Friday, July 15, 2022
News & Notes
Committees to hear about UGB land swap
   The WEA Land Use & Housing and the Government Relations committees will host a meeting on Wednesday (July 20) to look at a joint effort between the City of Tigard and Metro.
   In what is said to be a novel approach, the two entities are working on an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) land exchange. 
   Tigard wants to bring land inside the UGB near its River Terrace neighborhood that is currently in the Urban Reserves.
   In exchange, Metro is considering removing land in another area that is inside the UGB, but has so many challenges, it is unlikely to be developed anytime soon.
   This project will accommodate Tigard’s growth aspirations for both job and population growth - including middle housing. 
   All WEA members are welcome to attend the meeting at the Beaverton City Council Chambers at 12pm on Wednesday, but an RSVP is required.
   Please contact KC Reinhart to reserve a spot.
   Photo credit: Metro
Wilsonville manufacturer expands to Sherwood
   DWFritz Automation is expanding its operations to an 80,000 square-foot space in Sherwood. 
   The company, headquartered in Wilsonville, is a global provider of high-precision automation solutions for advanced, high-volume manufacturing. 
  CEO Mike Fritz said in a statement, "This new space, designed specifically to increase our operational efficiency, will enable our team to collaborate in new ways so we can continue developing brilliant solutions for our clients."
   In an email, Sherwood Economic Development Manager Bruce Coleman said, "This helps us to achieve our objectives of promoting global tech investment in Sherwood’s local economy. This is particularly exciting because they join Lam Research and NSI/Nuance Systems which also recently chose to locate in Sherwood – helping to cement our position as a community that welcomes technology/advanced manufacturing firms."
  Coleman also said the new Schnitzer Properties’ Sherwood Commerce Center is underway in the Tonquin Employment Area, and there are future plans for more tech park development.
   Photo credit: Trammell Crow
Washington County invests ARPA funds in workforce development
   In partnership with nine community based organizations, Washington County is moving to advance services, trainings, and educational opportunities for local workers.
   The investments being made are possible thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
   With these dollars, Washington County is focused on serving hundreds of local workers over the next two years. 
   “Partnerships like these are extremely important as we continue to promote our commitment for an equitable economic recovery for our community members,” said Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, who is also a WEA Board member. “We have to make sure we have a strong foundation and continue to explore community engagement so that we can meet community needs.” 
Oregon's economy scores big when it comes to the sports industry
   Portland Business Alliance, Greater Portland Inc, Oregon Business & Industry, Port of Portland, the Washington County Chamber, and others have partnered on a study about the impact of sports on Oregon's economy -“Oregon: The State of Sport.” 
   This is an economic study focused on Oregon’s competitive advantage when it comes to the athletic, outdoor, team, and recreation industry.

Highlights from the study show:

  • This economic ecosystem of athletic, outdoor, team, and recreation supports $29 billion per year in economic output - both direct and spinoff economic impacts.

  • The study area shows Oregon is home to 51,000 jobs and 3,100 businesses in the Athletic, Outdoor, Team and Recreation Ecosystem. 

  • For every job in this ecosystem, an additional 1.55 jobs are created in the economy, supporting a total of 130,000 jobs, or 9% of jobs in the Portland region. 

  • Between 2010 and 2019, this ecosystem grew by 56% in the Portland region - showing it was growing more rapidly than the region’s economy as a whole.

  • A lot of this ecosystem includes small businesses and entrepreneurs with 83% of related businesses in the Portland area consisting of 20 employees or less.
  • Education programs across the state help to support the talent pipeline in this industry.

  “For the last 30 years, the Greater Portland market has been the top choice for apparel and outdoor companies serious about growth and innovation,” President and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. Monique Claiborne said, “If we want to continue to be on top, we must invest in this Ecosystem. This report shows us what we have to gain: more jobs and dollars for our local economies. I look forward to working with both public and private sector leaders to create more opportunities for this industry.”
Economist are on recession watch
   Oregon's state economists tend to be a positive group, talking about growth and a booming economy, but Economist Josh Lehner is starting to use the "R" word.
   That pesky inflation thing seems to be the kryptonite of what has been an economic boom.
   Lehner said in his blog this week, "The challenge is right now we have slowing economic growth combined with high inflation and rising interest rates. This creates dynamics that can lead to a recession, especially if the Federal Reserve has to continue to raise rates to head off inflation even if the economy weakens further. Given the Fed has met the employment side of its dual mandate, their entire focus is on inflation. They are actively communicating that they are willing to induce a recession if needed to ensure inflation comes down."
   The state economists are saying we are not currently in a recession, but as they look at the tea leaves of economic indicators, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis is now on "Recession Watch" - a new monthly report to determine if the economy has crossed over to a recession.
Odds & Ends
  • Washington County is hosting an online open house focused on the next round of MSTIP (Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program) funding. Learn what projects are being considered and weigh in on which ones you think are priority by visiting the online open house.

  • Sherwood is working with its Chamber of Commerce on a series of classes for business entrepreneurs. Applications are due Monday (July 18) for classes starting July 25. For more information, email Renee Brouse.

  • Time Magazine has named Portland one of the "World's Greatest Places 2022." The area is being recognized for its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to planet Earth, among other things.

  • Congratulations to those involved in the development of The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts (“The Reser”) and the adjacent Beaverton Central public parking garage. These have been awarded Gold LEED certification - an award earned for the use of environmental design and construction principles during development.

Events coming up
Wed. 7/20 at 12:00 p.m. The WEA Land Use & Housing Committee and the Government Relations Committee will meet in the Beaverton City Council Chambers. All members are welcome for this BYOL (bring your own lunch) event, but an RSVP is required. To RSVP, contact KC Reinhart.

Mon. 7/25 The Westside Golf Scramble tees off in the afternoon at Langdon Farms Golf Club. Raffle tickets, team string, and tee signs are available. For more information, click here.

Wed. 7/27 at 7:30 a.m. The WEA Board of Directors will meet.

Wed. 8/10 at 7:30 a.m. The WEA Transportation Committee will meet.