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Strengthening Oregon's Competitiveness through
Cluster Based Economic Development

Since 2004, one of ECG's consultants (Redman) has advised the Oregon Business Council on ways that local partners can support the competitiveness of Oregon's key export-sector industries.

Challenge: The Oregon Business Council needed an efficient way to solicit industry input on Oregon's economic competitiveness challenges and establish a shared vision for creating quality jobs in Oregon.

Solution: As the Oregon Business Council's primary Cluster Strategy Consultant, ECG Senior Associate, Elizabeth Redman, helped the state identify and organize its traded sector industry clusters. She assisted each industry cluster to formalize a shared industry strategy and set of action-oriented initiatives that would inform the Oregon Business Plan, a public-private strategy for Oregon's economic development. The Oregon Cluster Network was also created to help cluster facilitators share best practices and connect industry leaders with university researchers, schools, media, venture capital, and other resources to help generate new prospects for business recruitment, develop relevant economic & market data, and guide public policy.

Results: The state is able to quickly and efficiently connect with private sector industry groups to identify opportunities, address challenges, and set an annual policy agenda for economic development. More than 1,000 Oregon decision-makers attend the annual Oregon Leadership Summit where they learn about Oregon's cluster priorities and Oregon's traded sector industry groups have a mechanism for communicating their challenges and opportunities to a broader statewide audience.

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