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Guest Column: Your input key to economic development

Lisa Dawson is executive director of NE Oregon Economic Development.

Published on February 20, 2018 2:54PM

The most powerful and successful communities are those whose citizens are engaged in what’s going on around them. Let’s keep building Northeast Oregon’s strength by getting involved in regional economic planning.

Northeast Oregon Economic Development District compiles a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy — affectionately known as the “CEDS” — every five years (with annual updates). 2018 is a CEDS revision year, so the district has been working hard to engage civic leaders in visioning exercises.

Now, it’s your turn. Please join us for a public meeting in Wallowa County and share your opinions via our anonymous survey.

Led by the district, local leaders in business health care, education, natural resources and government have explored their hopes for and concerns about Northeast Oregon’s economy.

A key finding discovered at a discussion in late January was the need for more collaboration across county lines in order to diversify the economy and provide better-paying jobs for the region. The importance of involving people of different backgrounds, cultures and ages in planning for the region’s future was also highlighted.

To gather more perspectives on how best to improve quality of life in Northeast Oregon, the district is hosting several opportunities to participate.

People who enjoy gathering to share food and ideas are invited to attend a forum 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 at Community Connections in Enterprise. Fun and facilitated activities will inform participants about the region’s current economy and gather input on strategies to provide for jobs, education, housing and other essentials needed to support a healthy economy.

Refreshments will be provided. RSVPs are not required but are appreciated so we don’t run out of food. Call 541-426-3598.

People are also invited to complete the Northeast Oregon Strategy Survey, at goo.gl/forms/ZcIABHgHGT2qi1Tk2. Please respond by Mar. 30.

Those of us in government and economic development do not — and don’t want to — work in a vacuum. We need your input. We look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa Dawson is executive director of NE Oregon Economic Development.


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