Community Building Block

Economic Development

How do you build living wage jobs and a well-skilled workforce?

Jeff Griffin
Port of Bandon
Community Building Block

Economic Development

How do you build living wage jobs and a well-skilled workforce?

Jeff Griffin Port of Bandon

Encouraging Economic Resilience in Small Communities

While many cities in Oregon have strong, thriving economies, places like Bandon, a south coast town with a population of 3,000, are still recovering from the impact of past recessions and slow decline of the natural resource economy.

This has meant fewer and fewer jobs for the town’s working families, who make up about half of the town’s residents. Bandon faces the challenge of trying to create living-wage employment for working families while ensuring the viability of small businesses subject to the seasonal variations of tourism.

To spark community-driven economic revitalization, the nonprofit Greater Bandon Association (GBA) is focused on strategies to grow business and jobs in Bandon, particularly efforts that impact the downtown business district. GBA is working with community members, the city manager, City Council and the Port of Bandon to improve livability during peak tourism season—including leading several planning sessions that resulted in bringing a trolley to Bandon to reduce summer traffic and alleviate parking congestion.

GBA was also instrumental in creating the “Cycle Stop Rest and Repair Stop,” which provides cyclists with basic necessities for a two-wheeled journey (a public restroom, repair rack, tools and water dispensers). The stop is a remarkable success, receiving the 2014 State of Oregon Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award.

While larger issues of economic vitality remain a heavy lift for GBA, its community-centered approach serves as an important reminder of how local efforts can lead to positive outcomes, providing lasting benefits for all.

Encouraging Economic Resilience in Small Communities

While many cities in Oregon have strong, thriving economies, places like Bandon, a south coast town with a population of 3,000, are still recovering from the impact of past recessions and slow decline of the natural resource economy.

This has meant fewer and fewer jobs for the town’s working families, who make up about half of the town’s residents. Bandon faces the challenge of trying to create living-wage employment for working families while ensuring the viability of small businesses subject to the seasonal variations of tourism.

To spark community-driven economic revitalization, the nonprofit Greater Bandon Association (GBA) is focused on strategies to grow business and jobs in Bandon, particularly efforts that impact the downtown business district. GBA is working with community members, the city manager, City Council and the Port of Bandon to improve livability during peak tourism season—including leading several planning sessions that resulted in bringing a trolley to Bandon to reduce summer traffic and alleviate parking congestion.

GBA was also instrumental in creating the “Cycle Stop Rest and Repair Stop,” which provides cyclists with basic necessities for a two-wheeled journey (a public restroom, repair rack, tools and water dispensers). The stop is a remarkable success, receiving the 2014 State of Oregon Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award.

While larger issues of economic vitality remain a heavy lift for GBA, its community-centered approach serves as an important reminder of how local efforts can lead to positive outcomes, providing lasting benefits for all.

Encouraging Economic Resilience in Small Communities

While many cities in Oregon have strong, thriving economies, places like Bandon, a south coast town with a population of 3,000, are still recovering from the impact of past recessions and slow decline of the natural resource economy.

This has meant fewer and fewer jobs for the town’s working families, who make up about half of the town’s residents. Bandon faces the challenge of trying to create living-wage employment for working families while ensuring the viability of small businesses subject to the seasonal variations of tourism.

To spark community-driven economic revitalization, the nonprofit Greater Bandon Association (GBA) is focused on strategies to grow business and jobs in Bandon, particularly efforts that impact the downtown business district. GBA is working with community members, the city manager, City Council and the Port of Bandon to improve livability during peak tourism season—including leading several planning sessions that resulted in bringing a trolley to Bandon to reduce summer traffic and alleviate parking congestion.

GBA was also instrumental in creating the “Cycle Stop Rest and Repair Stop,” which provides cyclists with basic necessities for a two-wheeled journey (a public restroom, repair rack, tools and water dispensers). The stop is a remarkable success, receiving the 2014 State of Oregon Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award.

While larger issues of economic vitality remain a heavy lift for GBA, its community-centered approach serves as an important reminder of how local efforts can lead to positive outcomes, providing lasting benefits for all.

Get the full report

Tracking Oregon's Progress (TOP) is a joint effort of Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and Oregon State University (OSU) to track Oregon's economic, social and environmental progress. The full 2018 TOP Report includes 'How to Mobilize Communities' and 'Reflections on Community-Driven Solutions.'

Get the full report

Tracking Oregon's Progress (TOP) is a joint effort of Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) and Oregon State University (OSU) to track Oregon's economic, social and environmental progress. The full 2018 TOP Report includes 'How to Mobilize Communities' and 'Reflections on Community-Driven Solutions.'