Regional Economic Development Strategy Draft Issued for Public Comment

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The public is invited to review and comment on the draft 2022-2027 Columbia Gorge Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) covering Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania Counties in Washington. The region develops the CEDS every five years as a guide to understanding the regional economy and crafting goals, strategies and actions to create jobs, raise income levels, diversify the economy, and improve the quality of life. The plan is compiled by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) and follows the guidelines required by the US Economic Development Administration.

The draft strategy was developed over seven monthly meetings in 2021 with more than 100 participants throughout the series, including 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. Throughout the process, conversations explored the themes of resilience and equitable outcomes. The following sections form the foundation of the strategy:

  • Summary of regional economic conditions
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis
  • Action plan
  • Evaluation framework

The final strategy will benefit from graphic design work to improve the look and usability and then be adopted by the MCEDD Board of Directors and submitted to the US Economic Development Administration. MCEDD coordinates implementation of the regional strategy in partnership with local stakeholders.

Comments on any of the content in the plan are invited from the community. The draft plan can be found at www.mcedd.org/strategy/ and hardcopies are available upon request.

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. 

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