City Seeks Designation for Regionally Significant Industrial Area

Release Date: 
01/13/2014

The Hermiston City Council voted Monday to nominate the Cook Industrial Site as a Regionally Significant Industrial Area (RSIA).  The Oregon Economic Recovery Review Council will now consider the nomination and could make a determination as early as May.

The 2011 Oregon Legislature created the RSIA program with the intent of targeting job growth in areas best suited to accommodate it and implement a strategy of improvements for priority locations.  There are currently only three RSIAs elsewhere in the state, and the 2011 legislation limits the number to no more than 15.

The City of Hermiston was encouraged by Governor Kitzhaber’s Eastern Regional Solutions Team to apply for the designation because of the area’s competitive advantage created by its available labor force.  The Hermiston area’s proximity to the Tri-Cities, Washington gives it a larger labor force within a 30 mile radius than anywhere else in eastern or central Oregon.  There are nearly 117,000 people who live within 30 miles of Hermiston and are actively in the labor force.  That’s compared to the Bend, Oregon area which has the next-largest labor force within a 30 mile radius in eastern or central Oregon with 63,000 people.

A large available labor force makes it easier for large-scale employers to fill positions if they locate to the area.  The Cook Industrial Site offers a 282 acre site which has been certified as “project ready” by the State of Oregon.

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