Message from the CEO: July 2023

Alaska Airline plane at RDM airport

Jon Stark, EDCO CEO headshotMany of EDCO’s strategic priorities focus on supporting a business-friendly environment across Central Oregon and the State. The organization champions efforts to expand available land, infrastructure and resources; regularly engaging traded-sector employers to lend their voices when opportunities exist to share their insights. For example, due in large part to engagement from the business community, Alaska Airlines is bringing back direct flights between Redmond and Portland, operated by Horizon Air, on a seasonal basis this winter. It is important that Central Oregonians utilize these flights, and perhaps even more importantly, prioritize connecting flights through Portland to show that direct service to PDX is needed and justified. Thank you to those of you who have contributed to surveys and provided support for this priority and others.

In other news, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) recently announced it is investing more than $2 billion in multiple transmission substation and line projects in Oregon and Washington, which is necessary to reinforce the grid. Expanding this infrastructure will allow for greater economic development and ensure long term reliable energy to meet growing demand. Central Oregon will receive over $800 million to construct a new substation near Prineville as well as a new 53-mile transmission line to La Pine, which will support several incoming and expanding commercial customers, improve access to clean energy and maintain reliable transmission regionwide.

These and other initiatives contribute significantly to EDCO’s ability to attract and retain middle-income employment opportunities for the region, and the organization’s efforts are having an impact. For example, Central Oregon continues to be recognized for successfully diversifying the economy and attracting investment to the region. Most recently, Bend-Redmond ranked fifth in the Milken Institute’s 2023 Best Performing Cities study.

Outcomes and accolades like these are achieved through long-term planning and strategic efforts, partnerships with public and private stakeholders and member support. If you’re not already an EDCO member, please consider becoming one. Your financial contribution helps make this important work possible.

Become a member today.