On Thursday, November 14, 2019, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) will roll-out the five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Josephine and Jackson Counties. This strategy aligns with the standards outlined by the US Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) requirements to maintain an Economic Development District (EDD). The CEDS establishes a 25-year vision with region-wide goals and objectives, outlines an implementation plan to achieve specific action items over the next five years, and identifies key metrics to track and report progress.
Funding for the CEDS came from over 31 partners, including a matching grant from the EDA. In addition to the strategic action plan, the CEDS includes an in-depth economic assessment, regional competitiveness analysis of peer communities, target industry analysis, implementation plan, and an executive summary. TIP Strategies was contracted to complete the CEDS in coordination with SOREDI and extensive input from local business and community leaders.
“As community partners, we’re all committed to working together to improve overall economic prosperity for all residents,” said CEDS Committee Chair, Steve Vincent. “This strategic plan represents the culmination of seven months of intensive engagement from business and community leaders, who came together to define the shared priorities and goals for the region.”
Over one hundred local partners representing cities, counties, education, workforce, downtown associations, tourism, nonprofits, chambers and businesses were engaged during a seven-month process to collaborate, create and refine the direction of this work. Additionally, a community survey yielded 340 responses from individuals across Jackson and Josephine Counties to identify economic development priorities and goals for the region. The CEDS is designed to guide the development of work plans and focus the efforts of regional partners around the shared goals and objectives identified plan:
Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley region values their unique communities while uniting to build sustainable economic success for all residents. The region thinks and acts boldly to attract, create and retain businesses and jobs; it supports the development of its citizens; and prioritizes maintaining a healthy environment for families and industry.
The strategic priorities identified through community engagement and data analysis are organized under five key initiatives. These initiatives are as follows:
Initiative 1: Business Development: Ensure thoughtful, sustainable, and equitable economic growth by strategically promoting the region as a destination for business expansion and relocation.
Initiative 2: Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Leverage regional assets to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Southern Oregon.
Initiative 3: Talent: Invest in the ecosystem that attracts, equips, and retains a strong pipeline of talent to meet the long-term needs of current and future employers.
Initiative 4: Tourism: Support the organizations and places that strengthen the tourism and experiential environment in Southern Oregon.
Initiative 5: Placemaking: Nurture an environment that preserves Southern Oregon’s quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors.
Four target industries were determined to have the greatest opportunity for growth in the region, based on industrial and occupational evaluations, as well as industry depth and competitive advantages. Additionally, three industries were identified as “aspirational niches.” Although the region does not currently have a competitive advantage in these three industries, the CEDS includes strategic actions which can be taken to foster the development of these clusters. While economic development partners will continue to work with a wide variety of traded and local sector companies, the following target industries will help focus efforts to strengthen the region’s economy:
Tier 1: Strategic Growth Areas:
• Specialty Agriculture
• Natural Resources
Tier 2: Aspirational Niches
• Advanced Manufacturing
SOREDI will be the lead organization in the CEDS implementation, however a successful plan cannot be executed by a sole entity. Therefore, a CEDS committee comprised of members from each of the five key initiatives will convene on a regular basis to monitor implementation progress and report on key metrics, as well as address roadblocks and make adaptations as needed.
“SOREDI continues to be the regional champion for our economy and we are serious about business development. We are taking concrete steps to be informed learners and leaders, redefine our region as it continually diversifies, and focus on unifying best practices and tactics that lead us to becoming the most business-friendly region on the west coast; we are confident we are on the right track in this robust effort with TIP Strategies.” – Colleen Padilla, SOREDI Executive Director
For a full explanation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, including rationale and tactics, please attend our upcoming Strategic Plan Rollout and Luncheon on Thursday, November 14. Register here. Seating is limited. Please be prompt, as this will be a full two-hour presentation from 11:30 – 1:30. Lunch will be served at 11:00
SOUTHERN OREGON REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INC. (SOREDI) was established in 1987 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the long-term prosperity of Jackson and Josephine Counties. We serve the economic development interests of both private businesses and our 13 incorporated cities including Ashland, Butte Falls, Cave Junction, Central Point, Eagle Point, Gold Hill, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, Medford, Phoenix, Rogue River, Talent, and Shady Cove. SOREDI is also the EDA appointed economic development district for the region and is tasked with creating a 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).