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Save the dates!

Rural Oregon's nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtables will be held May 2 (Location in Baker City TBD), Aug. 1 (Location in Wallowa County TBD), and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019. Details forthcoming.

The sessions include lunch.The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598.

 

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

9 Feb 2018, 12:20 pm

In today’s competitive global market, it is necessary for regions to have a long-term economic development strategy that can serve as a roadmap to progress and prosperity. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) does just that. It is a locally based, regionally driven economic-development planning process that successfully engages community leaders, private sector partners, Economic Development Districts (EDDs), and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future.
 
NEOEDD is leading a series of conversations and surveys across the region to gather input for a new CEDS document that will guide development activities for 2018-2023. On Jan. 24 community and business leaders from across Northeast Oregon gathered in La Grande (photos below) to consider the results of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) survey that NEOEDD distributed in January. The next step in the CEDS process is a public survey and three public discussions.

We need your input!
What are the guiding values that community leaders should consider when making policy? Take this survey to add your thoughts.

Please consider attending one of the upcoming CEDS community gatherings. Anyone interested in sharing ideas and priorities for the region's development is welcome to participate. The gatherings will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.:
• Feb. 28 at Baker County Fairgrounds Small Meeting Room, 2600 East St. in Baker City
• Mar. 7 at Community Connection, 702 NW 1st St. in Enterprise
• Mar. 14 at Blue Mt. Conference Center, 404 12th St. in La Grande
RSVP or ask for more information at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598.

9 Feb 2018, 12:19 pm

NEOEDD outreach specialist, Kristy Athens, worked on a food hub feasibility study for Wallowa County in 2017, thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust. Download it here.

9 Feb 2018, 12:09 pm

Rural Oregon's nonprofit organizations are exploring how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can build understanding, strengthen mission impact, and ensure public benefit. To this end, NEOEDD is organizing a series of roundtable discussions for regional nonprofit board members and staff to learn, share, and discuss DEI methods and strategies. The next roundtable will be held Feb. 7, 2018; others are planned for May 2, Aug. 1, and Nov. 7, 2018, and Feb. 6, 2019.

The Feb. 7 session will be held at the Island City Hall, 10605 Island Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including lunch. The title is “LGBTQ 101,” and will be led by Meg Bowen (pictured, with dog Sparky), quality director at Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise, and Stef Duncan and Kyrie Weaver of Safe Harbors in Enterprise. Bowen has worked in health care and primary care for more than 30 years and is a Pacific Northwest native. Duncan has worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault victims’ advocate for the past eight years, the last three of which as an LGBTQ-specific advocate in Wallowa County.

Sessions in October and December of last year focused on assessing an organization's progress in addressing DEI generally, within programs and at the governance level. The February roundtable focuses on a specific element of DEI: how denying human rights to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer members of our community not only threatens those individuals in obvious ways, but is also detrimental to everyone in the community.

"A community that is not safe for all of its members isn’t safe for any of its members," notes Bowen. "This roundtable will offer history and also present-day implications of fear and bigotry."

The cost to attend is $25 per person per roundtable discussion. Scholarships are available; please inquire at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598. Registration here.

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

9 Feb 2018, 12:04 pm

In today’s competitive global market, it is necessary for regions to have a long-term economic development strategy that can serve as a roadmap to progress and prosperity. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) does just that.  It is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process that engages community leaders, private sector partners, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future.    

The CEDS planning process creates a forum for the region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and brings together diverse partners to create living-wage jobs and livable communities, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth. An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its potential, as well as engage with the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants, such as EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Overall, an effective CEDS identifies locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life in our region. The planning process results in a document that is shared in the region and available to the public via NEOEDD’s website: http://www.neoedd.org/content/comprehensive-plan.

We have identified two different ways to participate in the planning process, and invite you to participate in either or both of them.

1.       Provide input on a few surveys that NEOEDD will be distributing to obtain perspectives and ideas from the community. The purpose of the first survey, the longest of the surveys, is to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the region. We are currently collecting responses to this survey here. Subsequent surveys will be used to help us identify projects and priorities for further development or implementation.

2.       Join us at local public input meetings that will be held in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. If you’d like to participate in a discussion and provide input, attend a public meeting, which will be held in February and/or March. If you provide your e-mail address to lisadawson@neoedd.org, we will notify you of the dates and times of these meetings.

Please provide your input on the SWOT survey by January 5, 2018.

9 Feb 2018, 12:04 pm

In today’s competitive global market, it is necessary for regions to have a long-term economic development strategy that can serve as a roadmap to progress and prosperity. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) does just that.  It is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process that engages community leaders, private sector partners, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future.    

The CEDS planning process creates a forum for the region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and brings together diverse partners to create living-wage jobs and livable communities, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth. An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its potential, as well as engage with the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants, such as EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Overall, an effective CEDS identifies locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life in our region. The planning process results in a document that is shared in the region and available to the public via NEOEDD’s website: http://www.neoedd.org/content/comprehensive-plan.

We have identified two different ways to participate in the planning process, and invite you to participate in either or both of them.

1.       Provide input on a few surveys that NEOEDD will be distributing to obtain perspectives and ideas from the community. The purpose of the first survey, the longest of the surveys, is to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the region. We are currently collecting responses to this survey here. Subsequent surveys will be used to help us identify projects and priorities for further development or implementation.

2.       Join us at local public input meetings that will be held in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. If you’d like to participate in a discussion and provide input, attend a public meeting, which will be held in February and/or March. If you provide your e-mail address to lisadawson@neoedd.org, we will notify you of the dates and times of these meetings.

Please provide your input on the SWOT survey by January 5, 2018.

9 Feb 2018, 12:04 pm

In today’s competitive global market, it is necessary for regions to have a long-term economic development strategy that can serve as a roadmap to progress and prosperity. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) does just that.  It is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process that engages community leaders, private sector partners, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future.    
The CEDS planning process creates a forum for the region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and brings together diverse partners to create living-wage jobs and livable communities, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth. An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its potential, as well as engage with the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants, such as EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Overall, an effective CEDS identifies locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life in our region. The planning process results in a document that is shared in the region and available to the public via NEOEDD’s website: http://www.neoedd.org/content/comprehensive-plan.
We have identified two different ways to participate in the planning process, and invite you to participate in either or both of them.
1.       Provide input on a few surveys that NEOEDD will be distributing to obtain perspectives and ideas from the community. The purpose of the first survey, the longest of the surveys, is to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the region. We are currently collecting responses to this survey here. Subsequent surveys will be used to help us identify projects and priorities for further development or implementation.
2.       Join us at local public input meetings that will be held in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. If you’d like to participate in a discussion and provide input, attend a public meeting, which will be held in February and/or March. If you provide your e-mail address to lisadawson@neoedd.org, we will notify you of the dates and times of these meetings.
Please provide your input on the SWOT survey by January 5, 2018.

9 Feb 2018, 12:04 pm

Back by popular demand: "GrantReady" organizational development and grant-writing training provides tools and skills needed to help nonprofits become more competitive for grant funding, and better prepared to operate and evaluate their programs and projects. NEOEDD plans to offer this series on the following Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

    Wallowa County: Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3 and 10

    Baker City: Apr. 7-28

GrantReady consists of four training sessions for volunteers and staff members of nonprofit organizations. Topics include:

    Organizational and project budgeting

    Components of a grant proposal

    Funding plan

    Evaluation methods

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

    Board relations

    Foundation site visits

    Grant reporting

Lunch will be provided. The cost for the series is $100 for the first participant from each nonprofit, with a discounted rate of $50 for each additional participant. Registration links are here for Enterprise and here for Baker City. The Enterprise series will be held at the Wallowa Resources building, 401 NE 1st St.

“Participants will also meet staff from several foundations, who will provide insights into their foundations and what they are looking for in a grant proposal,” says NEOEDD Executive Director Lisa Dawson. “This is a great opportunity for them to begin to make personal contacts in the nonprofit world.”

What past participants have said about GrantReady:

    “Learning about the different types of grants, (i.e., “Capacity Building,” etc.) was invaluable. Learning the correct budget submission for a grant proposal. Learning about “In-Kind” costs to add to the budget package.  Really, there is so much I learned from your class that I can’t praise it enough. I could not learn this same information any other way.”

    “The resource packets are phenomenally helpful.”

    “I benefited from listening to other nonprofits in the class as they discussed their issues. Priceless.”

    “The feedback on my grant proposal was invaluable. What a terrific opportunity to learn exactly what a grantor is looking for gives me confidence that I can propose a successful grant package.”

    “All of the slides and handouts are going in my permanent files. Their content is excellent in directing my energy in the right direction. And I really appreciate the resources, such as the list of grant awarding businesses.”

This program is available thanks to a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust.

22 Jan 2018, 10:31 am

Thanks to a multi-year grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) outreach specialist Kristy Athens is conducting a food hub feasibility survey for Wallowa County.

“We have so much food production here in the county, and most of it is exported instead of consumed,” says Kristy. “I want to explore options that could increase access to locally grown food crops, and also add value to crops, which could boost the local economy.”

A "food hub" is a business or organization that can provide any number of services to local farmers and ranchers, including cooler or freezer storage, washing/cutting/packaging, and distribution to wholesale purchasers. Aggregation can support smaller producers, who alone cannot provide the volume of food needed by most wholesale customers, such as grocery stores, schools, and restaurants. Keeping more of the food that is grown in Wallowa County in the county increases access to fresh, nutritious produce and meat, and makes our economy more resilient--meaning we're less reliant on outside supplies. You can learn more about food hubs at http://www.wallacecenter.org/foodhubcollaboration/.

Athens seeks input from two specific groups. The first group is producers—the farmers and ranchers who grow food in the county—survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WCproducers
The second group is wholesale purchasers—the restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, manufacturers that purchase, process and/or sell agricultural products—survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WCwholesalers

If it's appropriate, readers may take more than one survey, but they may take each only once. Share widely with your producer and buyer friends! If you have questions, contact Athens at kristyathens@neoedd.org or 541-426-3598.

28 Sep 2017, 9:18 am

More than 125 people in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties have helped finance their higher education or small business using the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, offered by Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD). IDAs provide a 3-to-1 savings match—someone who saves $1,000 and completes the program will receive an additional $3,000. Up to $12,000 total! Most savers are adults, but children 12 years or older who live in households with low-to-moderate incomes are also eligible to enroll.

For example, a 15-year-old saving for college could enroll in the program, save money for three years and graduate high school with a funds for tuition and fees at any accredited education program. Youth can also save to start or improve a business.  

“The IDA program is not a grant, it’s an earned incentive coupled with goal-setting, education and practical experience saving over a period of 6 to 36 months,” says NEOEDD’s executive director, Lisa Dawson. “It’s essentially a financial-responsibility program. The matched funds can put a good dent into a northeast Oregonian’s higher education bill, or pay for the equipment, signage, computer, or other investments needed to launch or improve a business.”

NEOEDD has leveraged more than a half-million dollars that have circulated into our region via the IDA program. Once accepted, program participants receive free education or business-planning and money-management classes, helping them build fiscal responsibility and saving habits that can last a lifetime.

The 2017 income limits for eligibility and other information for the program is here.

14 Sep 2017, 8:40 am