While national trends in population, consumer demand and general market forces affect our economy, there are specific niches that stand out and are showing strength above and beyond national influences.
In addition to higher education and tourism, Ashland has a strong and growing health care community. High-performing businesses, many who are leaders in their respective industries range from technology innovators and filmmakers to specialty manufacturers, food and beverage producers and artisans. Many incorporate green and sustainable practices and have received statewide accolades for their accomplishments. Light manufacturing firms operate global businesses while hundreds of home-based businesses continue to grow with the support of excellent locally provided fiber connectivity giving Ashland a reputation for cultivating successful, dynamic and leading-edge companies.
Southern Oregon University, with 6,100 students, plus faculty, staff, and administration numbering over 750, creates more than $195 million per year in overall economic activity for Southern Oregon. This sets the stage for a highly educated workforce and population, an engaged citizenry, and knowledgeable public.
The City of Ashland has over 250 employees and a total annual payroll of just under $20 million. Employees of the City manage and maintain key electric, fiber, water and transportation infrastructure essential to the success of the local economy as well as public safety and parks and recreation services that maintain an outstanding quality of life for the residents. Citizen surveys consistently rank the quality of services they receive from the City as excellent.