Through their location in Southern Oregon, Jackson and Josephine Counties have a number of strategic advantages. The area’s natural beauty and unique cultural amenities make it a draw for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. The region is home to a wide array of industries, including many niche and artisanal businesses. While the timber industry continues to be an important sector, area leaders committed to strengthening and diversifying its economic base.
To reach its economic development and prosperity goals, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI) engaged TIP Strategies to prepare a five-year comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS). Named for the river that unites the region, the “One Rogue Valley” plan embodied the vision of a united region that prioritized collaboration. The strategy aligned with the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) requirements to maintain an Economic Development District (EDD). Over the course of six months, the TIP team worked closely with Southern Oregon leaders to identify the region’s opportunities and challenges. In addition to extensive community feedback gathered from 38 roundtables and a community survey that yielded over 340 responses, a full quantitative data analysis was completed on Jackson and Josephine Counties. The CEDS was divided into five key initiatives: business development, innovation and entrepreneurship, talent, tourism, and placemaking. The strategies under business development focus on achieving the region’s goals for ensuring thoughtful, sustainable, and equitable economic growth. The CEDS is designed to be a living, evergreen plan that can adapt and change based on the needs of the community. The One Rogue Valley Coalition, a group of public and private sector leaders who have committed to implementing the CEDS.