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Economic Development Strategy for Wilsonville, Oregon

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ECONorthwest developed an economic development strategy to help Wilsonville guide its investments and policies.

The Challenge:

The City of Wilsonville, Oregon has been an attractive place to do business for decades, which has afforded its residents abundant opportunities for economic growth and development. Yet, last year, the City’s attempts to recruit SoloPower, a California-based company looking for a home for its $340 million solar plant, created controversy within the community. The situation helped City staff to realize their community needed a framework for economic development policies. The City contracted with ECONorthwest to facilitate the development of an Economic Development Strategy.

The Results:

ECONorthwest and the City of Wilsonville understood that the success of the economic development strategy would depend on the quality of their collaboration with the community’s various members. So ECONorthwest and Wilsonville focused on providing multiple opportunities for public participation in the project. An Advisory Committee of residents, business owners, and other community members guided the development of the strategy. ECONorthwest also sought input through interviews with key business leaders, focus groups with more than forty community members, an Economic Summit attended by more than 50 community members, and community surveys. ECONorthwest incorporated this input into the Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the final vision, goals, and recommended actions align with the community's priorities.

The resulting Economic Development Strategy outlined Wilsonville's vision for economic development and proposes an action plan for moving forward. The Strategy will guide the City’s future policy decisions about economic development, including public investments and potential changes to business regulations.

The Strategy recommends twelve actions for Wilsonville that fall under these six categories:

  • Agreeing on an amount, type, location and pattern of development
  • Safeguarding the supply of land and buildings
  • Ensuring adequate transportation and other infrastructure
  • Building relationships to enhance workforce development
  • Maintaining and improving quality of life and public service
  • Clarifying business communication and services

Wilsonville City Council unanimously adopted the Economic Development Strategy on August 20, 2012. The Council also directed the City Manager to continue the effort by appointing a task force to review and make recommendations on issues related to business recruitment and financial incentives.

In the Press:

Wilsonville City Council adopts economic development strategy
The Oregonian. August 21, 2012. Rachel Stark.

Wilsonville comes closer to adopting first economic development strategy
The Oregonian. August 6, 2012. Rachel Stark.

Wilsonville begins developing economic strategy, with focus groups meeting tomorrow
The Oregonian. April 10, 2012. Rachel Stark.

Interested in learning more about how ECONorthwest can help you with your next project? Our toolbox is full and our staff enjoy meeting new challenges.

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