SOREDI Seeks Community Input for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

SOREDI is mid-way in its discovery and research phase to update its 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Southern Oregon. The community is invited to provide insights in a brief survey, accessible through the SOREDI website:

In April, SOREDI hired Austin-based TIP Strategies, Inc. to create a robust and comprehensive plan for economic development strategies and initiatives in the region, the likes of which has not been done in well over 2 decades.

Over 30 private and public sector partners invested in the initial work which includes 3 phases – Discovery, Opportunity, and Implementation. The 2020-2025 CEDS is expected to be complete in October and will be rolled out in mid-November and again on January 30 2020 at SOREDI’s annual Southern Oregon Business Conference.

According to community and business leaders, it is time to become more cohesive as a region and assure that the work of multiple agencies, chambers, industries, and others is rooted in the same overall game plan for the region. Southern Oregon’s growth demands a sustainable regional strategy that is vibrant, focused on balanced growth, and compatible with all 15 jurisdictions in the region.

Former President and CEO for Asante Health System, Roy Vinyard states “It is critically important that we undertake a strategic look and develop a plan for what we envision our community to be in the coming decades.  This process, including input from the community, is a vital part of developing an economic growth strategy and plan for the future.”

Steve Roe, General Manager of Grants Pass based Roe Motors, adds “this updated plan will be the foundation for all of us to work together to maximize our many opportunities. Gathering diverse community input is vital for a well-developed strategic plan that can be communicated to each stakeholder. This plan will be important for all industry and community sectors in the years ahead to fully utilize our talented workforce.”

Following their own strategic planning process, Southern Oregon University President Dr. Linda Schott notes “I couldn’t be more enthusiastic in my support. The process will be revealing and the outcome will enable the region to move confidently forward.”

Steve Lightman, President of Harry & David states “SOREDI has been a vital asset to the Rogue Valley for decades, helping businesses prosper and advance economic opportunities in the area. As the organization works to update its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), it is important for the community to have a voice in shaping the future economic vitality of the region. I encourage everyone to share their opinion in this survey and let their voice be heard as we continue to work toward making Southern Oregon one the most business-friendly regions on the west coast.”

Since April SOREDI has assisted in the facilitation of over 30 focus groups, nearly 15 one-one-one interviews with key business and community leaders, 3 steering committee meetings, and visits to all 15 jurisdictions with our consultants. In addition, attendees at SOREDI’s 32nd Annual Meeting on June 27 were invited to participate in a Mentimeter survey coordinated by TIP Strategies (Jeff Marcell pictured).

SOREDI’s Executive Director Colleen Padilla summarizes that “SOREDI is the regional champion for the economy and we are serious about thoughtful business development.  As the discovery phase wraps up, we want to give every citizen the opportunity to provide input – this is our collective plan.”

The survey will be open to citizens of Southern Oregon for two weeks, via the SOREDI website, beginning Friday, August 9 and ending Friday, August 23.  Input received will be considered as TIP Strategies, SOREDI, and its regional advisory committee enter into the opportunity phase.

About SOREDI: SOREDI is a private, membership-based, non-profit organization, governed by a board of directors. Its eight-person staff is charged with local business expansion and new business recruitment efforts, financial assistance to start-up companies through its business loan fund, and management of Enterprise Zones in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The agency was formed as a regional economic development agency in 1987. Learn more at

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