Portland Area

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Municipalities Hillsboro ORWilsonville ORVancouver WAGresham ORPortland OR

United States

From: 15 Feb 2023 - To - 17 Feb 2023

Description: Best practices trip to five municipalities in the Portland Metro Area.

Cities and counties around Portland have gained population and jobs; Portland and Multnomah County have lost population in reaction to issues such as the (relatively high) tax burden and chaotic environment.

Attendee List

Attendee List Itinerary
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Hillsboro OR, Beaverton OR

  • Hillsboro—Washington Co.’s county seat and its most populous city—has been growing rapidly (1970,15,365 population to ~106.6+K in 2021, US Census estimate).
  • Population growth in Beaverton, which is relatively more built-out within its city boundaries, has slowed but remains positive.
  • Cradle-to-career workforce development: Hillsboro has a cradle-to-career strategy of encouraging its residents to obtain sufficient education/training to fill the jobs being created in both the city’s trades and in its high-tech industries


Hillsboro Panel

History of development Development Director Daniel Dias

Daniel Dias.jpeg
Hillsboro Today.jpg
Link to the GIS content

Wilsonville OR, Tualatin OR, Sherwood OR

  • All three cities in the southwest of the greater Portland metro region have been gaining population.
  • Broadly speaking, Wilsonville and Tualatin have more jobs than residents; Sherwood has more residents than jobs.

Welcome from Wilsonville Mayor Julie Fitzgerald

  • Julie Fitzgerald
    Mayor at City of Wilsonville
    Wilsonville OR United States

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Southwest Metro Employment Lands, Current and forthcomming from Economic Development practitioners from Sherwood, Tualatin, Wilsonville Location Decision-making & the Impacts of Policy

  • Julie Fitzgerald
    Mayor at City of Wilsonville
    Wilsonville OR United States
  • Frank Bubenik
    Mayor at City of Tualatin
    Tualatin OR United States
  • Keith Mays
    Council President at Sherwood
    Sherwood OR United States
  • Joe Buck
    Mayor at City of Lake Oswego
    Lake Oswego OR United States
  • Alex Murta
    Director Of Manufacturing at DW Fritz Automation
    Portland OR United States
  • Paula Green
    SVP Human Resources at Twist Bioscience
    San Francisco CA United States

Presentation Presentation
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Vancouver WA

  • Although the city and surrounding county have been gaining population and jobs from companies that choose to locate there for a variety of reasons, indicators suggest that the growth in Vancouver’s population is a combination of factors including new residents choosing to live in Vancouver and surrounding areas and Portland residents coming north to take advantage of (a perceived) relatively lower tax burden and greater availability of affordable housing.

Welcom to Vancouver - Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle

  • Anne McEnerny-Ogle
    Mayor at City of Vancouver, Washington
    Vancouver WA United States

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Panels on Economic Development, Interstate Bridge Replacement, Housing and Homelessness

Vancouver Panel

Patrick Quinton.jpegClint Hendricks.jpeg Frank Green.jpgJen Baker.jpegMike Bomar.jpg Lonny Klugman.jpegJamie Spinelli.jpegSamantha Whitley.jpeg
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Vancouver River Walk

Gresham OR

  • Population has increased as Portland residents, priced or gentrified out of the city, have moved to lower-cost housing in Gresham.
  • The movement of a relatively-lower-income demographic from Portland to Gresham, accompanied by siting of affordable housing in Gresham has raised demands for urban services without providing increased or sufficient funds to cover their cost.

Welcome – Mayor Travis Stovall

  • Travis Stovall
    Mayor Gresham Oregon at City of Gresham
    Gresham OR United States

Presentations from Eric Schmidt & Shannon Stadey on Gresham Strategic Plan & Goals, Gresham Housing & Houselessness, Gresham Centers

Eric Schmidt.jpegShannon Stadey.jpeg
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PANEL DISCUSSION "Why You should WANT to do business in Gresham"

  • Jay Featherston
    Senior Vice President at Harsch Properties
    Portland OR United States
  • Brent Hedberg
    Vice President at Specht Development
    Portland OR United States
  • Taylor Kaplan
    Principal at Gibbins Kaplan Development
    Portland OR United States

Portland OR

  • Has lost population (U.S. Census est. population in 2020 was 652,503 and 641,162 in 2021, a decrease of 1.7%), especially among higher-income earners.
  • Multnomah County also lost population (U.S. Census est. population in 2020 was 815,428 and 803,377 in 2021, a decrease of 1.5%). By contrast, Washington, Clackamas and Clark counties all gained population between 2020-2021 in the range of 0.3%-1.6% (the largest increase being in Clark County)
  • Indicators suggest that population loss from Portland and Multnomah County is due to such factors as relatively high taxes, and concern about chaotic social picture (e.g., growing and highly visible homelessness; decline in quality of life conditions; riots/demonstrations in 2021, etc.).
  • In 2021, Portland began an effort to better coordinate and unify financial management of the city’s four public safety systems (Portland Police Bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue, the Bureau of Emergency Communications, and the Bureau of Emergency Management).
  • Portland’s response includes:
    • The transition to a mayor-and-city-manager form of government, adopted by the city’s voters in November 2022, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2024.
    • Modular housing might help reduce costs of increasing the number of housing units available in Portland..
    • Prosper Portland’s draft Inclusive Economic Development Strategy features growth industry clusters and placed-based recommendations. (The draft Strategy is going to the City Council in April for approval. Prosper Portland’s Shea Flaherty Betin asked for feedback on the Strategy before April.)

Presentation from the Mayor of Portland

  • Ted Wheeler
    Mayor at City of Portland
    Portland OR United States

Summary of Mayor Ted Wheeler's comments

Presentation from ECONorthwest

Meeting at NW Natural

Mike Wilkerson.jpg
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Presentations from Metro

Meeting at Metro

Eryn Kehe.jpeg John Mayer.jpg Margi Bradway.jpeg Patricia Rojas.jpegLiam Frost.jpeg John Mayer.jpg Jonathan Blasher.jpeg
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Notes from Attendees