E. Oregon Economic Summit to Focus on Local, Regional, Federal Issues

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Area officials celebrate the opening of Wanapa Road in June. The project was possible thanks to a bill appropriating $3.5 million in lottery bond proceeds to build a road and utility infrastructure accessing previously landlocked properties owned by the Portof Umatilla,, CTUIR, and the Department of Corrections.

Hermiston High School will be the site of the first annual Eastern Oregon Economic Summit on Friday, July 26 with a wide range of speakers and issues to be covered.

The event goes from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and registration for the summit is open to the public. The cost to attend is $25 and includes lunch. To register, visit the event website.

Organized by the Eastern Oregon Women’s Coalition, the event will cover issues on economic development, government procurement, movement of commodities, education, and legislative updates from state and federal elected officials. There will be keynote speakers and breakout panel discussions.

Bobby Levy, president of the Eastern Oregon Women’s Coalition, said the summit was developed to fill a void.

“In visiting with private and public sector leaders, there was no singular event to address eastern Oregon’s economic issues or how to grow rural Oregon’s presence in Salem and beyond,” she said. “This summit will bring a wide variety of issues under one roof and help attendees leverage the area’s economic growth. We intend for this to be an annual event.”

The day begins with check-in at 7:30 a.m. Regional economist Chris Rich will open the summit with an economic update, followed by a series of speakers, including U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) at 11:25 a.m.

The sessions include a state legislative panel with state and federal updates. Paul Phillips of Pac/West Communications will talking about “Growing Eastern Oregon’s Voice” at 11 a.m.

During the lunch break, Eastern Oregon University President Tom Insko and Community College Association Director Cam Preus, former president of Blue Mountain Community College, will speak.

After lunch, breakout sessions will cover a variety of issues and challenges facing industries across the region. Go to the event website for the full agenda.

For more information, call 541-667-7150.