The second meeting of the comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) update process was held on Wednesday, April 28th. This meeting took a deep dive into the demographics and data for the region’s five counties: Skamania and Klickitat in Washington, and Sherman, Wasco, and Hood River in Oregon. The meeting opened with a presentation by County Comissioner Scott Hege, who gave an overview of Wasco County, with a focus on its history, industry importance, as well as the challenges and opportunities that exist for the area. To get a better sense of the region’s trajectory, the meeting featured presentations by local Oregon and Washington economists, Dallas Fridley and Scott Bailey, who shared current trends, changes in growth over time, and economic forecasts. Following these presentations, attendees gathered in small groups to discuss their reactions to the data presented, as well as areas they would like to see the region address over the next five years. A summary of these conversations, along with guest presentations, can be found below.
The data and thoughts shared by stakeholders across the five counties during this session will help to guide the priorities for the economic strategy update, which will support a prosperous economy and a more resilient region. We appreciate your participation in this process and look forward to seeing you at the May 26th CEDS meeting where we will discuss the industry clusters in the Gorge, with presentations from the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy, Research, and Engagement. If you would like to register for the upcoming sessions, please click here: https://forms.gle/GkYVrz8JQHb6Xf4U7
April 28th Presentations:
Information gathered at the monthly events will be pulled together with secondary research to develop the final plan, the Mid-Columbia Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2022-2027.