Oregon Economic Development Foundation notes `success stories’

Kelly J. Kaczala

       Summer Vriezelaar, executive director of the Oregon Economic Development Foundation, recently gave a five year update on economic development in the city.
        “In the past five years, there has been a great amount of Oregon economic development,” Vriezelaar said at an economic development committee on July 22. Success stories include:
        •The Oregon Clean Energy power plant, a $900 million investment creating 35 new jobs. It also provides $1 million annually to the Oregon City Schools District;
        •Interstate Chemical Company, a $62 million investment creating 40 new jobs;
        •Musical Fulfillment Services, $750,000 investment creating 30 new jobs in partnership with the NAI Harmon Group;
        •Adler Pelzer Group, a $10 million investment creating 80 new jobs in partnership with the NAI Harmon Group.
        “The Oregon Economic Development Foundation works closely with the city and developers on the town center project,” said Vriezelaar.
        “We work in partnership with the city currently to run the farmer’s market on behalf of the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce until they hire a new executive director,” she said.
        The Foundation is also working with the Oregon Economic Development Foundation marketing committee and GIS Web Tech on a marketing tool called “Story Mapping,” to help market the Oregon Ohio area, she said.
        “We’re working with the Foundation’s membership committee, trustee board, executive board, Lucas County and the Regional Growth Partnership on business retention and expansion, and growing our membership.”
Community Events
        Besides the city’s farmer’s market, the Foundation also supports many other community events, such as the Eastern YMCA Turkey Trot, the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce golf outing, the City of Oregon Tree lighting ceremony and Christmas events, the Oregon Haunted History Tour in partnership with the Oregon - Jerusalem Township Historical Society, the Oregon city schools Operation Graduation Drive Parade, and the COVID-19 2020 Senior Picture Surprise project in partnership with the Oregon City Schools Foundation, she said.
        The Foundation was a key leader in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure in partnership with Oregon City Schools, and helped launch the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for Oregon in partnership with Toledo Refining Company, Mercy St. Charles, and Oregon City Schools Foundation, she said.
        “We also support our rec programs and their events as well,” she said.
        Since 1993, the Foundation has been a public-private partnership between the business community and the City of Oregon as a designated economic development arm of the city. The Foundation has no authority to make decisions for the city. Its job is to seek out and present opportunities and to work with businesses and industry that continue to thrive in Oregon. The Foundation is currently empowered by 97 investors, said Vriezelaar.
        “We work closely with our private business investors, landlords, property owners, real estate agents and brokers to retain business, bring new business, and bring jobs to our area,” She said. A few of those partners consist of the Regional Growth Partnership, Jobs Ohio, Northwest Ohio Economic Development, Ohio Economic Development Association, Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, Toledo Chamber of Commerce, Oregon City Schools, Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School, Oregon Parks and Recreation, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, and Mercy St. Charles Hospital.


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