There’s no better small metro area in the country to do business than in Deschutes County, according to the latest Milken Institute study.
The Bend-Redmond area topped the non-partisan, non-profit think tank’s 2016 Best Performing Small Cities index, moving up from eighth place a year ago. The Milken Institute’s index analyzes metrics such as job creation, wage gains and technology developments when coming up with its rankings. The Bend-Redmond area improved in seven of the index’s nine indicators, most significantly going from third to first in one-year job growth and 160th to 21st in five-year wages and salaries growth.
“We really enjoyed learning more about the extremely collaborative approach the Bend-Redmond region continually takes towards development and think it bodes well for your economy,” stated Minoli Ratnatunga, Associate Director of Regional Economics Research at the Milken Institute. “We hope that the lessons learned from Central Oregon will be of use to local decision-makers across the country.”
Ratnatunga and a team of research analysts at Milken also released a Bend-Redmond specific case study, looking at Central Oregon’s growth since the 1970s.
The Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) helped Milken researchers with introductions to individuals and organizations across the area that could provide perspectives and illuminate strategies and efforts to improve and diversify the economy.
“It was an honor to work with the Milken Institute economists, and to be selected for this study,” said Roger Lee, EDCO executive director. “We will be following their ongoing research about other places in the country from which we can learn and improve.
College Station, Texas, home to Texas A&M University, finished second in the 2016 Small Cities index, with San Rafael, California (third); St. George, Utah (fourth); and Logan, Utah (fifth), rounding out the top five.