On November 14, business and community leaders will meet to review economic progress and look ahead at opportunities to build on local strengths and assets. The meeting, titled “Accelerating Our Economy: Regional Prosperity Summit” is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. This summit builds on the work of a previous effort in 2009.
The area’s economy has shifted since the last Regional Prosperity Summit in 2009 during the depths of the recession. The regional unemployment rate has declined; Eugene and Springfield downtowns have seen significant revitalization; University of Oregon affiliated startups and companies have created hundreds of new jobs and brought in millions in new revenue; and local entrepreneurship continues to grow and thrive. There is still more work to be done to maximize key strengths and build on opportunities.
The summit is a joint effort of the Cities of Eugene and Springfield, Lane County, the University of Oregon, and the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce. Max Williams, President and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Expert panels will discuss areas of regional strength, including education technology; food and beverage production; and specialized manufacturing.
“We have committed to building a strong, resilient economy, even in the midst of a global economic crisis,” said Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. “In 2009 we came together to set goals, create a plan, and put strategies in place. Communities, agencies, and businesses worked on pieces of the plan and made tangible progress. Now is the precise time to up our game and to take it to the next level.”
“This summit is about taking ideas from paper to action, with the ultimate goal of creating jobs and new opportunities for economic growth,” said Lane County Board Chair Sid Leiken. “Rebuilding our economy is vital to our region’s future success. The more we can focus on creating new jobs and opportunities for businesses to expand and grow, the more prosperous our region will become.”
“A great deal has been achieved since the last Regional Economic Summit and there are opportunities that will take our communities to the next level. Smart economic development is vital for our region’s future prosperity,” said Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg.
The summit is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. Business owners, non-profits, artists, community leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and residents are encouraged to attend. More information on the event and on-line registration is available through the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce website,