Enterprise Magazine Summer 2022

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Economic Development in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley

Summer 2022

SEDCOR Turns 40!

Helping our region’s most unique and innovative industries thrive since 1982.

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Aldrich Advisors................................................................23

Summer 2022 Features 8

On the Shoulders of Giants - SEDCOR Turns 40!

BioAg...................................................................................23 Bank of the Pacific............................................................21 Cascade Collections.........................................................18 Chemeketa Community College...................Back Cover

In this Issue



SEDCOR Board and Staff

Citizens Bank ��������������������������������������������������������������������14


President’s Message by Erik Andersson



City of Salem ���������������������������������������������������������������������26 Coldwell Banker Commercial.........................................14

Quick Hits

Covanta Marion................................................................17

Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium • Project HOME • Garten Services, Inc. Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University • Oregon Agritourism Partnership


New Members Historic Heater Farm • Nathan Good Architects • Sunrise Medical Consultants

12 Interview Rebecca Kaufman of AgLaunch

15 Insights from VanNatta Public Relations From Nostalgia to Optimism - Salem’s Decades of Transformation by Mary Louise VanNatta

16 Insights from Chemeketa Community College How Automation And Mechanization Will Be Incorporated To Help With Workforce Issues by Tim Ray, MS

18 Insights from OMEP Manufacturing Then and Now – Embracing the Change by Jude Gerace

20 Insights from Willamette Workforce Partnership 40 Years of Workforce Development by Gary Mueller

22 County News YAMHILL - Commissioner Casey Kulla MARION - County Comissioners POLK - Commissioner Craig Pope

27 Region of Innovators

Dalke Construction Co. ��������������������������������������������������19 EnergyTrust of Oregon ����������������������������������������������������� 5 Grand Hotel of Salem......................................................21 Green Acres Landscape ��������������������������������������������������10 Huggins Insurance............................................................23 LS Networks.......................................................................17 MAPS Credit Union..........................................................11 Multi/Tech Engineering Services..................................28 Nathan Good Architects................................................... 3 Powell Banz Valuation....................................................... 7 Power Fleet Commercial Sales......................................15 Rich Duncan Construction ��������������������������������������������22 Salem Contractors Exchange.........................................17 Salem Convention Center..................Inside Front Cover Salem Electric....................................................................21 Salem Health......................................................................25 Santiam Hospital.................................. Inisde Back Cover Select Impressions �����������������������������������������������������������27 Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP ��������������������19 SVN Commercial Advisors..............................................25 SwiftCare Medical Clinic.................................................21 White Oak Construction ������������������������������������������������16

Chapul Farms

SEDCOR Enterprise Means More Business Ad info: 541-944-2820 sedcor@mtangelpub.com www.sedcor.com

Mt. Angel Publishing, Inc.

Mt. Angel Publishing is proud to work with SEDCOR to produce Enterprise. To advertise in the next issue, contact Jerry Stevens: 541-944-2820 SEDCOR@mtangelpub.com Enterprise Summer 2022 1

SEDCOR Staff Erik Andersson

Executive Council Chair Michael Fowler CEO, CabDoor

Vice-Chair Mike Keane

Shareholder and Managing Officer, Garrett Hemann Robertson

Treasurer Ryan Allbritton

SVP, Chief Banking Officer, Willamette Valley Bank

Past Chair Daryl Knox

Rich Duncan President, Rich Duncan Construction, Inc.

Mark Hoyt

Interim City Manager, City of Salem

Kate Schwarzler

Owner, Indy Commons

Colm Willis

County Commissioner, Marion County Board of Commissioners

Jonathan Avery

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Roxanne Beltz

City Councilor, City of Monmouth

Chuck Bennett

Mayor, City of Salem

Becky Berger

Owner and CEO, Berger International

Lindsay Berschauer

County Commissioner, Yamhill County

Alan Blood

General Manager, Garmin AT, Inc.

David Briggs

Trial Lawyer, Partner, Saalfeld Griggs PC

Patricia Callihan Bowman

Owner/Career Coach, Express Employment Professionals

Cathy Clark

Mayor, City of Keizer

Alan Costic

President, AC + Co Architecture | Community

Richard Day

Owner/Manager, Advantage holdings LLC

Brent DeHart

President, Salem Aviation

Amy Doerfler

Secretary/Treasurer, Doerfler Farms, Inc.

Theresa Haskins

Economic Development Director, City of Woodburn President, Creative Company, Inc.

Rod Lucas

Store Manager, Umpqua Bank

Timothy Murphy


David Mercer

VP of Operations, DCI

Kim Parker-Llerenas


Executive Director, Willamette Workforce Partnership

James Parr

Chief Financial Officer, Salem Health

Craig Pope

County Commissioner, Polk County

Jim Rasmussen

President/CEO, Modern Building Systems

Mark Raum

VP, Commercial Banking Officer, Columbia Bank

Connor Reiten

Government Affairs, NW Natural

Alex Paraskevas Rural Innovation Catalyst Polk County Business Retention & Expansion Manager 503-837-1803 alexp@sedcor.com

Rick Rogers

Mayor, City of Newberg

Tony Schacher

Abisha Stone

Scott Snyder

Yamhill County Business Retention and Expansion Manager

General Manager, Salem Electric General Manager, The Grand Hotel in Salem

Kathy Tate

CEO, Online NW


Dan Ulven


President, The Ulven Companies

Jenna Van Meter

Steve Horning

Cooper Whitman

Jessica Howard

Nick Harville Marion County Business Retention & Expansion Manager

Owner, Turner Lumber, Inc.

Senior Business Development Manager, Portland General Electric SVP, Commercial Team Lead, People's Bank

Director of Operations jkistler@sedcor.com

Jamie Johnk

President, Don Pancho Authentic Mexican Foods, Inc.

Jenni Kistler 503-588-6225

Curt Arthur

Ricardo Baez


Kristin Retherford

Board of Directors

Regional President, Legacy Silverton Medical Center


Partner, Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP

CPA, Partner, Aldrich Group

Managing Director, SVN Commercial Advisors


Brand Experience Specialist, Crosby Hops Regional Business Manager Pacific Power

President/CEO, Chemeketa Community College

George Jennings

Counsel to the President, Mountain West Investment Corporation

Michael Miller Marketing and Communications Coordinator 503-588-6225 mmiller@sedcor.com

626 High Street NE, Suite 200 • Salem, OR 97301 503-588-6225 • info@sedcor.com • www.sedcor.com

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SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

In 1982, when SEDCOR was formed, I was a college student in Upstate New York with no idea economic development organizations existed … actually, I don’t think I was even familiar with the term “economic development.” Growing up in a town where “downstaters” flocked in the summer, I distinctly remember my dad explaining how all of these visitors bring in revenue that supports the community. Maybe that was the first notion of the concept. Just a few years later, I accepted a regional position with the NYS Department of Economic Development. Once again, I distinctly remember asking my dad, “What is economic development?” (I thought I should know before I started.) As I learned over the next couple of years (and decades), the term encompasses a lot. The SEDCOR of 2022 reflects the broad reach of the term “economic development.” What started out as an organization to help guide a community through a transitionary time in our regional economy and educate community members about the value and importance of “traded sector” businesses, has become an organization that, well, still emphasizes those things. We’ve successfully launched the Northwest Ag Innovation Hub to bring resources and attention to the technology needs of one of our most traditional industries, agriculture. We’ve also watched Freres Lumber Company transition to Freres Engineered Wood, Erik Andersson leading another traditional industry with innovative new technologies and products. And we’ve tried to SEDCOR President share our collective enthusiasm for what is a beautifully unique aspect to our region: the “three-dimensional” supply chain with what we grow at its base and links in every direction. Our opportunity: how can we even further develop these links to grow our economy from within? Not surprising that a region with so many natural resource-based industries will need to be innovative and scrappy to navigate all the challenges thrown at it. The SEDCOR of 1982 was formed in part to address the need for job-generating lands in the area to help the regional economy grow and diversify. We’ve seen successful development at Fairview Industrial Park and more recently Mill Creek. But SEDCOR’s regional reach in 2022 also includes exciting developments around our three-county region, in Silverton, Woodburn, Dallas, Independence, Newberg, Sheridan, Detroit, McMinnville, and beyond. We are thankful to have so many partners at the local and regional level doing this good work in tandem with the SEDCOR team. As we enter our 41st year SEDCOR has added an emphasis on entrepreneurship, supporting our Launch Mid-Valley initiative and Venture Catalyst program as resources to help businesses start, grow and attract investment. And we have fortified our engagement in many activities traditionally considered “community development.” SEDCOR has a long history of engagement with school districts to help make stronger connections between students and local industries, and we are leveraging that experience with new projects like the Barbara Roberts Career Technical Education Center in Sheridan. We are engaging in childcare and workforce housing projects with community partners to help traded sector businesses attract and retain employees. And SEDCOR continues to help Santiam Canyon communities rebuild after the devastating wildfires of 2020. All of this work is done in conjunction with or at the behest of our traded sector business partners in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. SEDCOR at 40 is about partnership, innovation and enthusiasm for the work we are fortunate to do. I have a feeling that was also true in 1982. Thank you for being along for the ride. On to the next 40!

Agritourism: Commercial Greenhouse & Restaurant

Corporate Headquarters Grants Pass


Jackson Jewelers Salem

Salem Baggage Depot & Canopies

Architecture, Planning & Interior Design

Enterprise Summer 2022 3


Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium Awarded $3M in State Funding On Tuesday, April 5, Governor Kate Brown signed HB5202. Within this bill, the Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium (NWHC) was awarded $3M for their ongoing project which seeks to provide housing for middle income workers who do not qualify for affordability options and are priced out of other options driving them to look for housing, and often jobs, outside of their community. Representative Anna Scharf sponsored funding for the NWHC. In 2017 the Newberg Affordable Housing Committee developed a modeled approach for a workforce housing project. At that time, the city was not able to secure funding for the project, so the concept was tabled. Finding and retaining workers was consistently identified as a major issue, in part due to the lack of available housing. To respond, in late 2019, local industry partners were convened by SEDCOR to discuss the feasibility of an industry-led middle housing solution for local workforce. They partnered their efforts with the City of Newberg, and the Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium (NWHC) was formed. The NWHC is a public-private partnership aimed at developing affordable workforce housing in the city of Newberg. Current Consortium Members • The City of Newberg • Friendsview Retirement Center • A-Dec • Marquis Companies

According to Abisha Stone, Yamhill County Business Retention and Expansion Manager, “Housing development in our region is significantly lagging behind projected demand. Affordable middle housing, and workforce-focused housing, is even further behind the projected need. Our region is desperate for innovative solutions, such as what we are proposing, to attract youth and talent to our communities.”

• Strategic Economic Development Corporation • Newberg School District Additional Collaboration Partners • Mid-Valley Regional Solutions

• Housing Authority of Yamhill County • George Fox University • Providence Medical Center • Chehalem Property Management • Several local developers

Kaiser Permanente and MWVCAA partner for Project HOME Project HOME is an innovative new housing initiative providing housing assistance to 100 chronically homeless individuals by 2023 Kaiser Permanente and Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA) have teamed up to further address the housing epidemic with Project HOME—a holistic, wrap-around housing project designed to assist the chronically homeless population in Marion and Polk counties. Project HOME is supported by a $1.5 million grant to MWVCAA from Kaiser Permanente’s National Community Benefit Fund, a donor advised fund at the East Bay Foundation. The initiative will be led by the ARCHES Project, MWVCAA’s homeless outreach and sheltering division. Project HOME was created with the goal of helping unhoused individuals and families secure permanent housing, improve their mental and physical health, and help reduce their dependency on services such as emergency care and law enforcement to address their chronic conditions and daily needs. “Our rates of chronic homelessness in Salem are considerably higher than other communities in Oregon. Recent figures show about 64% of our homeless population is experiencing chronic homelessness, which is almost double the national average. This program in particular will be one of the largest housing programs for our homeless in Salem’s history,” said Jimmy Jones, Executive Director of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. The Marion-Polk region is one of three communities across the

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nation receiving Kaiser Permanente funding for the Project HOME initiative. Kaiser Permanente selected MWVCAA and the greater-Salem area based on the rise in chronically homeless individuals and limited affordable housing, and MWVCAA’s expertise and readiness to implement this work. “We know that housing is a key driver of health and that’s why we are working with partners like Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve, including our members,” said Jeff Collins president of Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “As a health care organization, Kaiser Permanente recognizes that individuals who are homeless have a higher rate of hospital readmissions and emergency room visits while also suffering from poorer health outcomes and higher mortality rates.” Project HOME will include efforts to support Kaiser Permanente members and the community in Marion and Polk counties who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. The ARCHES team will work with Kaiser Permanente’s local medical teams to identify high-risk individuals and bring them into the program. As the program evolves, focus will expand to other populations with the goal of connecting over 100 individuals with long-term stable housing and support services by the end of 2023.

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley


Vivi Caleffi Prichard joins the Board of Directors of Garten Services, Inc. Garten Services, Inc. announces the election of Vivi Caleffi Prichard of Chemeketa Community College to its Board of Directors team. Vivi brings her expertise in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to support Garten’s mission of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities in the Willamette Valley. Vivi is the Chief Vivian Caleffi Diversity Officer at Chemeketa Community College, the second-largest community college in Oregon. Vivi is responsible for collaborating with stakeholders to shape campus diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and strategically embed this work across all aspects of the college. She is responsible for developing programs that promote inclusive and diverse recruiting practices and promoting equitable opportunities that help strengthen and empower students and employees. When asked why she found interest in joining the Garten Board, Vivi stated, “It aligns with my passion and values of sustainability and human dignity with service to the community.” Vivi is the ninth member of Garten’s Board of Directors team led by Board President Allan Pollock, CEO/General Manager of Cherriots. Founded in 1970, Garten provides job training, employment, and day activity services to approximately 500 people with disabilities throughout the Willamette Valley.

Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University Sign Groundbreaking Agreement Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University (WOU) announce a new partnership agreement that will provide students completing a transfer degree at Chemeketa with a seamless transition to WOU. The agreement was signed at a special ceremony at the WOU campus on February 23, 2022 by presidents Jessica Howard (Chemeketa) and Jay Kenton (WOU). This new program, named “Direct Connect,” will guarantee WOU admission to qualifying Chemeketa graduates who satisfy WOU’s transfer admission requirements. Students on this pathway will receive specialized advising and support throughout their educational experience at both institutions, which will provide a clear pathway to completing a bachelor’s degree in the equivalent of four years of full-time attendance: two years at Chemeketa and two years at WOU. Further, immediately upon admission, students in designated transfer programs will receive junior status at WOU Continued on page 6




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Enterprise Summer 2022 5

QUICK HITS Continued from page 5 and credit for completing all lower-division general education requirements. “We are thrilled to expand our long-standing partnership with Chemeketa thanks to this agreement,” said WOU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rob Winningham. “The program will ensure that students have a clear, supported, and affordable path to a bachelor’s degree that will prepare them for the work force and the future they choose.” Direct Connect will make the attainment of a bachelor’s degree accessible to more students on account of lower tuition costs at the community college for the first two years of instruction. “This landmark articulation agreement soothes the pathway for individuals in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties who want a bachelor's degree and realize the many benefits of starting their academic journey at Chemeketa,” said Jessica Howard, Chemeketa’s President and CEO. “For our students for whom time and money is at a premium, this agreement puts a degree from WOU even more within reach.” Bruce Clemetson, Chemeketa’s Vice President of Student Affairs echoed that statement. “We are grateful to have this agreement with like-minded colleagues at WOU who are focused on students maximizing the benefit of a transfer degree from Chemeketa. Ensuring that a transfer degree graduate from Chemeketa will in most cases only need 90 additional credits reflects that commitment to reduce student cost and honor the quality of a Chemeketa graduate’s education.” Direct Connect is slated to begin fall term of 2023.

Oregon Agritourism Partnership Awarded USDA Grant To Bolster Family Farm Income Oregon Department of Agriculture recently announced that Oregon Agritourism Partnership (OAP) has been awarded a three-year USDA grant entitled: Building Capacity for New Direct Markets for Oregon’s Specialty Crops Farmers. This funding is provided by 2021 House Resolution 133, supplemental to the 2018 Farm Bill. Congress awarded additional one-time Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding to state departments of agriculture due to the COVID-19 impact on the food system. OAP is a statewide non-profit to support Oregon’s family farms and markets four Oregon Farm Loops in the Northern Willamette Valley with 78 farm partners. Through this grant, OAP will provide direct marketing/technical support/business assistance workshops for out-of-network Oregon Specialty Crop family farmers to be able to begin or enhance the sale of products/services direct to the public; and provide Oregon Farm Loop (OFL) partners new promotional opportunities to showcase and sell products direct to the public. “Annually Oregon loses more family farms due to loss of income,” said John Zielinski, E.Z. Orchards Farm Market and President of OAP. “The pandemic and its added economic distress have exacerbated the problem. Many of these Specialty Crop (SC) farms are not readily visible and don’t have the experience, skillsets, or the scope of investment to effectively sell farm direct.”

QUOTES “Economic development is about planning for the future. Of course, immediate obstacles always come up, and we help our partners navigate those, but a more important aspect of what we do is the strategic, long-term dreaming and planning. Think of it like a city: someone has to plan for growth by planning for streets, traffic patterns, sewers, power lines…all the things you don’t notice but are vitally important. Our work helps set up the vital community infrastructure so communities big and small can be healthy and thriving. It’s about good, family-wage jobs supplied by businesses who want to move here, stay here, grow here. As I think about the future, I get very excited. I see all our partners (public, private, state, local, county) all being willing to think differently about everything. About processes, jobs, technology. A lot of innovation is happening and will continue to grow in our region.” — Abisha Stone, SEDCOR “We care about the things every community ultimately cares about: healthy communities built on healthy employers providing healthy jobs. Yes, the obstacles change, but the mission for us is very much constant. We at SEDCOR have the advantage of taking a regional approach, so we aren’t restricted by city limits or county lines, and we get to share information and solutions with a remarkably wide network. There are people (growers, business owners, community leaders) all having similar thoughts at the same time but aren’t always sure who to talk to. And there is no telling where a small conversation could end up. For example, the Workforce Housing Consortium (which just got awarded $3M in State funding) began with a short conversation with some city and business leaders. We have the time, energy, and resources to keep that conversation going and turn it into something tangible.” — Alex Paraskevas, SEDCOR

“The term, ‘Economic Development’ can mean a lot of things to different people; every community has its own priorities and obstacles, which is why we run Business Retention and Expansion surveys to understand what success means to each community. On the surface, our role is to help cities make the best use of their land, their resources, and their properties. To go a little deeper, we are successful when the communities we serve have what they need to create high-quality jobs, improving the quality of life for the whole region. For example, Silverton once lost a major employer in Champion Homes, which took away over 400 jobs. We recruited Forest River, which has ended up bringing more, better paying jobs in the same property. The future of our region is very exciting. We have incredible diversity of products, crops, skills, and perspectives. People in every industry are creating new, innovative things all of the time.” — Nick Harville, SEDCOR

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SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley


The Historic Heater Farm It was always the dream of Douglas and Gloria Heater to perhaps one day be able to invite children and young adults “out to the farm” for some good old fashion exposure and learning experiences around agriculture. Family and friends were always welcome on the farm, and over the years had a wonderful time and often found a measure of agri-education mixed in on their visits. The property is rich with historical significance. Around the turn of the last century, the Klumb, Oregon post office was operating out of the original farm house on the property. The post office was in operation from 1893 to 1910. The one room Fern Ridge school house was located on the northeast end of the farm which Doug and Gloria’s son Richard attended. The farm is still in the family and Sue Heater-Nichols and her husband Mark are now the owners and have chosen to maintain the original homestead and acreage as a historic agricultural site. Through the Historic Heater Farm Non-Profit, they hope to offer unique learning and entertainment opportunities for the Marion County region in the future. Learn more about the Historic Heater Farm at historicheaterfarm.com


Nathan Good Architects provides our clients with thoughtful design solutions that enhance the lives of those who experience our spaces. Our architecture reflects the unique nature of our clients and their land. Our leadership in environmentally responsible design is woven into all of our work. Craftsmanship, durability and pragmatic solutions are characteristic of our designs. We value honesty and integrity, environmental stewardship, that which is visually delightful, creative problem solving, and compassion for one another. Our commercial, residential, and remodel projects' multiple awards and recognition attest to our client’s needs and aspirations. Since June 2002, Sunrise Medical Consultants have been serving the claims community with honest and excellent Independent Medical Examinations. We have offices throughout Oregon and Washington and continue to grow rapidly. Our corporate office is located in Keizer, Oregon where we work hard to serve our local community both professionally and personally. With 18 employees, we serve and support our community through many charities and organizations.

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On The Shoulder of Giants

Former SEDCOR President Larry Glassock on an economic research trip to China in 1996.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead Nearly everything is different about the way we do business and how we find success in the globalized (and still globalizing) economy since SEDCOR was founded on April 2nd, 1982. Think about it: in 1982, you couldn’t send an email, much less attach an encrypted PDF and request a digital signature. Phrases like “machine learning”, “two-factor authorization”, or “blockchain” would have sounded like gibberish. No one could have imagined our economy’s need for qualified software developers, robotic system designers, social media managers, cybersecurity specialist and the other countless jobs that simply didn’t exist 40 years ago. (Now just imagine what jobs will exist 40 years from now in...2062!) Like the businesses we are honored to interact with every day, we at SEDCOR have done our best to embrace adaptation. By listening first and listening often, we have been able to contend with the changing times, tech, and markets. In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we want to call on the collective memory of some of our many longtime members, partners, and friends in order to look back to see how much our world has changed, how much our economy has grown, and the lessons we can take into another four decades of showing up, listening, and transforming good ideas into reality. 8 Enterprise Summer 2022

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

By Michael Miller

Adapt, Change, But Never Stop Adding Value A major aspect of economic development is to be both soberly realistic and steadfastly optimistic. To be realistic is to be clear and honest about resource the region has and the obstacles the region faces. Our optimism comes from believing our amazing businesses, partners, and leaders will always transform those resources into value. And that their skills, grit, and creativity will overcome any obstacle. Theresa Haskins has worked as the Senior Business Development Manager for Portland General Eletric for over twenty-three years and has worked in economic development since graduating from Gonzaga in 1982, starting her career with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and continuing her work with the Eastern Oregon Council of Governments and the Oregon Economic Development Department, which would later become Business Oregon. "In the early eighties, we saw shifts in our local economy. Partly from the environmental regulation at the time, many of the lumber and paper mills were shutting down, leaving thousands economically displaced. We knew we didn't want to have ghost towns, so we in the economic development space began to shift our focus on adding the maximum amount of value to the resources we had in abundance and then helping those in the supply chain to find markets willing to pay higher prices for premium products." "In one of our biggest sectors, agriculture, this same approach was taken: add value and find new markets.” says Haskins. “At that time, we began to ask, 'what can we do to support the regional processors and how could we help them add more value to their premium products and hopefully get more money for their products in international markets?'" Larry Glassock, SEDCOR President from 1992 to 2006, believes the work of many in the economic development space has paid off. He says, "When SEDCOR was formed in 1982, the importance of traded sector jobs was not totally understood or appreciated. We knew we needed physical space for traded sector businesses to move in, expand, and grow and SEDCOR was formed to play a major role in tackling that problem, particularly in Salem. This has obviously expanded to a more regional approach. At the core, though, our job at SEDCOR has always been about creating the space and environment for the Valley's traded sector to thrive." Glassock recalls, “In the late seventies and early eighties, I was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Salem. During this time mayor Kent


Aldrich appointed a citizens committee, called Project 90, to do a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) study of Salem's economy. I was the staff member assigned to shepherd the group through the process. One of the recommendations of the Project 90 study was that a private sector organization be created to promote economic development in Salem. This became SEDCOR.” Glassock says that since its inception, a significant amount of SEDCOR’s energy has gone to educating the public about the importance of the traded sector to a community's, city’s, and region’s economy. “After a long education period, people in the community are seeing the unique value of a job in manufacturing, shipping, food processing, or any number of traded sector jobs. Plus, they see how many businesses and jobs are spun off these industries and the careers only they can offer."

The Added Value of Innovation Perhaps the most significant (or, at least, the most easily recognizable) changes seen in the last 40 years have been in technology. As mentioned above, there is no shortage of examples of how our technological lives have changed since 1982. Even though our region is known more for our bountiful natural resources and hyper-productive farm land, an impressive tech sector has also taken root. Garmin has operated its Salem location since 2003, developing groundbreaking hardware, software, and other tools for aviators all over the world. Garmin’s General Manager, Alan Blood, says the biggest changes he has seen since joining Garmin has been the exponential growth of processor power. He says, “Unlike consumer electronics such as televisions and computers that release new products every 6 to 12 months, our industry has a much longer development schedule since we have a much more onerous regulatory framework to work within. Essentially, our products are custom Continued next page

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ON THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS continued from page 9 computers built specifically for airplanes. So, when chips and processors become obsolete, we have to spend a lot of creative energy just to keep up.” Ultimately, Blood sees this as a positive, since it pushes the industry’s rate of innovation, leading to very exciting new developments. “With all of the processor power we can put in each machine, we are able to make very complicated and valuable calculations, allowing us to add really impressive functionality.” To express this point, Blood points to the Garmin Autonomi™ family of aviation safetyenhancing technologies to help pilots control the aircraft and land safely in the event of an emergency. AutonomiTM includes the award-winning Garmin Autoland autonomous flight system as well as features such as Smart Glide™ and Smart Rudder Bias to assist pilots in emergency situations.” “I get excited to wake up and go to work because of advancement like this. I know this will someday save a life. With Garmin Autoland, if a pilot becomes incapacitated, the system will automatically kick on, present a user-friendly information screen, contact the nearest control tower, reroute the aircraft, touch down, and come to a complete stop.” Businesses like Garmin are utilizing revolutions in data collection, storage, sharing, and applications to build smarter, safer, and more efficient machines to help people thrive. For Miles Oliveria, Business Development Expert at Buildable Custom Software in McMinnville, the most significant and meaningful progress has been made in data sharing and application. “Before the invention and use of Application Programming Interface, or API, data could be stored and looked at, but it couldn’t go much further than the walls where you store your server. Today, data can be shared with other systems, allowing the value of the information to multiply. This has greatly improved production systems, sales processes, customer experiences, and traded sector business’s bottom lines.” As an example, Oliveira, points to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software Buildable helped developed in partnership with SEDCOR and others called ERP Next. Through the open-source software and with a well-developed API, manufacturers can Continued on page 12

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SEDCOR In The News Even though much of our work happens behind the scenes, many of our projects and initiatives (many of which are worked on for many months and years) are very much newsworthy. We want to thank all of our region’s local newspapers and news websites for covering our informational events, our yearly awards events, State of the County addresses, groundbreakings and more. And, of course, thank you to Mount Angel Publishing for working with us to bring great news to our members, partners, and audience through Enterprise magazine.

10 Enterprise Summer 2022

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

Life In 1982 A time traveler from 1982 may not even recognize the world we live in now. This traveler would ask, “What are those rectangularly supercomputers in every person’s pocket? When did gas prices go into the triple-digits? You mean you don’t have to go to an actual movie theater to watch new films? What’s a YouTube?” So much has changed since SEDCOR was launched in 1982, we wanted to look back on the world as it was when we began. Prices • The average price of a gallon of gas: $0.91 • A new Sony 19-inch color television: $499 • The national average cost of a new home: $82,200 • National average monthly rent: $320 Pop Culture • Steven Spielberg's science-fiction adventure film “E.T: The ExtraTerrestrial" is released on May 30th. Roger Eibert said of the film, “Some people are a little baffled when they hear it described: It's about a relationship between a little boy and a creature from outer space that becomes his best friend. That makes it sound like a cross between "The Thing" and "National Velvet." It works as science fiction, it's sometimes as scary as a monster movie, and at the end, when the lights go up, there's not a dry eye in the house.” • The Sony CDP-101 is the world's first commercially released compact disc player. The system was launched in Japan on October 1, 1982 at a list price of 168,000 yen (Approximately US$730). • “Thriller”, the sixth studio album by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982, by Epic Records. It was produced by Quincy Jones, who had previously worked with Jackson on his 1979 album Off the Wall. • “Chariots of Fire” wins the 1982 Academy Award for Best Picture. In The News • The City of Keizer is incorporated. • World-famous ad agency Wieden + Kennedy is launched. • The Rajneeshees group establishes Raneeshpuran, absorbing the nearby town of Antelope. • Salem’s first female mayor, Susan Miller, is elected and acquires the 22 acres which will eventually become Riverfront Park.


Enterprise Summer 2022 11

ON THE SHOULDER OF GIANTS continued from page 10


connect their purchasing, accounting, CRM, sales, communications, and product tracking softwares and view it all in one place. “When data can be entered in one place and shared across multiple software systems, efforts are not duplicated, information is not lost, and businesses can make intelligent, informed decisions with new perspectives.” Oliveria envisions these systems improving as more data is stored in the cloud, as software continually improves, and as more automated machine do more of our data gathering. “I can easily see a future where drones and self-driving machine are gathering information, taking photos, identifying blight, mold, rodents, or anything we can train a machine to identify, and giving growers a chance to take more targeted actions, save money, and increase their yield.”

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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According to Tom Neilson, President of the SEDCOR Board of Directors in 1989, a primary goal of the organization from the beginning was to educate as many people as possible about the value of the traded sector, especially when it came to jobs. “Many of the jobs offered by our traded sector industry partners have never been the most glamorous. But they have always been stable, high-paying, family-wage jobs.” Even though he admits there is plenty he could be pessimistic about, Neilson says he is incredibly hopeful about the future. “I’m especially hopeful when it comes to the future of work. COVID obviously caused major disruptions in the way people worked, especially for those in the information and technology fields, or those in urban areas who traditionally went to work in an office. I think the industries and businesses who survive and thrive in the future will be the ones who adapt to the desires, values, and preferences of their employees, those who use technology to make it possible for people to be both productive and happy.” Neilson recalls the amount of time and energy was spent on establishing relationships with partners like Chemeketa Community College to make sure local industry always had well trained, and highly adaptable employees. “We worked hard to make sure industry had a seat at the table. Even in the mid to late eighties, before much automation was being adopted and well before anybody knew the level of advanced robotics being

installed today, we knew the skill sets being taught would need to be consistently updated.” The conversation would need to be industry-led, a founding principle the SEDCOR team carries on today. “I believe the relationship we built in the early days have bear fruit,” says Neilson. “Now the value of trade-school-style technical training is even at the high school level.” Neilson points to the opening of Salem-Keizer's Career Technical Education Center program (launched in a former Neilsen Manufacturing Inc. building in 2019), the brand new Sheridan School CTEC facility, the upcoming Dallas High CTEC building, and numerous other programs all over the Valley. “These programs have close to a 98% graduation rate and will, I think, propel students the kinds of jobs we worked so hard to elevate in the public’s mind so many years ago. It is great to see!” Larry Glassock believes education and industry will have to continue to be flexible to find even more success in the future. “When SEDCOR was hatched, our economy was changing then and it continues to change. Flexibility will be important, especially in job training and workforce. The businesses who move in or grow here are going to look for employees who can add value, even as the needed skill sets change. You train. Then you retrain. Then you retrain again!" For Mike White, the Willamette Valley Venture Catalyst, anyone interested in advancing their career or building their own business has access to more tools and information than ever before. “Today, any entrepreneur can search the internet for an answer to any question they have. Books on business, marketing, and finance are easy to order and will arrive in two days. Plus, much of traditional education is (or at least can be done) online." But information is not the only resources those building new business can now access. "Along with access to information, entrepreneurs now also have access to capital. Investors are taking a more local approach and young businesses can get start-up funding without going to financial hubs like San Fransisco or New York. Programs like the Mid-Valley Angel Fund we set up are allowing local investors to invest in local start-ups and, by doing so, they invest in their economic health of their local communities."

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley


Rebecca Kaufman of AgLaunch

AgLaunch + SEDCOR Interview with Rebecca Kaufman

AgLaunch is helping shape the future of agriculture in the United States by simply bringing together the innovators and the growers, while giving those growers a chance to earn equity in the businesses to which they offer their invaluable insights. AgLaunch’s Senior Director Rebecca Kaufman spoke with us from her Little Rock home to talk about the mission of AgLaunch, the future of American agriculture, and the strong relationship they’ve built with SEDCOR. SEDCOR: Rebecca Kaufman:

Give us the elevator pitch for AgLaunch. e’re an organization that gives farmers the tools W they need to lead in innovation, which is more necessary now than ever since ag is changing so rapidly. We recruit early-stage businesses and help them work with farmers. In exchange, farmers receive equity in those businesses. ssentially, we tell agtech startups, “Before you start E raising a lot of money for your startup, stop and actually talk to a farmer.” For the entrepreneurs, they get incredible insights directly from farmers. For the farmers, they can be at the forefront of new technologies and can actually get paid for it.


T his arrangement is unique in the world of ag-tech. What excites you most about it?


O ur farmer network is incredibly diverse. Yes, in terms of race and gender and those demographics, but also in

Rebecca Kaufman, Senior Director at AgLaunch. terms of what they grow and how they grow it. We work with row crop farmers growing for commodity markets, specialty crop growers in your region, indoor, urban, hydroponics, food, fiber…the list goes on. What we’ve made at AgLaunch is exciting because even though there is so much diversity, there is still a strong sense of community. Likeminded people can come together and solve complicated problems. SEDCOR:

H ow does SEDCOR get to work alongside AgLaunch?


e consider SEDCOR an on-the-ground partner in our W work. Pete Nelson [AgLaunch Executive Director] has spent a lot of effort putting together the profile of the kind of farmer he wants in the network. And as Alex [Paraskevas] was recruiting farmers to join our National Farmer Network, Pete said, “They brought us the best people! They are all a perfect fit.” Y’all were putting in the hard work and building the relationship to attract farmers, a traditionally and understandably skeptical group, to join and try something new.

The AgLaunch team with Alex Paraskevas during a recent visit.

Again, we are building a community and bringing in more knowledge into the system. For instance, we have an entrepreneur here who has developed a particular sensor for hops. Now, we can test that product in Oregon, where you obviously have some very knowledgeable hop growers. SEDCOR:

W hy is innovation so necessary for ag?


I nnovation is so important now because dynamics are changing so fast. Agriculture and food production has to find a way to keep up. Market preferences are changing, and consumers are demanding more information about the food they eat and the way it was grown, harvested, and processed. Are the workers being treated well? Is the soil healthy? Continued on next page


Enterprise Summer 2022 13


Rebecca Kaufman of AgLaunch

Also, climate change is another factor driving innovation and obviously an important problem to fix. Ag has a lot to contribute to those solutions. Lastly, our work is bringing economic development to rural areas. We’ve helped businesses set up their offices right on the farm, not in a coworking space in Silicon Valley.

e are seeing more entrepreneurs who grew up on the W farm coming through our accelerator program, which is exciting. They obviously have a good understanding of the problems, and they want to bring in their skills in tech development to solve them. SEDCOR:

W hat excites you about the future of ag?


ur work at AgLaunch excites me because we get to help O farmers be in the driver’s seat of their future. Farmers want to be in control, but there is obviously so much about their line of work they cannot control.

Quite literally, farms are the incubators! SEDCOR:

D o the entrepreneurs and tech developers have some eye-opening experiences?


h yes! We spend a lot of time teaching entrepreneurs O how to talk to farmers and giving them the basics on the business of farming. We love the fact they want to help find solutions, but we first have to give them the tools to understand the problem from the perspective of those who deal with that problem. But, like all of us, they don’t know what they don’t know.

We have the opportunity to help them create a new path forward and build new tools they can use to care for their land and their communities, which is what they care about most. Learn more about AgLaunch by visiting aglaunch.net. Learn more about the NW Ag Innovation Hub by visiting sedcor.com/aghub.

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14 Enterprise Summer 2022

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley


From Nostalgia to Optimism- Salem’s Decades of Transformation No doubt that Salem and the Valley have changed over the last 40 years. SEDCOR offered lifelong Salem resident Mary Louise VanNatta, the opportunity to reminisce and share an optimistic vision for the decades to come. With Salem's population growing Mary Louise VanNatta by nearly 90,000 people over the past CEO, VanNatta Public four decades, the world and city have Relations, Inc. changed. Growing up in Salem, many couldn’t wait to “get out of this small town” and go to Portland or Seattle, or anywhere else. As an adult, the benefits of living in the Mid-Willamette Valley are more apparent. However, there’s always time for a trip down memory lane. Salem’s Riverfront One of the most impressive changes over the decades has been the development of Salem’s waterfront. It had been an unappealing site, and the river was not considered clean or appropriate for recreation. Salem’s plans to transform its waterfront came slowly, and over 40 years, the city, in partnership with the community, added the carousel, Rotary Pavilion, and the splash fountain. Of course, we now have the Peter Courtney Bridge, the pedestrian bridge, and the Gerry Frank Amphitheater. The acid ball turned into a beautiful eco-earth globe. Nostalgic: In 1982, the prominent Boise Cascade building closed a plant with the 5th highest private payroll in Marion County. The facility continued to produce paper until 2008. The City acquired the southern portion of Salem’s downtown riverfront in the 1980s and what was primarily canneries and other industrial buildings. The site included the “acid ball,” a 10-ton globe tank used by Boise Cascade’s pulp mill to hold acid and gasses. Shopping The excitement over the “mall” has morphed into a passion for smaller, boutique businesses that create a downtown with character. Nostalgic: Salem of the recent past looked much different than it does today. Iconic buildings such as the Reed Opera House (now “The Reed”) and the First United Methodist Church still

tower downtown. The 500,000 sq. foot Salem Center opened. The downtown lit up for Christmas. You wouldn’t want to miss a cookie from Lipman’s Cinnamon Bear and the accompanying radio series or seeing Santa at Meier and Frank. Fun and Entertainment Over the decades, entertainment for everyone changed. With the introduction of the internet and cellphones, high-level entertainment is available in almost every home. However, Salem now offers dozens of small music venues and movie+dinner experiences. Agri-tainment at local farms is popular, especially during Halloween. Nostalgic: Youth in Salem liked cruising the “gut,” which was on Portland Road and Capitol Streets, stopping for donuts, waiting for friends to drive by, and ducking Salem’s finest. It was a treat to head over to the Duck Inn and feed the ducklings. Roller skating, bowling, swimming in the public pools and seeing $1 movies at the Elsinore or Capitol Theater. The iconic mural with Marlene Dietrich and Charlie Chaplin was painted in 1984. While plans to turn the theater into a parking structure were debated, a group was formed to restore the building. The same year the Elsinore had its extraordinary remodel, the Capitol was torn down in the early 2000s. The Oregon State Fair was (and still is) a major attraction, and you could bet on real horse racing. The Future is Bright No doubt Salem and the Mid-Willamette Valley have their issues. Their struggling with housing and homelessness, pandemic recovery, job opportunities/hiring, and demands for social services. Citizens and businesses are ready to tackle the tough issues, advocating for job-creators in the political and regulatory arenas. Lifelong Salem residents see a multitude of opportunities. Educational, social activities, and entry-level jobs are plentiful— enough to keep young people in their hometown. Keeping our streets, parks, and rivers clean is a priority. An airport will connect Salem to the world. Salem still has beautiful views that can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or craft beer. For those who choose to stay, build a career and raise a family here, they’ll make some great memories as well.


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Enterprise Summer 2022 15


How Automation And Mechanization Will Be Incorporated To Help With Workforce Issues With the current labor shortages

reduce waste. Woodburn is home to large food producers who

industries many employers are

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finding it difficult to maintain production and control costs. Employers and industries are looking for a new way to produce, package, Tim Ray, MS Agricultural and Extension Education Dean Agricultural Sciences and Technology

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move, and store their products. Mechanization has enabled many industries to increase efficiency for decades. Increasingly more and more industries and companies are turning to automation to help combat the

lingering effects of the labor shortage and supply chain issues. On a recent tour of a local food processor in Salem, I was amazed at the level of automation that has been incorporated into their operations. Food processing is one example where automation is making a large impact on efficiency. They produce 200,000 individual containers of a product every day at one facility with only about 10 employees. The entire process from raw ingredients to finished product is filled with automation and mechanization. This is not an isolated instance as other companies have also

This increase in efficiency and reduce waste has come at a cost though. The need for skilled workers is even more prevalent as the maintenance and general operation of this automation has become more complex. The general skills to troubleshoot the basic maintenance issues have fallen on the employer to develop in the employee, yet finding even that employee with enough background to develop those skills is a task of it’s own. Step in the role of the community college. The role of the community college is to provide potential employees with the basic skills and knowledge to address these growing technology needs. The mechanization and increasing automation of the industry has its own supply line of workers through the community college which is looking for those industry partners in return. The increases in automation changes the entry point for workers and must be recognized. Industries turning to automation to combat the lingering effects of the labor shortage and supply chain issues need to shift employee hiring requirements which means hiring more

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FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETION SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

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Enterprise Summer 2022 17


Manufacturing Then and Now – Embracing the Change

Jude Gerace OMEP Account Executive

When you think about manufacturing, do you think about polluting factories and minimum wage jobs? How about offshoring, workplace accidents, or repetitive work? It is time to change your narrative, manufacturing in the United States has shifted in a positive direction over the last forty years and so has the typical industry job thanks to technological advancements

In Oregon, and across the U.S., manufacturing jobs now pay higher wages than service-based jobs. Advanced manufacturing technologies have eliminated many of the dirty, repetitive, or dangerous tasks, freeing workers up for more advanced contributions to their organizations. New technologies like Augmented Reality, cloud-based software or Additive Manufacturing have changed production forever, not just Fortune 500 companies like Intel , but for smaller-sized companies as well. If these shifts have occurred over the last 40 years, how can manufacturing leaders prepare for advancements over the next 40 years? Build a Roadmap for Success Are you setting for a bold future for your company? Making time to work ON the business not just IN it is one pain points that OMEP hears regularly from small-to-medium manufacturers. Leadership teams throughout Oregon say that they have a hard time stopping day-to-day work to track progress towards organizational goals and strategize for the future.

Great companies are set apart by their innovative strategies. Manufacturers often consider innovation to be a new product idea, but innovation can simply mean adjusting based on new information. It’s difficult to do. Problems manifest themselves differently every day, the goal should be possessing the capability to easily recognize the new variation and adjust to the new need. Embrace Change and Build A Strong Foundation The past forty years (and especially the last two) have taught us that we must expect and accept change. Having the expectation of change allows us to adapt rather than resist. Today’s manufacturers need to be prepared to react quickly while predicting and adjusting for challenges of the future. The good news is despite constant change, lean methodologies, thought processes, and strategies remain consistently effective in addressing the needs. Double down on your operational excellence toolkit to engage your skilled workers and maintain an adaptive stance to whatever comes next. Utilize New Tools at the Right Time Technology alone does not solve problems. For example, trying to solve inventory management issues by implementing an ERP system without the fundamentals of inventory management, continuous improvement and standard work can often amplify problems and cause frustration. However, technology as part of a comprehensive strategy is the only way forward. Whether you are integrating a learning management system into your workplace for easier KPI tracking, onboarding, and training, or you are implementing temperature monitors to better predict equipment sensitivity, applying technologies to the right processes at the right time is key to growth. OMEP exists to help manufacturers of all sizes embrace the future, today. Visit omep.org for more information

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40 Years of Workforce Development Over the last four decades, the role of workforce development within the broader concept of economic development has taken on an ever increasing role. Workforce development was traditionally all about skilling up the individual to meet the needs Gary Mueller, of business brought about by Director of Administration technological advances. But over and Finance, Willamette the last 10-15 years it has become Workforce Partnership much more than that. Today, it is expanding to encompass everything from worker training, to addressing barriers to employment, to reimagining corporate culture. The balance of workforce development that once weighed heavily toward the worker has now become a two-sided approach that places an ever increasing emphasis on the employer. While the need for a workforce development strategy is essential to a thriving community, a truly comprehensive approach to promoting a strong workforce is still evolving. Workforce development programs funded by the federal government have been around since the 1960’s with the advent of the Manpower and Training Act under the Kennedy administration. That program aimed to train and retrain workers unemployed because of automation and technological change. Imagine that! In 1962, we were concerned about technology taking our jobs when most homes had a black and white television filled with a bunch of tubes, and we were still over 20 years away from personal computers becoming commonplace. Over the 60 years since Manpower, the federal government has funded workforce programs with different acronyms. Manpower became CETA, then around the time SEDCOR was established in 1982 it was known as JTPA. In 1998, the program became the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which for the first time created local workforce boards. And today we have the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which dictates some of the major programs administered by our local workforce board, Willamette Workforce Partnership. These various workforce programs began as employee centric programs that focused solely on the job seeker side of the equation. That remained true into the late ‘90s when WIA came along and mandated local workforce boards that are required to have a majority representation from the local 20 Enterprise Summer 2022

business community. The business leaders were placed on boards to provide input on the challenges and needs they faced in finding good employees. Yet, the focus was still on training up the individual to fulfill the needs of the employer. The Great Recession of 2008 and the resulting high unemployment reinforced that approach. Employers had few jobs to fill, so a job seeker needed to rise above the competition to snag one of those positions. But as the economy picked up, some of that focus shifted as employers started finding it difficult to find and retain employees due to challenges within the community outside their control such as adequate child care and the lack of basic job skills brought on in part by the reduction in youth employment opportunities. The terms child care desert and lack of soft skills permeated our workforce discussions with the business community. The world of workforce development became more than simply skilling them up for the latest technology. We can give them all the skills they needed to operate the machines, but if they don’t have child care or they don’t have the ability to show up for work on time, what good does it do? Then along came a pandemic and the Great Resignation. Many were forced out of their jobs because of Covid restrictions, or they simply quit their jobs for a whole list of reasons. People began reassessing their lives and what was important to them. Work dropped down the priority list for many and businesses were left scrambling to find any employees, let alone good ones. Two years into the pandemic, restrictions are being lifted, but the workers aren’t coming back. The hospitality and entertainment industry has been hit particularly hard. Those employers are finding it difficult to staff back up, with many former workers having no desire to go back to those jobs. The number of start-up businesses have increased as former employees seek to become the employer. With more open positions than job seekers, businesses are starting to analyze their recruitment, retention and culture in an effort to attract employees. Now that the balance has shifted from primarily focusing on improving the job seeker, to working both sides of the equation and improving the job itself. An understanding is starting to develop within the business community that just having a job available may not get you the worker you seek. Because job seekers are now more willing to sit on the sidelines rather than taking any job that comes along. SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley





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Consequences and Vision by Commissioner Casey Kulla Ten + forty years ago, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to build a bridge spanning the Willamette River, just south of Dayton. The vision was to create a direct link between I-5 and the Coast, crossing farmland but bypassing the metropolitan areas. Lumber, wheat, seafood, and industrial goods could flow to the corridors of trade from the rich and verdant Valley and Coast; tourists and retirees would flow the other way. But, it was a contentious decision, and one commissioner opposed it. And so, when it came time to elect a new commissioner, neighborhood farmers organized and elected one of their own to kill the project. Since the feds had already committed $3 million and wanted it back, the local community was granted permission to use that money to build the City of McMinnville’s parking garage, renovate the old Armory, and build a local live theater hall. Choosing not to build the bridge meant that all industry had to go through all of suburban Portland and Yamhill County’s cities to get to the Coast. It also means that now, we sit in between Phase I and Phase II of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass, struggling to find the next tranche of money to build the next portion of the expressway. All told, a complete expressway from Rex Hill to the intersection of Hwy 18 and 99W is estimated to cost well over $1 Billion. All because of a $3 million bridge that was not built. A parallel story is the plan and then demise of the proposed Yamhelas Westsider Trail; a long-planned trail was killed over opposition from neighbor farmers who elected a commissioner

to end it, resulting in money paid back to the Oregon Department of Transportation. The vision was not enough. As it turns out, the bridge story is not that simple: in the intervening years, the proposed location has eroded dramatically, the federal government purchased a large chunk to restore, and Willamette Riverkeepers developed a boat-in campsite. A significant amount of farmland would have been lost in the French Prairie, and development patterns would have changed across the whole Valley. What we choose to do or not do has far-reaching and complicated consequences. And so we look 40-50 years ahead: Yamhill County is at the beginning stage of changing our presence in downtown McMinnville, where we expect to reaffirm our investment in the city, consolidate offices, vacate whole blocks, and build new buildings. With that affirmation of our presence in downtown McMinnville, we need to bring in the business community as we make decisions. We need developers, property owners, entrepreneurs, and children to share their visions of the land that we build upon and the land we vacate, so that every move is made in harmony with our residents and businesses. (And with climate change in mind.) The world is complicated and we’ve seen that hasty and considered decisions both have far-reaching consequences. To make the best ones, we’ve simply got to include everyone as early as possible.


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Enterprise Summer 2022 23


Reflecting on 40 Years with SEDCOR By the Marion County Commissioners

In the 40 years that have transpired since the founding of SEDCOR, our region has experienced an incredible transformation in both economic and population growth. Marion County has been a part of that journey with SEDCOR all along the way. Former Marion County Commissioner Randy Franke was there in 1982, having been elected to office in 1978, with his term starting in 1979. “I was just finishing my first term as County Commissioner and probably running for election for the second term,” he said. “I think one of the biggest changes in SEDCOR has been its name and focus. It was originally called Salem Economic Development Corporation, and its focus was really just on the Salem area.” He remembers that while it all began with a more city-centric model looking to bring large businesses to the city, the focus changed quickly as partners observed the economic landscape in the region. “I think it’s normal in any economic development organization, always in search for that golden egg, that big industrial employer that’s going to come into the community and provide lots of jobs,” he said. “In reality most of the jobs are provided by the smaller businesses in the community.” From early on there were conversations about branching out and becoming a more regional organization that supported the broader community and focused more heavily on small businesses. It was also quickly realized that the agricultural industry would always play a fundamental role in economic stability and development. “We at the county thought it was a mistake to not focus on a broader region. We also felt it was a mistake at the time to ignore agriculture and not realize what a driving force it is in the county,” Franke said. “Even back in ‘82, agriculture, I think collectively, was the number one industry in Marion County. I believe it still is today.”

In Franke’s estimation, expanding its mission to become a regionally focused organization, as well as focusing on small businesses and agriculture, are the most important ways SEDCOR and its partners have served the community and helped facilitate growth. The Marion County Board of Commissioners even now can attest to the reason this model has been meaningful and successful for our region. Marion County especially has always been comprised of many local farmers and large and small businesses who have a knack for working together, and who recognize that our success as individuals is equally dependent on our success as a community. We look out for each other, and we support each other. It’s the Marion County way, and it’s why we love to call this community our home. Both past and current Marion County Commissioners agree on two points. Marion County, from an economic aspect, has two invaluable resources we must continue to support and protect— our people and our soil. We protect our people by empowering them to succeed in their businesses and avoiding overreach as a government to unreasonably limit capability and ingenuity. Local businesses thrive when given the resources and the freedom to do so. And we protect our soil by ensuring the farmable ground of our region is preserved and utilized responsibly and efficiently for generations to come. There are farms and vineyards across the valley today that are here and successful economic contributors because past commissioners sought to protect certain lands from being overrun with developments that would have made nutrient rich soil unfarmable. As such, we continue to build on that legacy and recognize economic development is not merely urbanizing rural areas to expand big business—it is also coming alongside and supporting our farmers, our ranchers, and the various local businesses that make up our community. The Marion County Board of Commissioners congratulates SEDCOR on 40 years of supporting and serving the people of Marion County and the broader Willamette Valley. We look forward to partnering with them for the next 40 years and beyond.

“I’d say it was a growing conversation over quite a number of years before more and more people started realizing that agriculture does provide a lot of what you call ‘new dollars’ coming into the community and continued to be a solid, major base of the economy.” These conversations culminated in an expansion beyond Salem to eventually include the Marion, Polk, and Yamhill County regions. In 2003, the SEDCOR name was formally amended to Strategy Economic Development Corporation to better reflect this regional approach.

24 Enterprise Summer 2022

SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

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Commissioner Craig Pope Looks Back and Ahead What do you remember about 1982? Where were you and what were you doing?

tragedy as lots of communities in our county lost lots of jobs and revenue.

In 1982, I was in my mid-twenties and working for the family farm, a 3,500-acre grass seed and wheat operation in Yamhill County. At that time, we were feeling the pain caused by the Carter administration and some extremely high inflation. We were struggling to make ends meet. In some previous years, my father had made some commitments and was working to expand, which means he had some significant loans and was facing the very real possibility of bankruptcy.

What has stayed the same?

What were the biggest lessons you learned from those times?

I believe our population has learned to adjust to big changes,

First, I gained a completely different perspective on the banking industry because of the actions they took during that period, especially with those in ag. Ag lending went through a brutal period; farm loans were being called in and many farms went under. I also become very apprehensive and cautious of the federal government since I could see how their regulations and policies led to many of the issues growers faced.

especially those changes within industries working with natural

Second, my family learned to alleviate some our family’s financial risk by having my wife work off-farm. Even when I left the family farm in 1986 to start my own business, my wife worked outside the business to secure different streams of income and benefits, no matter what one industry was doing. What have been the biggest changes you’ve since in the last forty years? What, if anything, has stayed the same? In Polk County, the biggest change I’ve seen has been in the timber industry. All of those changes came in the early eighties, around the same time SEDCOR was being formed. I witnessed lots of

I think our ag industry’s resilience has stayed remarkably consistent. No matter how challenging the industry becomes, there are still enough people who believe they can make a living and make a difference. How has your county overcome those changes and obstacles?

resources. It is incredible to see how they have diversified to types of jobs they can support. As I was saying, timber communities experienced a lot of pain in the early eighties. There grew a big effort to retrain those workers. For example, Praegitzer Industries, a state-of-the-art manufacturer of circuit boards whose owner, Bob Praegitzer, came from the timber industry, built a plant in Dallas and supplied hundreds of jobs. What gives you hope for the future? I’ve seen first-hand the kind of challenges the communities in our region can overcome. Again, I would mention resiliency. The world’s economy has changed, but our region has adapted and stayed competitive. We know how to overcome and we have very good support systems in our communities. The Labor Day fires proved people are willing to step up and help one another.

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SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley


Small, Garbage-Eating, Soil-Restoring Machines First, we miss our turn. Our GPS has directed us to a small gravel road just off a two-lane highway, less than a mile outside of McMinnville, Oregon and we just didn’t see it coming. The road sign is handmade and nailed to an oak tree. After discovering our mistake and turning around, we swerve our truck past pot holes full of spring rain to a modest farm with buildings which were passed down four generations and one that is brand new. It is within this new building Chapul Farms CEO Pat Crowley and his team are attempting to revolutionize the world’s organic waste removal system. Much about their project is, at this stage, small. But they have very big plans. Pat and Director of Project Management Todd Severson (also an owner at Mac Market, a local collaborative eating, drinking, and gathering place in McMinnville) and the farm’s owner Ramsey McPhillips greet us as the sun breaks through the towering blue and purple clouds. Crowley gives us the pitch. Crowley and his team want to restore biodiversity t­ o agriculture, soil, and planet earth for a more resilient, sustainable, resilient, and secure food system. They cite Project Drawdown’s data that diverting organics from landfills is most impactful action item to address climate change. The problem is the current system lacks the infrastructure and scalable technologies to make this shift. The solution? Black soldier fly larvae. “These larvae are remarkably efficient recyclers of nearly any


Pat Crowley and Todd Severson in their soon-to-be-finished research lab. organic material,” says Crowley. “At the larval stage, they are singularly focused on consuming as much material as possible. And they are very adaptive at this task. They aren’t picky eaters!” On this sunny-but-cold morning, Crowley wears dark sunglasses and a pristine trucker’s hat over his shoulder-length brown hair. He has the look and temperament of a relaxed-but-excited (let’s call it “stoked”) cold-weather surfer. But when he talks about soil, agriculture, and larvae, he speaks with the confidence and clarity of a tech CEO. “We believe our system, if widely implemented, will make significant improvements Continued on next page

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REGION OF INNOVATORS for growers. (The team is most excited about ongoing research into frass’ benefits over the long term – frass restores soil health by replenishing it with diverse beneficial microbes.)

Todd Severson checking on trays black soldier fly larva. to the world’s environment,” Crowley continues as he walks on the gravel path towards his new facility. “But even though we are solving an environmental problem, we are mostly making an economic pitch. Our system, we believe, can add enormous value while eliminating sizable costs.” As we stand inside the metal barn Chapul Farms will use for research and development, Crowley and Severson explain the system by which they will turn black soldier fly larvae loose on the world’s organic waste. Here is the simplified version: • A farm, food processor, or municipality has organic material, some of which will (for now) be deemed “waste”. For instance, a food processor has tons (literal tons!) of beet skins they would normally pay to be put in a landfill. • Instead of a landfill, the beet skins are sent to a Chapul Farms facility (in the best-case this is co-located to reduce food transport costs) and put on trays with black soldier fly larvae. • The larvae eat, eat, eat, and eat some more. • At the end of the larval stage, the larvae have finished eating and all that is left is the fat and protein rich larvae and their nutrient-dense excrement, known as frass. • Both the larvae and the frass are valuable products that can be sold or recycled directly back into a farm operation. Today, the larvae protein is being used by pet food manufacturers, fish farm operators, and others. During the current fertilizer shortage, frass is a viable alternative or supplement

“Just to understand the scale,” Crowley explains, “just one acre of land used to raise BSFL can produce more than 130,000 pounds of protein every year, several orders of magnitude greater than yield of cattle which is about forty pounds and soybeans which is only about 950 pounds.” We are shown renderings of the facilities Chapul is planning to build to process all this organic material. The facilities are clean, high-tech, and hyper-efficient, with organic material moving through various processing stages via conveyor belts and robotic arms. During the larval stage, trays of organic waste and millions of larvae are stacked and move on enormous shelves, with the fine-tuned precision of an Amazon fulfillment center. “Instead of moving packages, we are moving ‘waste’ and insects,” says Crowley. “There is a lot of great technology being developed and constantly improved upon in the world of logistics and agricultural automations. We get to borrow the best stuff to make ours work as efficiently as possible to get as much good nutrients back in the soil while using as little resources as possible to make it happen.” Right now, Crowley and his team do not yet have a facility working at the scale shown in the rendering. But as demand for alternatives to protein and fertilizer increases (which they believe it will), Chapul Farms will be ready to fill it. On a small farm outside a small city in Oregon, the future is being built. McPhillips, the farm’s owner, is planning to bring more innovative thinkers, businesspeople, scholars, and researchers to his property to learn and share new (or, in some cases, old, but rediscovered) methods to restore soil on farms all over the world. Chapul Farms is helping build a better future and letting larvae do most of the work… doing what comes naturally.


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SEDCOR Celebrates 40 Years Serving The Willamette Valley

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