Oregonians like to think things look different in their state, with a breathtaking public coastline, majestic mountain peaks and world class breweries. The same goes for Oregon's economy with a diverse manufacturing base and significant growth in high-tech hardware, software development, food processing and outdoor gear. In other words, we still make things here in Oregon. And far more than double lattes and pale ales.
Oregonians manufacture silicon chips with a vibrant high-tech industry anchored by Intel's largest facility in the world. Oregon is a leader in food processing with literally tons of local berries, hazelnuts and wheat turned into countless products by ConAgra, Amy's Kitchen, Diamond Foods and hundreds of other food processing firms and shipped all across the globe. A fast-growing aerospace and Unmanned Aerial Systems industry also is rising up, with leaders such as Precision Castparts, Boeing and Cloudcap Technologies leading the way.
But while we are confident our business cost structures are very competitive, we tend to find that such assets as Pacific Rim access, quality workforce and enviable quality of life often make the difference. While costs are competitive, it's quality that wins in the end.
It may be a data center that needs dependable, affordable power in a low-humidity environment with a property tax abatement and attraction of no sales tax for the tens of millions of dollars' worth of equipment they plan to purchase. That was what helped seal the deal for Facebook's first company-built data centers now located in Central Oregon as well as Google, Amazon and Apple, all of which have major data centers here in Oregon.
It might be an outdoor gear firm that wants to attract designers to a diverse urban environment with access to the beach, the mountains and the high desert within a couple hours' drive. That is why such firms as Keen, Dakine, Ruffwear and LaCrosse-Danner call Oregon home.
Or cutting-edge software firms like Salesforce.com, ebay, Urban Airship, Jama and Aruba Networks expanding in Portland due to a critical mass of talented programmers, designers and suppliers paired with a compelling quality of life delivered at a much lower cost than competing metro locations outside Oregon.