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Ashland, OR 97520
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Ashland Oregon Chamber of Commerce / Your Business / ASHLAND ECONOMY / THE ECONOMIC BASE / Industry Clusters

IndustryClusters
 

Industry Clusters

A new focus of economic development is to foster and support “industrial clusters” in an effort to improve employment and incomes of a region. Industrial clusters are groups of similar or related firms who are located in close proximity to each other and who share suppliers or customer markets, or are supported by a common specialized infrastructure. Firms in clusters benefit from lower costs and competitive advantages by virtue of their relationships with similar firms, or because of easier access to new technologies or specialized labor pools and public infrastructure. Examples of industrial clusters include the wine industry in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the automobile industry in Detroit, and the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.

Opportunities to develop clusters in the state and in the southern Oregon region have been identified by several research works. The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department’s Oregon Industry Clusters:  A Statistical Analysis, (Cortright, 2003) spotlighted eleven cluster opportunities statewide including the high technology/software, food processing, recreation, and biomedical industries. Joining OECDD’s  effort  is  the  Oregon  Business  Plan,  a  private/public  partnership  of  businesses, business associations, and public agencies. More recently, Southern Oregon University’s School of Business completed an analysis of regional clusters entitled Industrial Clusters in Jackson and Josephine Counties (Reid  et  al,  2007). The study found eleven potential clusters in the region, including food and beverage production manufacturing and sales; electronic shopping; elder/health care; creative industries; and tourism and recreation industries. ECONorthwest’s City of Ashland: Economic Opportunities Analysis pointed out industrial clusters that may be successful or have potential growth in Ashland and include: 

  • Headquarters. This is a growing cluster in the Rogue Valley that includes Management of Companies. Firms may choose to locate in Ashland because of its comparative advantages.

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