oregon, as well as individual ski areas, with advanced marketing data that will be used to better serve visitors and market the industry.

Hood River Valley Parks Master Plan. We updated the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District’s Parks Master Plan in 2011. The project included a comprehensive community needs assessment, a park and facility inventory, and concept designs for Barrett Park—a recently acquired 30-acre parcel. We also coordinated a meeting with other local recreation providers: Hood River County, the Port of Hood River, and the City of Hood River. All of these organizations, and the District, have responsibility for providing recreation facilities in the region. The meeting helped the organizations coordinate their efforts.

Drive Oregon EV Initiative.  We supported Arcimoto and others in the EV industry in their proposal to Oregon Inc. to fund the Drive Oregon initiative. While no specific role for the EDC is yet identified, we intend to continue our efforts around EVs as part of this initiative. We are also part of a Team that includes OSU and PSU that received funding from the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to research electric Vehicles.

Eugene Water and Electric Board “Smart Meter” Pilot Program Evaluation. The Eugene Water and Electric Board voted to complete a full conversion to smart meters in 2013. In preparation of that $29 million conversion, the utility is conducting a pilot program to test the equipment and monitor how EWEB customers use the technology. We are assisting EWEB with an evaluation of the pilot program. Work began on the project in Fall 2011 and will be completed in September 2012. The project is funded through EWEB.

Support for food systems projects.  We provided advice to three organizations (Multnomah County, Ten Rivers Food Web, and Willamette Food and Farms Coalition) in the preparation of grant applications to the Meyer Memorial Foundation for planning activities related to the development of local food systems. All of the projects have an economic development emphasis. Multnomah County and Willamette Food and Farms Coalition were both successful in their grant applications. We will be assisting the Willamette Food and Farms Coalition with their grant activities over the coming months.

Research project on succession planning and go-to-market strategies for small farmers producing food for local markets. We completed a directed research study aimed at understanding challenges and opportunities to help small farmers producing food for direct sale into local markets. The research characterized how farmers establish their market strategies, pricing and customer relationships, and sought to gain insights into how small farmers approach questions of growth and succession upon retirement.

RARE Projects. The Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) is sponsored in part by AmeriCorps and places students in rural communities for a year of service. RARE currently has 18 placements that are addressing economic development at the local or regional level. These placements include:

  • Energy Related:
    • Lake County Resources Initiative
    • Oregon Rural Action
  • Food Systems:
    • Ten Rivers Food Web
    • Columbia Pacific Food Bank
    • Northeast Oregon Economic Development District
    • Port Orford Ocean Resource Team – Seafood Community
    • Josephine County Food Bank
    • FOOD for Lane County
  • Main Street/Downtown Development:
    • NEDCO (Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation)
    • City of La Grande/La Grande Main Street
    • Astoria Downtown Historic District Association (ADHDA)
    • City of Toledo
    • City of Canby
  • General Economic Development:
    • City of Creswell
    • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District
    • Port of St. Helens
    • Port of Cascade Locks
    • Port of The Dalles