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PORTLAND-Portland-area cities, counties, utilities and public and private economic development organizations have formalized a working partnership with the formation of a new nonprofit agency, Regional Economic Development Partners. The Portland Development Commission, the city’s urban renewal agency, will serve as administrative agent for the organization.

The nonprofit, which will use the name “Portland Regional Partners for Business” on their Web site and other marketing materials, will collaborate on regional economic development activities, including: the recruitment, expansion and retention of businesses; marketing the region; industry sector and firm-specific marketing and outreach; and the development of regional economic development policy and strategies for implementation by member agencies.

“The Partners will be champions for a regional economic strategy that will help us achieve our collective goals for jobs creation and investment,” says Marty Harris, PDC economic development director. Confirmed members include: the cities of Beaverton, Fairview, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard and Tualatin; Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties; the regional government Metro, Columbia River Economic Development Corp., Oregon Economic and Community Development Commission, PacifiCorp, Port of Portland, Portland Ambassadors, Portland Business Alliance, Portland Development Commission, Portland General Electric, Westside Economic Alliance, and Worksystems Inc.

The group is currently developing specific work plans around four existing and emerging industry clusters: silicon (semiconductors & photovoltaic); micro to nano technologies; cyber-security; and metals & transportation equipment. The nonprofit’s land-use subcommittee also is working with Metro on land use processes relative to the development of industrial areas. The nonprofit also is centering activity on a focused private sector-led marketing campaign to strategically promote the Portland region as a desirable location for business and investment; and involving key public and private sector organizations to agree to implement specific strategies identified among the shared economic priorities.

Doug Rux, City of Tualatin, serves as chair of the Partners Executive Committee; Scenna Shipley of the Portland Business Alliance is vice-chair. The nonprofit’s Web site is still under construction. For more information about the nonprofit, contact Marty Harris or Mike Ogan at PDC, 503-823-3200.

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