La Pine, OR – Jan. 15, 2018) On Friday, January 13, the City of La Pine hosted the official kick-off for the first Small City Pilot Project through the University of Oregon. University of Oregon faculty, La Pine City staff, and representatives from the Ford Family Foundation kicked off the Small City Pilot Project in Oregon’s youngest city. In total, the Pilot Project will complete seven projects in the City of La Pine over the winter term.
Sustainable City Year is a program through the University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Initiative to improve Oregon communities by partnering university students and community leadership and staff. The Sustainable City Year Program gives students the opportunity work hands-on outside the classroom to inspire change in Oregon communities.
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has partnered with the City of La Pine to assist with two economic development focused projects in the City of La Pine. EDCO works with the City of La Pine, the Lundquist College of Business, and University of Oregon to better understand the workforce in Central Oregon and the best industry targets for the Finley Butte Industrial Park in La Pine. Both of these projects are designed to help the City of La Pine and EDCO work together to recruit targeted companies to La Pine.
The City of La Pine and EDCO understand that Finley Butte Industrial Park has great assets for economic development, including easy access to a population cresting 100,000, large publicly owned industrial sites, and low-cost power. However, the economic development projects completed through the Sustainable City Year program will help the City of La Pine understand how to use both assets and liabilities of the community to better recruit industry into the city. As the workforce continues to drive location decisions, it is more important now than ever for La Pine and EDCO to understand what skills existing citizens hold and how citizens can apply skills to higher wage, traded sector jobs.
La Pine is the first Small City Pilot Project by a large gap. Before the Sustainable City Year Program came to La Pine, the smallest partner community was the City of Redmond. Thanks to The Ford Family Foundation, La Pine will be the first City of less than 10,000 to partner with the Sustainable City Year Program.