Economic Development

The business opportunities are as boundless as the beauty!

Less than 25 minutes east of downtown Portland, OR and PDX International Airport, we represent East Multnomah County and West Hood River County.












There is a magic created by combining natural resources, metropolitan access, and small community caring and capacity. That magic is present in the West Columbia Gorge. From outstanding locations for business opportunities to great living for families, the West Columbia Gorge is the place for you to relocate your home and your business.

The Columbia River Gorge stretches for more than 80 miles through the Cascade Range. The Columbia River separates the States of Oregon and Washington with this amazing geographic wonder. Recreation in the gorge is abundant, with activities including hiking, camping, biking, golf, whitewater rafting and kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, sailing, boating, fishing, skiing, and the list goes on. Indoor options are equally ple-tiful with world class museums, wine tasting, brew pubs, superb dining opportunities, shopping and entertainment opportunities. The Columbia Gorge is simply a great place to live and work.

If you have a business interest and would like to have an opportunity to find a great home, the West Columbia Gorge is the location for Troutdale, Wood Village, Fairview, and Cascade Locks. The presence of several of these communities in the Portland Metropolitan boundary gives that unique urban availability, while locating in friendly, small communities.

Our Economic Development Committee of the Chamber can help you with your questions about our communities, locate a place for your business, provide you with statistical research, or give you access to the programs available to assist your location into our region.

If you wish to Start a Business Here, Know more about Education and the Workforce, or make direct contact with one of our Cities’ Economic Development Programs, just click on the link.

Let us show you why a decision to relocate to the West Columbia Gorge region is one of the best decisions you will ever make!


Small communities in the midst of a metropolitan area are a perfect mix for entrepreneurs seeking to start or relocate their business. The communities of Cascade Locks, Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview are all located either in or near the Portland metropolitan boundary, and have that mix of lower cost land, willing labor forces, and living opportunities that allow a small business to start, or to flourish. Equally important, you will have the ability to live work and play in a wonderful natural environment.

Small communities utilize a customer oriented approach to our business partners. You are not a number or “another”, you are an individual that will receive individual attention and support. Our communities have incentives in place in to help get you started, you can initiate tenant improvements with fees for permits waived in Troutdale and Wood Village, and receive other special support in the other communities. In all our communities, the land use process is swift, and you can quickly get answers to your land use issues, building issues or other potential permitting and licensing issues. Along with our local programs, the State of Oregon offers a wonderful package of programs, including:

Come visit and let our region show you why this is the place for your small business.

Workforce and Education


 A ready and willing population of regional residents with diverse backgrounds makes the regional workforce a tapestry of talent. Employers can complete the full evaluation of all regional communities and potential sites, or contact one of the local government professionals identified in the Economic Development Services (highlight and take to the page with a click) to assist. Current evaluations of regional employment and the diversity of workforce talents are contained in the following report specific to the region:

                Link to “Brief Economic Overview” February 20, 2014, Malcolm G Boswell

Standard data is also available on the communities from the U. S. Census through American Fact Finder, providing information from the 2010e following sources:


Mount Hood Community College is a major asset in our area, providing a diversity of curricula. Programs in general education and a number of certification programs are augmented by training programs designed by the faculty to meet the specific needs of regional employers. Public schools serving the region include:

  • Reynolds School District has eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, one general purpose high school, three charter schools, and the Reynolds Learning Academy. Reynolds has an average daily student membership in excess of 10,000 students in all grades, and seventy different languages spoken by students. The Reynolds High School is regionally recognized for their outstanding technical education programs.
  • Gresham-Barlow District has eleven elementary schools, 5 middle schools, 3 High Schools and 5 charter schools, with a total enrollment of over 11,000 students with 37 separate languages spoken by students.
  • Corbett School District has 2 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Campus enrolls 1,100 students Grades 1-12. Consistently rated among the top high schools in the country by US News and World Report, News Week and Washington Post.
  • Multisensory Learning Academy, a charter school sponsored by the Reynolds District, the school indicates a mission to serve the needs of students who seek to excel in both academics and life. At MLA, students will receive instruction that is designed to offer experiences in all academic areas with a focus on reaching their particular learning style. Not all people learn in the same way or on the same day. We value and recognize these differences and strive to be aware of learning opportunities that are Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. What that means to us and your child is that they will have opportunities to touch, see, hear, say, sing, act out, partner with others and participate in movement and hands on projects throughout their school experience.
  • Center for Advanced Learning (CAL), is a charter school sponsored by Reynolds and Gresham-Barlow as well as private sponsors. CALmakes it possible for bright, engaged teens to become successful professionals in today’s most innovative industries.  Each CAL student’s education is enriched by college-level coursework, hands-on learning, diverse program offerings, and real-world internships.  All students have the potential to apply what they’ve learned at CAL as they move from high school to professional success, with programs for dental and health sciences, mechanical engineering and manufacturing, computer information systems and digital media and design.
  • Academy for Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE), is a charter school sponsored by multiple districts and combines rigorous academic and technical education for juniors and seniors interested in the richly rewarding career paths in the design-build industry.

Oregon Higher Education options, available in the northwestern portion of Oregon, include:

Oregon Health Sciences University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: (503) 494-8311
Fax: (503) 494-8935
Web Site:    
  Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: (541) 737-1000
Fax: (541) 737-2400
Web Site:
Portland State University 
1825 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97207-0751 
Phone: (503) 725-3000 or
1-800-547-8887 ext. 5256
Fax: (503) 725-4882   
Web Site:
  University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
Phone: (541) 346-1000
Fax: (541) 346-3017
Web Site:
Western Oregon University
345 N Monmouth Ave.
Monmouth, OR 97361 
Phone: (503) 838-8000 
Fax: (503) 838-8474 
Web Site: 
  Cascade College
9101 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97216 
Phone: 1-800-555-PORT
Web Site:
Concordia University   – Has Permanently Ceased Operation      
2811 NE Holman            
Portland, OR 97211    
Phone: (503) 288-9371    -Message Phone
Web Site:   Presently Operational
  Corban College and Graduate School
5000 Deer Park Dr
Salem, OR 97107
Phone: (503) 581-8600
Web Site:
George Fox University  
414 N Meridian              
Newberg, OR 97132        
Phone: (503) 538-8383  
Web Site:
  ITT Technical Institute
9500 Cascades Parkway
Portland, OR 97218
Phone: (503) 255-6500
Web Site:
Lewis and Clark College
0615 SW Palantine Hill Rd
Portland, OR 97219     
Phone: (503) 768-7000    
Web Site:  
  Linfield College
900 SE Baker St.
McMinnville, OR 97128
Phone: (503) 883-2200
Web Site:
Pacific University       
2043 College Way          
Forest Grove, OR 97116 
Phone: (503) 352-6151   
Web Site:
  Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
Phone: (503) 777-7769
Fax: (503) 777-7769
Web Site:
University of Portland 
5000 N Willamette Blvd 
Portland, OR 97203
Phone: (503) 943-8000   
Web Site:
  Warner Pacific College
2219 SE 68th Ave
Portland, OR 97215
Phone: (503) 517-1000
Web Site:
Willamette University
900 State St
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 370-6300
Web Site:
Community Colleges:    
Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Dr    
Salem OR, 97309-7070 
Phone: (503) 399-5000
Web Site: 
  Clackamas Community College
19600 S Molalla Ave
Oregon City, OR 97045-9049
Phone: (503) 657-6958
Web Site:
Lane Community College
4000 E 30th Ave
Eugene, OR 97405-0640
Phone: (541) 463-3000  
Web Site:
  Linn-Benton Community College
6500 SW Pacific Blvd
Albany, OR 97321-3774
Phone: (541) 917-4999
Web Site:
Mt. Hood Community College 
26000 SE Stark St
Gresham, OR 97030-3300 
Phone: (503) 491-6422 
Web Site:   
  Portland Community College
PO Box 19000
Portland, OR 97280-0990
Phone: (503) 244-6111
Web Site:

Economic Development Services

Our Chamber Economic Development Committee will provide you with direct contact in our area, and an advocate for your interests. Each of our communities has programs designed to assist economic development. From tax abatement programs in the Enterprise Zone, direct assistance from Urban Renewal Districts, to direct fee waivers for tenant improvements in an existing building, we have a range of programs to support your business.

Land available in the region includes significant holdings by the Port of Portland (, Port of Cascade Locks (, and significant private holdings available for development along with existing structures that may be your perfect leasing opportunity. Private property availability can be viewed at, or

Make the right connection in our communities to assist you in your issues by contacting one of the following:

Wood Village

  1. Land Use
    1. Verification of uses in a zone: Johnathon Pierce; 503-489-6859,
    2. Simple Land Use Permits: Johnathon Pierce; 503-489-6859,
    3. Major Land Use Issues (conditional uses, code issues, changes, site plan or building design review): Johnathon Pierce; 503-489-6859,
  1. Building Permits
    1. Plumbing, electrical, mechanical and building permit or inspection contact for approved locations: Erika Olivares, 503-489-6861,
    2. Applications for building construction permits: Erika Olivares, 503-489-6861, 
    3. Access permits: City Streets; Erika Olivares, 503-489-6861, County Streets – Multnomah County Transportation 503-988-5050
    4. Street Cut or Encroachment Permits – City Streets: Johnathon Pierce; 503-489-6859, 
    5. County Streets – Multnomah County Transportation 503-988-5050
  1. Economic Development
    1. New or Potential Development Contact: Greg Dirks; 503-489-6854,
      1. Enterprise Zone: Greg Dirks; 503-489-6854,
      2. Zone Manager:  Greg Dirks;  503-489-6854,
      3. Urban Renewal: Greg Dirks; 503-489-6856,


  1. Land Use
    1. Verification of uses in a zone:  Chris Damgen; (503) 674.7228;
    2. Simple Land Use Permits:  Chris Damgen; (503) 674.7228;
    3. Major Land Use Issues (conditional uses, code issues, changes, site plan or building design review):  Chris Damgen; (503) 674-7228;
  1. Building Permits
    1. Plumbing, electrical, mechanical and building permit or inspection contact for approved locations: Ben Gardner; (503) 674-7229;
    2. Applications for building construction permits: Ben Gardner; (503) 674-7229;
  1. Transportation
    1. Access permits:  City Streets; Ben Gardner; (503) 674-7229;
    2. Street Cut or Encroachment Permits – City Streets:  Ben Gardner; (503) 674-7229;   
    3. County Streets – Multnomah County Transportation (503) 988-5050
  1. Economic Development
    1. Inquiries or Potential Development; Marlee Boxler; (503) 674-7248;
    2. Specific programs – Enterprise Zone, Urban Renewal:  Marlee Boxler; (503) 674-7248;


  1. Land Use
    1. Verification of uses in a zone: Sarah Selden; 503-674-6242;
    2. Simple Land Use Permits: Sarah Selden; 503-674-6242;
    3. Major Land Use Issues (conditional uses, code issues, changes, site plan or building design review): Sarah Selden; 503-674-6242;
  1. Building Permits
    1. Plumbing, electrical, mechanical and building permit or inspection contact for approved locations: Yvette Lock; 503-674-6205;
    2. Applications for building construction permits: Yvette Lock; 503-674-6205;
  1. Transportation
    1. Access permits: City Streets; Yvette Lock; 503-674-6205;; Miguel Sanchez; 503-674-6234;
    2. Street Cut or Encroachment Permits – City Streets:  Miguel Sanchez; 503-674-6205; 
    3. County Streets –  Miguel Sanchez; 503-674-6205;; Multnomah County Transportation:  503-988-5050 
  1. Economic Development
    1. New or Potential Development Contact: Sarah Selden; 503-674-6206; Allan Berry; 503-674-6235
    2. Specific program Contacts
      1. Enterprise Zone: Zone Manager: Sarah Selden; 503-674-6206

Cascade Locks

  1. All Services and Support Gordon Zimmerman, City Administrator, 541.374.8484,; or Olga Kaganova, Port General Manager for the Port of Cascade Locks, 541-374-2407,

Unincorporated Areas in Multnomah or Hood River Counties can be coordinated through our committee. Let us help you find the person you need by contacting us at