Join Us to Update the Regional Economic Development Strategy
The community is invited to participate as partners begin the regular updating of the Regional Economic Development Strategy for the Columbia River Gorge. Led by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), the strategy will outline a five-year plan for the regional economic development covering Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties in Oregon and Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington. This strategy is updated every five years and serves as a guide to understand the local economy, strengthen partnerships, and improve overall quality of life.
Monthly meetings started in March to bring together participants from around the region to identify economic development strategies based on current trends and areas best suited for growth to sustain and diversify the region’s economy, reduce unemployment and create family wage jobs. Information gathered at the monthly events will be pulled together with data and research to develop the final plan, the Mid-Columbia Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2022-2027. MCEDD coordinates implementation of the regional strategy in partnership with local stakeholders. In total, there will be seven sessions to develop a draft plan, with a specific focus on equitable outcomes and resilience. These sessions will be public, and attendance is encouraged across the five-county region.
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.
The schedule is as follows, with sessions beginning promptly at 8:30 AM:
- March 31, 2021: Economic Impacts of COVID-19, Resiliency: Present assessment of economic impacts of COVID-19 and set resiliency tone. View details from this meeting here.
- April 28, 2021: Demographics and Data: More overarching economic data looking at longer-term trends to help us plan for the future. View details from this meeting here
- May 26, 2021: Sector Focus Areas, including more in-depth industry cluster analysis and discussion of sector resilience. View details from this meeting here
- June 30, 2021: Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. View details from this meeting here
- July 28, 2021: Vision and Goals
- September 1, 2021: Strategies (Tentative: Cascade Locks Pavilion!)
- October 7, 2021: Measuring Success, and Implementation (Tentative: Hegewald Center in Stevenson!)
- November 5, 2021: Annual Gorge Economic Symposium, with draft presented.
Participate in the CEDS Sessions: Please click here to register for one or all of the sessions listed above: https://forms.gle/LAhMhkx2bRz6ZrVS9
Other Opportunities to Get Involved
Participate in the Annual Economic Symposium. Details on the 2020 Symposium are posted here: https://www.mcedd.org/symposium/.
Make a Commitment. A regional economic development strategy and the action plans contained within the strategy are only effective if we are acting in harmony. We ask that you commit to supporting this plan and the top five goal areas.
Join a Work Group or Participate in the Steering Committee. Contact MCEDD at 541-296-2266.