ENTERPRISE — The Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce has received a $3,600 grant from Travel Oregon to help review personnel and compliance policies and finish work on an updated employee handbook.
Travel Oregon — the unofficial name of the Oregon Tourism Commission — is a semi-independent state agency whose mission is to inspire travel to the state.
The grant, announced Wednesday, Feb. 1, was part of more than $1.4 million in money distributed to 45 entities throughout the state to increase organizational capacity or boost tourism efforts.
Jennifer Piper, executive director of the chamber, said the grant will allow it to work with a professional organization, Cascade Employers, a human-resources consulting firm in Salem, to develop the handbook.
“This is a unique grant,” she said. “It was a special round (of funding) Travel Oregon did, that specifically focused on funding small destination organizations or regional destination organizations.”
Work on the handbook “is a fairly small project for us, but it is just a great thing to receive.”
Other Eastern Oregon organizations receiving grants include:
• Ontario Chamber of Commerce ($17,000) for professional development of Malheur County tourism stakeholders to attend the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism and to convene countywide tourism planning workshops to develop a shared understanding and vision for tourism in the region.
• Burns Paiute Tribe ($50,000) to hire a marketing consultant to create a strategic marketing plan around the destination’s assets and to support staff capacity for the tribe to focus on tourism efforts.
• Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and Travel Pendleton ($12,000) to support a shoulder season (winter) marketing campaign targeted at the Portland area.
• Eastern Oregon Visitors Association ($48,406) for professional development to support staff participation in the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy and in Cornell’s Sustainable Tourism Development Management Online course.
• Harney County Chamber of Commerce ($10,025) for tourism leadership professional development training and technical assistance support.
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