Corvallis’ Vision 20/20 statement (1997) calls for “a vibrant economy that is anchored by key strategic industries and complemented by a wealth of diverse, environmentally-friendly businesses.” While a key indicator, the city’s unemployment rate, remains among the lowest in Oregon, the employment mix has changed dramatically over the last decade. Manufacturing accounts for less than half the jobs in March 2014 (2,980) that it did in 2002 (6,010), according to the Oregon Employment Department. Moreover, total private sector jobs have slightly declined over that period. Growth in the public sector, principally at Oregon State University, has resulted in about 5 percent more total jobs in 2014 than in 2010.
Although the City of Corvallis has established an Economic Development office, there may be other steps we can take to achieve a nearly 20-year-old economic vision. What are the persistent challenges facing Corvallis in creating a “vibrant economy anchored by key strategic industries”? Is the city business friendly? Through its policies and practices, how can it nurture and retain new businesses and foster the success of those already located here? What are the major challenges and how should we address them?
The City Club meets in the Les Schwab Gym at the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle. The meeting will begin at 12 noon, and doors will open at 11:30. As always, attendance is free. Lunch is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. To register, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "City Club June 9" in the subject line by June 6. Please indicate if you are having lunch.