Thursday, October 26, 2006

Quick Hitters III: Kulo Brings Home the Bacon--er, Mac 'n' Soda

[There are all kinds of interesting things going on right now, as I suppose you would expect in the height of what veteran pols call "the silly season." So I'll make a departure from my typically verbose style and give you more links and facts, less solipsistic analysis in a series of quick-hitter posts. Here's another...]

What has Ted Kulongoski done to help Oregon's economy? While Ron Saxton continues to bellyache about a lack of vision and failure to improve the business climate in the state, the goobernor has been doing a pretty nice sales job impressing companies that the climate actually isn't that bad. Kulongoski has helped draw traditional Silicon Forest companies like Google and Genentech, but also a much needed old-style manufacturing boost. Here are excerpts from two recent releases on new companies moving in:
White City, Oregon—Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski threw a switch today, and symbolically started up production in the Medford area’s new Amy’s Kitchen plant, a huge facility that covers 185,000 square feet and will employ 250 people.

“The fact that Amy’s Kitchen has chosen to locate in Medford is the climax of a story that’s still being written—an exciting story with a simple moral,” the Governor told a crowd of Medford business leaders, local officials and workers. “When the state partners with local government and the private sector, when we roll up our sleeves and coordinate our efforts to reach out to businesses and tell them about the exciting opportunities Oregon offers, when we mobilize our resources to smooth the way for companies like Amy’s Kitchen, great things can happen for Oregon.”

Factors that led to Amy’s Kitchen move to southern Oregon include low electric power costs, low workers’ comp costs, and the fact that farmers grow over 240 agricultural crops in the Willamette Valley, the Governor said. The company learned about the site through a presentation at a Los Angeles trade show in 2003 by members of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc., on the advantages of doing business in Oregon. The Governor’s economic development team followed up on the presentation, which ultimately led Andy Berlinger to visit Medford and check out the potential site.


Salem, Oregon—Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski today congratulated PespiCo’s decision to locate a new major facility in South Albany.

The $250 million dollar South Albany facility will create 500 family wage jobs for the area, with average salaries of more than $45,000 plus full health benefits for workers. The 1.8 million square foot production and container manufacturing facility will also seek LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the facility, a benchmark for high performance “green” buildings.

The Governor said that he looks forward to attending the groundbreaking set for spring 2007.

The Governor noted that his Economic Revitalization Team had been working with city and landowners toward site certification when PepsiCo first expressed interest in the site. State agencies were also mobilized in advance to address wetland mitigation and transportation issues to speed development of the facility under the Governor’s Industrial Lands Certification program.

“Business moves fast – and to stay competitive, state government must move at the speed of business,” said the Governor. “Our certification program is delivering results for Oregon and a healthy business climate for our state.”
So there!