East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, September 05, 2018, Page 8, Image 8

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    Page 8A
East Oregonian
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
ECONOMY: Hermiston doesn’t have an economic development director
Continued from 1A
when one person gets a job
in the area they have a sig-
nificant other who is looking
for a new job, too. Choosing
Hermiston puts them right
in the middle of the labor-
shed, with thousands of jobs
in Pendleton, Boardman and
the Tri-Cities just a half-
hour commute away.
“Nobody wants to get
stuck out on the bleeding
edge of the employment
pool,” Morgan said, citing a
reason some people choose
to work and live in Hermis-
ton instead of Boardman.
Morgan said when he
meets with potential employ-
ers considering an expansion
or new facility in Hermiston,
the number one question
they have for him is usually
whether they will be able to
find workers to fill positions,
which is why Hermiston’s
central location is important.
In some ways, Hermis-
ton takes a less hands-on
approach to economic
development than Pend-
leton. The city of Pendle-
ton has an economic devel-
opment director and a
full-time convention center
manager, and also contrib-
utes money for the associ-
ate director of the Pendleton
Development Commission
and a Pendleton Downtown
Association director. It has
focused on development of
an unmanned aerial systems
range at the Pendleton Air-
port and is moving forward
with plans for an industrial
park there.
Hermiston, on the other
hand, is relying on its parks
and recreation department
to run the Hermiston Com-
munity Center, has its city
planner Clint Spencer taking
point on the urban renewal
agency downtown, isn’t
financially involved in the
Hermiston Downtown Asso-
ciation and doesn’t have an
official economic develop-
ment director.
The city has invested
in economic development,
however. Morgan cred-
ited Hermiston’s regional
water system, which the city
implemented in the mid-
1990s, with making many of
Hermiston’s major employ-
ers possible. And when
people move into town to
work for one of the largest
employers, it often creates a
trickle-down effect of more
jobs in areas like retail and
“The formula is pretty
simple around here: Just
add water, and you will get
jobs,” Morgan said.
The city continues to
“add water,” extending the
system to the yet-undevel-
oped Cook Industrial Site
south of town and starting
the groundwork for a new
water tower on the northeast
side of town.
The water tower project
is more to encourage hous-
ing development than indus-
trial development, but more
housing means more work-
ers for potential employers
to consider when moving to
Finding employees can
be hard. Shearer’s Foods
expanded in Hermiston in
2014, adding 114 jobs. The
company is holding a job
fair Friday at Worksource
Hermiston, 950 S.E. Colum-
bia Drive, Suite B, from
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to recruit
for positions ranging from
reach truck operators to
Worksource Oregon is a
statewide network of pub-
lic and private partners that
provides employers and
employees a one-stop shop
to help match job seekers
with open positions created
by turnover or by new job
Manager Tara Morrell,
with the Oregon Employ-
ment Department, said the
recruitment events at Work-
source Oregon’s Hermiston
site can help area employ-
ers come into contact with
a diverse range of candi-
dates in a few hours that they
would have otherwise taken
weeks to see applications
from. Events like the one
for Shearer’s on Friday have
been a successful strategy in
the Hermiston area, she said.
“We customize recruit-
ment strategies to fit the
needs of the employer,” she
She said the success of
depends on maintaining a
good relationship with local
source Hermiston also help
job seekers, offering assis-
tance with applications and
résumés, free workshops,
skill assessments, copy/fax
machines and free internet
access for job-hunting.
According to the employ-
ment department’s data web-
site qualityinfo.org, unem-
ployment in Eastern Oregon
hit a record low of 4.7 per-
cent in July. That was down
from a high point of 11.2
percent in May 2009.
Contact Jade McDowell
at jmcdowell@eastorego-
nian.com or 541-564-4536.
PREUS: ‘The passing of the
bond was the real high moment’
Continued from 1A
EO file photo
Four members of a unmanned aerial test team have a lively discussion over lunch in
January at Elvis’s Bar & Grill during a break from their work at the Pendleton UAS
test range.
INDUSTRIAL: Funding from
government agencies expected
Continued from 1A
More immediately, a lack
of available hangar space
means new clients don’t
have space to store the air-
craft they’re testing. If the
Pendleton airport had more
hangars, Chrisman said, he
could easily bring in three
drone companies who would
each bring with them 5 to 50
Because UAS technol-
ogy is still relatively new,
Chrisman said these compa-
nies aren’t willing to invest
in new hangars themselves.
investing a lot of its own
money, funding from other
government agencies is
Chrisman said the state
has tentatively approved a
new $300,000 grant to reha-
bilitate one of its World War
II-era hangars for UAS use.
City Manager Robb Cor-
bett said the city is also con-
fident that it will receive $3
million from the U.S. Eco-
nomic Development Admin-
istration to build new han-
gars, although the grant has
not been awarded yet.
Turner reminded Chris-
man and the council about
some of the responsibilities
the UAS revenue would be
expected to take on.
With a state grant expir-
ing in July, the airport will
have to cover $250,000 in
salaries for the range man-
ager and range officer
Even though Chrisman
said the city is on track to
meet its benchmarks to slash
more than $1 million off
of a $1.7 million state loan
to build new hangars at the
airport, the city will still be
responsible for paying down
the balance of the debt.
Lastly, the airport still
owes about $2 million in
interfund debt to the city.
Chrisman said UAS
range revenues should con-
tinue to rise to meet its
expenses, but he argued that
an “explosive start-up” like
the UAS range shouldn’t be
saddled with the debt that
was accrued across decades
in the past.
Beyond the money the
UAS range is directly bring-
port our students achieve
their goals is inspiring.
I will cherish the many
memories I have made at
the college and in Eastern
Her years at BMCC
brought both highs and
“The passing of the
bond was the real high
moment,” Preus said. “So
many people dedicated
so much of their personal
time and effort to it. It was
exciting to get it up and
over the finish line.”
The bond, which passed
in 2015, funded workforce
development programs,
updated technology and
infrastructure. An earlier
$28 million bond failed by
a margin of 57 to 43 per-
cent. After that bond went
down, Preus held listening
sessions all around Uma-
tilla and Morrow counties
to find out why more vot-
ing to city coffers, Chris-
man said he’s working with
Business Oregon to accu-
rately measure the eco-
nomic impact the range has
brought to local businesses
in the restaurant, retail and
hospitality industries.
Chrisman also said com-
panies like PAE ISR, A^3
(an Airbus subsidiary), and
Modern Technology Solu-
tions Inc. aren’t just flying in
employees from elsewhere,
but also creating Pendle-
ton-based positions.
“It’s exciting,” he said.
“They’re hiring people right
here in Pendleton.”
As of Tuesday evening,
those three companies were
advertising four jobs based
in Pendleton.
Chrisman said the UAS
range would be a sustainable
enterprise for the city, and
encouraged the city to think
about in terms of decades,
not years.
“It’s not going any-
where,” he said.
Contact Antonio Sierra
at asierra@eastoregonian.
com or 541-966-0836.
ers didn’t back the bond.
Preus said the worst
moment of her presi-
dency was the shooting
at Umpqua Community
College near Roseburg on
Oct. 1, 2015. A 26-year-
old man enrolled at UCC
shot a professor and eight
students in a classroom.
“That really rocked me
back,” Preus said. “We had
to take a good look at how
to keep our students safe.
That it could happen so
close to home was devas-
tating and disheartening.”
Among her accomplish-
ments was the expansion
of career-technical educa-
tion programs in Morrow
County and Hermiston.
She represented the col-
lege on numerous local,
state and national boards
and committees, and
formed partnerships with
numerous organizations
and businesses to support
college efforts.
Prior to coming to
BMCC, Preus was the
director of the Oregon
Department of Commu-
nity Colleges and Work-
force Development, and
while in the position,
served as the Commis-
sioner of Community Col-
leges. In that position,
she worked for Gov. John
Kitzhaber. Now she serves
a 34-member board.
“I will have more
bosses, but the direction
will be more specific
as far as advocating for
community colleges and
their students,” Preus
The BMCC Board of
Education will tackle the
task of filling Preus’ shoes.
“The board now faces
a significant challenge to
replace one of the most
BMCC has ever known,”
said Chairman Chris
Contact Kathy Aney at
or 541-966-0810.
I have the power to
PIG: Owner unsure how someone
could mistake Porky for a wild pig
Continued from 1A
even weighed the animal,
she said, and it came to 167
Sure enough, it was
How someone could
mistake Porky for a wild pig
was beyond her. Like the
typical pot-bellied pig, she
said, Porky “only cleared
the ground by a couple of
inches, you know.” McK-
ague said she called the
Oregon State Police
Sgt. Tim Brown out of the
Pendleton office said troop-
ers responded and found
the hunter, a 52-year-old
man from Boring, a bed-
room community of Port-
land. The man had permis-
sion to hunt on private land,
Brown said, and saw the pig
in the road. Brown said the
man claimed he thought the
pig was feral, so he shot it.
The man was cooperative,
Brown said, and took the
trooper right to where he
killed the pig.
The trooper informed
the hunter the pig was a pet
and seized the carcass for
“We’re preparing a
report to send to the district
attorney,” Brown said. “No
citations at this point.”
Oregon has no hunting
license or tag requirements
for taking feral pigs, but the
state outlaws selling feral
pig hunts. Brown said the
nearest feral pigs he knows
of are in Wasco County and
no one local has reported
any to state police. McK-
ague, too, said there are no
feral pigs in the area.
“I want the idiot to have
to suffer, to pay for this,”
she said, “pay for the killing
of my pet.”
The East Oregonian tried
to contact the hunter, who
did not return messages by
deadline. The EO has not
used his name because he is
not facing criminal charges.
Brown advised any hunt-
ers thinking of killing a pig
to make sure it is not some-
one’s pet.
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