How Eastern Oregon Communities Can Prepare for Site Selector Requests

How Eastern Oregon Communities Can Prepare for Site Selector Requests Main Photo

16 Oct 2020


With companies and entrepreneurs looking to leave major west coast cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Eastern Oregon communities need to prepare for site selector requests. Typically, site selection consultants and executives expect a fast turnaround time so if you are not prepared to present your community, you may not have an opportunity to do so. At OTEC, we are here to help and to have conversations with site selectors. Still, it’s important for us all to be prepared and work together when possible. 

COVID-19 is leading to a departure from the cities and a large uptick in onshoring

We have already seen an uptick in companies leaving expensive coastal cities. COVID-19 increased this due to the strict restrictions that were placed on businesses and residents. Now, the onshoring trend is adding a third reason for companies to look at Eastern Oregon.

According to the Site Selectors Guild -

“Guild members predict COVID-19 will accelerate the regionalization of supply chains, with 81 percent of respondents saying COVID-19 will have a major impact on global supply chain strategies.

Members pointed out that the previous focus on the lowest cost scenario, which led to growth in China and Southeast Asia, will now become more balanced as companies look to reduce risk. This could benefit North American locations as more companies look to locate production facilities close to the customers they serve and increase redundancy. Many Guild members predict an uptick in on-shoring to the United States, Canada and Mexico – especially in the pharma and life sciences industries.”

An executive order signed on August 8th is likely to accelerate this growth as it calls for the increase in purchasing of medical supplies and drugs from U.S. manufacturers. In a nutshell, the onshoring trend has arrived. As companies come home, there will be communities who win contracts and grow. Eastern Oregon communities should prepare for the opportunity to work with site selectors and executives by preparing information on the following - 

#1 Available Commercial Sites

Eastern Oregon has affordable real estate - both shovel ready sites and existing buildings, some of which come with incentives and opportunities to reduce construction costs or lower lease rates. Communities should prepare information on property listings that includes proximity to infrastructure and the availability of utilities. 

#2 Location Advantages 

Located near major west coast cities, but closer to the rest of the western United States, Eastern Oregon is the premier location for new or expanding business. A location here makes it easy to serve customers in Boise, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle while benefiting from lower real estate and operational costs. It’s the best of both worlds. 

#3 Strong workforce

People want to live and work in Eastern Oregon for reasons that include a cost of living below the national average, fun downtown shopping and dining experiences, immediate access to year round outdoor recreation, good schools, parks and access to the big city. We have a well-educated workforce supported by Eastern Oregon University. The strength of our educational institutions and workforce needs to be captured in marketing material that can easily be shared with site selectors and executives. 

OTEC has prepared information for site selectors 

Much of this information is already available on the OTEC website. Communities within our region are encouraged to use our website to gather information. You can search for sites in your area specifically, along with regional resources, and combine them into a report that can be shared with site selectors. To do so, simply click the icon on the page that says “Add to report”. Once each page has been added, click “View custom report” to generate it. Since we know that site selectors and executives are making fast decisions, the ability to create this report immediately could be very useful.

Site Selector Report

References and further reading