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Business Oregon
Nathan Buehler
Marketing Mgr
Email; 503-689-3559

October 27, 2017 Media Contact
Nathan Buehler 503-689-3559

Business Oregon Bolsters its Eastern Oregon Team this Week, Bringing in Diverse Group to Work from the Region

Business Oregon director Chris Harder and a team from the agency worked out of Eastern Oregon this week, with a goal of strengthening regional economic development.

"We have great regional staff serving Eastern Oregon, but we also wanted to bring agency leadership and program experts to build relationships, move projects forward, and have a better understanding for how we can be a state partner for local economic development," said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon.

The team is talking with local main street businesses; meeting with regional manufacturers and food processors; advancing business and infrastructure projects; and meeting with economic development officials, elected leaders, and partners to better understand regional opportunities and needs.

Part of the conversation has been sharing the progress of Business Oregon's new strategic plan, which focuses on 5 core priorities: innovate Oregon's economy; grow small and middle-market companies; cultivate rural economic stability; advance economic opportunity for underrepresented people; ensure an inclusive, transparent, and healthy agency. The agency's strategic plan compliments a reorganization that Business Oregon implemented in the fall to strengthen its presence in 12 established regions across the state.

The agency also wants to make sure partners understand the full breadth of services Business Oregon provides and ways to help local communities and industries.

Some of the businesses and organizations Business Oregon engaged with include:

Behlen Country
Metals manufacturer in Baker City, strong employer and community partner. Engaged with Baker Technical Institute for workforce training and internship opportunities.

Baker Technical Institute
Unique resource serving high school students exploring new options, graduates seeking the skills needed to enter the workforce, and adults wishing to improve their career in Baker City.

Crossroads Carnegie Cultural Center
Multi-faceted arts and culture center in an incredible restored historic building in downtown Baker City. Also supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust and Arts Commission.

Hatch Baker
Entrepreneurship center and co-working space in downtown Baker City launched with Business Oregon's Rural Opportunities Initiative.

Snake River Produce
Onion grower, packer, and distributor in Ontario, Oregon. Business Oregon assisted with construction of a new onion packing and storage facility after severe winter storm damage.

Four Rivers Cultural Center
Largest cultural organization and resource for Malheur County, and supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust and Arts Commission.

Baker Murakami
Baker Murakami Produce is the largest onion packing and shipping business in the Treasure Valley. Like most onion packers in the region, the company was hit hard by snow storms in 2017, but has rebuilt with cutting-edge onion sorting and packing equipment.

Business Oregon, the state's lead economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. Our services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations.