Mid Columbia Economic Development District strives to promote the creation of family-wage jobs, the diversification of the economic base, and the growth, development and retention of business and industry in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat and Skamania Counties
MCEDD is organized as a government non-profit in Oregon as an ORS-190 and in Washington through RCW 39.34.010.
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June 27, 2022 – Accessible, affordable, and reliable internet is an essential piece of infrastructure for residents, communities, and businesses. To fulfill this goal, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) has been working closely with the Wasco County Broadband Action Team to develop the Mid-Columbia Broadband Speed Survey. The Survey is now open and available for public participation for residents and businesses in Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania Counties in Washington.
Take the Survey Here
Responses to our local regional survey and taking the Washington State Broadband Office Annual Speed Test or Faster Internet Oregon speed test shows what broadband service is available at your home or business. This information will help partners clearly identify gaps in high speed internet services, ensure funding decisions can be made based on accurate service information, and learn more about how our communities and businesses are using broadband today.
“Ensuring we have accurate information on who has true broadband internet access today will better enable our local partners to access the significant state and federal funding becoming available over the next several years to help close the broadband gaps in our region,” says MCEDD Deputy Director of Economic Development Carrie Pipinich.
Local and regional partners are coming together through broadband action teams made up of community organizations, local governments, elected officials, and internet service providers to better define gaps in broadband service and explore strategies to improve those services.
“Much like rural electrification in the 1930s, we are today beginning a ‘rural broadbandification’ in the United States,” said Lee Weinstein, president of Q-Life. “We ask for everyone’s help in completing this easy speed test. We need to understand more about the service challenges in the five-county area so the Columbia Gorge area can be ready to pursue state and federal grant monies that are coming available. Please help us and complete the survey!”
Currently, the Federal Communications Commission defines broadband internet as a minimum of 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. However, the State of Washington has defined a goal of 150Mbps download and upload speeds available to all residents and businesses by 2028. Because of the significant impacts that quality, affordable broadband can have on access to education, health care, and the local economy, Q-Life Network (which serves The Dalles and Wasco County) has defined a similar goal for services in Wasco County in its most recent strategic plan.
Please take the survey here: https://bit.ly/Speed-Survey
If you have any questions regarding the Broadband Speed Survey, please contact Natasha
Blaircobb at Natasha@mcedd.org.
April 7, 2022 – Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) is pleased to announce the release of the final 2022-2027 Columbia Gorge Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The strategy was adopted by MCEDD’s Board of Directors at their March 17, 2022 meeting, and covers the District’s region that includes Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania Counties in Washington.
Developed by the region’s stakeholders every five years, the CEDS serves as a guide to understanding the regional economy. The document’s goals, strategies and actions are intended to create jobs, raise income levels, diversify the economy, and improve the quality of life.
The draft strategy was developed over seven monthly meetings in 2021 with more than 100 participants throughout the series. Participants included local and tribal governments, regional partners, ports, chambers, legislators, state and federal partners, businesses and individuals. The strategy also incorporates economic data and additional feedback from online surveys and focus groups held with our Latinx and Native American communities. The final strategy incorporated comments received during the public comment period. Throughout the process, conversations explored the themes of resilience and equitable outcomes. A prioritized list of key infrastructure projects in the region is also included.
The complete strategy can be found at www.gorgeeconomy.org. The document’s graphic design work improves its look, accessibility and usefulness. Shorter summary versions are available in both English and Spanish, designated by the icons at the bottom of the webpage.
The plan was compiled by MCEDD and follows the guidelines required by the US Economic Development Administration. MCEDD has been developing and implementing a regional economic development strategy since its formation in 1969 in order to meet its mission to promote the creation of family-wage jobs, the diversification of the economic base, and the growth, development and retention of business and industry within the five-county district. MCEDD will coordinate the implementation of this strategy in partnership with local stakeholders over the next five years.
Contact Jessica Metta with questions or to request a hardcopy at 541-296-2266 x1001 or email@example.com.