About Oregon's Industry Clusters | Oregon Business Plan (2023)

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Industry Clusters: The Structure of Oregon’s Economy

Oregon’s economy is driven by traded sector industry clusters. These clusters — consisting of companies, competitors, and suppliers that specialize in particular products, services and markets — generate payrolls that sustain families, and in turn, local businesses and government services. The pages of this website describe some ofOregon’s leading industry clustersand whatwe can do as a community to helpthem grow and create more high paying jobsthroughout Oregon.

What Are Traded Sector Companies and Why Are They Important?

Traded sector companies are those that ring up sales outside of Oregon, bringing in fresh dollars that support families, local businesses, and government services–essentially companies that export their products and services to other U.S. states and other countries around the globe. These companies are particularly important because they create new wealth rather than just recirculating thewealth that is already here.

While the focus of the Oregon Business Plan is on traded sector industries, all businesses add to Oregon’s economic well being. Local businesses, which make up the majority of Oregon enterprises — often support traded sector companies, add to the local quality of life, and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for citizens. They can also grow into traded sector companies as they expand sales beyond their location.

IWhat Are “Clusters?”

Industry clustersare geographic concentrations ofsimilar and/or related firms that draw competitive advantage from their proximity to competitors, to a skilled workforce, to specialized suppliers,55 and a shared base of sophisticated knowledge about their industry.

(Video) Oregon’s Office of Small Business Assistance: What We Can Do For You

Clusters illustrate why place still matters in the global economy. Businesses thrive in particular locations because their network of local connections to a specially skilled local workforce and the availability of strong local suppliers in proximity to one another generates business advantages that can not easily be imitated or competed away by low cost competitors.

The fact that businesses “cluster” may seem like a paradox in the age of the Internet. While many people have assumed that the emergence of the global economy has somehow diminished or reversed the importance of place—“in an information economy, anything can be anywhere,” it is asserted –careful studies have shown the reverse is true. Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter documented that the creation and maintenance of competitive advantage hinges most critically on clusters of highly competitive firms in a wide variety of industries in every developed country.

What Are Oregon’s Key Industry Clusters?

The list on the left describes some of Oregon key industry clusters. If you click on a cluster, you’ll be taken to a page that describes the industry, its economic contribution to Oregon and an assessment-from industry leaders–about what Oregon can do to help the industry continue to thrive here. While there are about 20 industry clusters listed to the left, to simplify our thinking about Oregon’s economy we have grouped these into 5 major categories: Activewear and Outdoor Gear Industries, Natural Resource Industries, Advanced Manufacturing Industries, High Tech Industries, and Clean/Green Technology Industries.

How Can I Support Oregon’s IndustryClusters?

All of Oregon’s traded sector industry clusterscontribute to our state’s economic performance and well-being. Our strategy isn’t about picking winners or whose most important, but looking to improve the competitive success of every industry. Clusters are a vehicle for organization, public-private collaboration, and action to identify and advance the state economy. Understanding our traded sector industry clusters and helping them succeed in Oregon presents our best opportunity to build sustainable competitive advantage and create high wage jobs for Oregonians and communities around the state.

Clusters can be used in a number of different ways to organize our thinking about the economy, to network groups of private sector firms for their mutual advantage, to efficiently promote clear lines of communication between the public and private sectors, and as a vehicle for organizing public policy. Clusters are not the exclusive province of any one organization or agency—they are a way we can all better understand our economy and work together to promote the common economic good.

Uses the information below and the pages on the left to develop an understanding of the industries that drive Oregon’s economy, their assessment of Oregon as a place to do business, and their ideas about how to make it even better.And remember:

(Video) Oregon Manufacturing

Clusters are …

-Not just a public sector activity: clusters are about the relationships between private sector firms that share similarities and don’t depend on the public sector to define or make them. Clusters are also not a “program” for the state or community, but a way for all government entities and private firms to think about the way their activities influence the private sector of the economy.

-Not a creation: clusters can be supported by government policy, but cannot be created where none exist. The government does not pick winners, nor are clusters ranked or excluded, but a group working together.

-Not a “one size fits all”: there is not a single set of policies or activities that are required to be a successful cluster, and organization can be as formal or informal as works best. Too frequently, our economic development efforts present the private sector with a predetermined array of programs and services; clusters give us a way of crafting our efforts to develop each industry to its most pressing concerns.

Natural Resource Industry Clusters

Oregon’s traditional natural resource base is the platform for industry clusters in forestry and wood products, agriculture, nursery products, and food processing. Oregon’s tourism and hospitality industry is also bolstered by our great scenic endowment, outdoor recreation and culinary landscape.

The state’s resource-based industries are important contributors to Oregon’s export portfolio. Oregon exports about $3 billion in food products and about $500 million in forest products annually (Because of import restrictions elsewhere, nursery products are sold primarily inside the United States).

(Video) Oregon Manufacturing - Environment

Businesses in each of these industries capitalize on Oregon’s strong reputation for quality and environmental integrity. In forest products and agriculture, some of the strongest growth markets are those that demand rigorous sustainability criteria. Oregon’s wine industry competes on quality at the high end of the world marketplace.

Advanced Manufacturing Industry Clusters

Despite concerns about the decline of manufacturing nationally, Oregon remains a place that makes things. Oregon’s clusters in metals, machinery and transportation equipment include firms making primary metals such as steel and titanium, producers of fabricated metal products ranging from knives to steel structures, and makers of a wide range of industrial machinery, barges, trucks, recreational vehicles, aviation components, and kits.

High Technology Industry Clusters

Oregon is an important center of high technology businesses, whose products include computers, semiconductors, electronic instruments and software. The industry is anchored by Intel’s operations in Washington County. The metropolitan area is home to hundreds of other high tech firms, many started as spin-offs from Intel, Tektronix, and Electro Scientific Industries. The state also includes a robust bioscience and medical devices industry.

Footwear, Outdoor Gear and Apparel Industry Clusters

Oregon is home to the world’s most recognized brands in footwear and sports apparel. Locally headquartered firms include Nike, Columbia Sportswear and the North American headquarters of Adidas. Other recreation related firms flourish in communities around the sate, from aluminum boat builders in Southern Oregon, to wind sports gear manufacturers in the Columbia Gorge and bicycle manufactures in the Willamette Valley.

Clean Technology Industry Clusters

Oregon’s commitment to alternative energy development and sustainability policies have made the state a leader in a range of emerging clean technology industries. According to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, Oregon now has a larger percentage of its workforce employed in clean energy technology than any other state in the nation.

Other Idustry Clusters

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(Video) 1) The Big Picture: Oregon Forestry - Understanding the Tax Contributions of Oregon’s Forest Sector

(Video) Oregon Business Plan – Tourism Industry Cluster Session (Dec. 3, 2020)


What types of businesses or industries flourish in Oregon? ›

Oregon's Target Industries
  • Metals & Machinery.
  • Business Services.
  • Food & Beverages.
  • Forestry & Wood Products.
  • High Technology.
  • Outdoor Gear & Apparel.

What is Oregon business and industry? ›

Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) is Oregon's leading statewide business association representing more than 1,600 businesses and industries in the state. With a member-driven focus, we advance and protect business interests in Oregon's state capitol, state and federal agencies, Congress, and the courts.

What are the top 3 industries in Oregon? ›

Overview of the Oregon Economy

The top three sectors by total employment are Manufacturing, Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, Healthcare and Social Assistance, while the unemployment rate across the state in 2022 was 3.8%.

What is an industry cluster? ›

An industry cluster is a group of firms and related stakeholders that gain productive advantages from operating in close proximity -- such as deeper labor pools, better access to customers and suppliers, knowledge spillovers, and other economies of scale.

What is the main industry in Oregon? ›

Oregon's traditional natural resource base is the platform for industry clusters in forestry and wood products, agriculture, nursery products, and food processing. Oregon's tourism and hospitality industry is also bolstered by our great scenic endowment, outdoor recreation and culinary landscape.

What is an important industry in Oregon? ›

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

Oregon is among the leading states in the country in the production of hazelnuts, peppermint, raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries.

What are the 5 biggest industries in Oregon? ›

What Are The Biggest Industries In Oregon?
  • The Economy Of Oregon. The economy of Oregon was based on natural resources (agriculture, fishing, and timber) until the 1980s when it was hit by hard times. ...
  • Agriculture. ...
  • Fishing And Forestry. ...
  • Tourism. ...
  • Manufacturing.
24 Jan 2020

What is Portland's biggest industry? ›

Manufacturing. Portland is a national leader in specialized areas of manufacturing. Products include high tech electronics and specialty metal fabrication.

What is the fastest growing industry in Oregon? ›

Software & IT is one of the fastest growing industry groups in Oregon, with 59 percent employment growth over the past 10 years. More than 5,300 Software & IT businesses call Oregon home.

What industries is Oregon's economy based on? ›

In 2021, the finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing industry added the most real value to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Oregon, amounting to around 40.22 billion U.S. dollars. In the same year, the construction industry contributed around 8.77 billion U.S. dollars worth of value to the state's GDP.

How does Oregon make money? ›

General Fund dollars come almost entirely from income taxes paid by individual Oregonians and Oregon businesses. The General Fund is also the most discretionary source of funds that the Governor and Legislature may spend. Other Funds are the largest single category of revenues the state receives for the state budget.

What is the most common job in Oregon? ›


What is an example of industry cluster? ›

Some well-known examples include New York's Financial Services cluster or Silicon Valley's IT cluster. Memphis has a strong Transportation, Distribution and Logistics industry cluster because of the city's central location, infrastructure and high concentration of companies to support the industry.

What is the importance of industrial clusters? ›

Opportunities through collaboration. Through a multi-stakeholder collaboration, industrial clusters provide an opportunity to not only reduce emissions, but also deliver other benefits such as job creation, productivity gains, green credentials and acceleration of technology deployment.

What are the benefits of industrial clusters? ›

Career Resources
  • Increased Productivity. The specialized inputs, synergies, and increased access to information/public goods that accompany cluster manufacturing all boost productivity of plants.
  • Specialized Workers. ...
  • Retrieving Investors. ...
  • Rapid Innovation. ...
  • More Effective Business Formations. ...
  • Not without fault.
6 Aug 2013

What does Oregon produce the most? ›

Oregon's top agricultural products include: milk, nursery stock, hops, cattle and calves, berries, pears, potatoes, eggs, onions, peppermint, wine grapes, cherries, hay and sweet corn. There are more than 38,500 farms in Oregon, a number that is down about four percent from the previous census five years ago.

How big is the Oregon economy? ›

$270.12 billion

What are the most important crops and industries in Oregon? ›

Beef cattle, hay, potatoes, and mint grow in this scenic area of the state. But the most intensive production is found in the Treasure Valley along the Idaho border where much of the nation's onion production takes place. Other irrigated crops include sugar beets and a variety of vegetables.

What does Oregon export the most? ›

While computer and electronic products currently top Oregon exports at $5.6 billion, agriculture is nothing to sneeze at with nearly $2 billion in exports. Add in processed food, and total ag-related exports easily surpasses $2 billion in international exports that benefit the Oregon economy.

What's Oregon best known for? ›

Oregon is famous for its amazing natural wonders like Crater Lake, Mount Hood, and Cannon Beach. It's also the home of Nike, Portland, and thousands of llamas.

What products is Oregon known for? ›

When it comes to food, Oregon is known for blueberries, huckleberries, marionberries, Dungeness crab, and hazelnuts (Oregon produces 99% of the nation's hazelnut crops). Voodoo donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, Tillamook cheese, are also all popular foods with origins in Oregon!

Who is the largest employer in Oregon? ›

Major Employers Ranked by Employment
NumberNameRegional Employees
2Providence Health & Services21,000
3Oregon Health & Science University18,048
76 more rows

What are the top 10 commodities in Oregon? ›

Oregon's top-10 valued commodities by value for the 2020 crop year are:
  • Greenhouse & nursery, $1,188,911,000.
  • Cattle & calves, $587,848,000.
  • Hay, $569,160,000.
  • Milk, $557,348,000.
  • Grass seed, $458,367,000.
  • Wheat, $273,760,000.
  • Potatoes, $216,810,000.
  • Grapes for wine, $157,900,000.
15 Oct 2021

What does Oregon sell the most of? ›

Oregon's Top 10 Exports
  • Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): US$11.6 billion (38.6% of Oregon's total exports)
  • Machinery for making semi-conductors: $2.3 billion (7.7%)
  • Potassium chloride: $1.03 billion (3.5%)
  • Wheat (excluding durum): $990.1 million (3.3%)
  • Semi-trailer road tractors: $648.3 million (2.2%)
19 Oct 2022

What is Portland's industry? ›

Greater Portland's Top Industries
  • Apparel & Outdoor. Greater Portland is the world's epicenter for apparel & outdoor. ...
  • Bioscience. ...
  • Climate Tech. ...
  • Computers & Electronics. ...
  • Design & Media. ...
  • Food & Beverage. ...
  • Metals & Machinery. ...
  • Software.

What is Portland's main export? ›

Trade In August 2022, the top exports of Portland, OR were Potassic Fertilizers ($196M), Cars ($92.1M), Carbonates ($80.3M), Delivery Trucks ($27.7M), and Wheat ($23.4M).

What is Portland's slogan? ›

The slogan, "The City that Works," is accompanied by the city/county information and referral line number, 503-823-4000, and the name of the bureau that operates the vehicle.

Which state has the best industry? ›

With 24,304 manufacturers employing 1,541,000 manufacturing workers, California is the nation's largest manufacturing state. A hotbed for innovation, electronics is California's largest industrial sector, home to top companies such as Tesla, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics.

Which industry is most growing? ›

Global Fastest Growing Industries by Revenue Growth (%) in 2022
  • Global Airport Operation. 47.2%
  • Global Hotels & Resorts. 40.6%
  • Global Travel Agency Services. 40.4%
  • Global Tourism. ...
  • Global Airlines. ...
  • Global Casinos & Online Gambling. ...
  • Global Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing. ...
  • Global Semiconductor & Electronic Parts Manufacturing.

Is Oregon a good state to start a business? ›

Whether you have an established small business or are just entering the startup scene, Oregon offers something for everyone. With its favorable business climate and tax incentives – not to mention lower operating costs than traditional startup hubs – you may see your business grow at a faster rate in the Beaver State.

Is the economy good in Oregon? ›

Oregon's economy entered the 2019–2021 biennium with job growth that was faster than the nation, and unemployment rates that were at historic lows.

What are the main resources in Oregon? ›

When we refer to natural resources in Oregon, we generally mean arable farm land, forests and grasslands, fisheries, and water in all its forms (freshwater rivers and wetlands, and marine resources and estuaries). These natural resources are intimately tied with rural life.

What goods are manufactured in Oregon? ›

Oregon leads the states in lumber production. Food processing is the third-ranking manufacturing activity in the state. The most important products in this sector are frozen fruits and vegetables. Other processed foods include baked goods, beverages and canned goods.

How much is salary in Oregon? ›

As of Oct 22, the average annual salary in Oregon is $61,855. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $29.74 an hour. This is equivalent of $1,189 a week or $5,154 a month. Most salaries in Oregon range between $43,553 (25th percentile) to $78,888 (75th percentile) annually.

What is a living salary in Oregon? ›

Living Wage Calculation for Multnomah County, Oregon
0 Children2 Children
Living Wage$21.60$26.93
Poverty Wage$6.19$6.37
Minimum Wage$14.75$14.75

What is the minimum wage in Oregon? ›

On July 1, 2022, Oregon hourly minimum wage becomes $13.50 in Jackson and Josephine Counties and other "standard" counties. It is $12.75 today. The minimum wage in nonurban counties rises from $12.00 per hour to $12.50. The Portland metro area minimum wage increases 75 cents to $14.75 per hour tomorrow.

What is good pay in Oregon? ›

$23,363 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $76,551 is the 75th percentile.

What is the highest paying job in Oregon? ›

Detailed List Of Highest Paying Jobs In Oregon
RankJob TitleAverage Salary
1President & Chief Technology Officer$193,523
2Vice President, Product Management$188,366
4Vice President, Field Operations$176,585
88 more rows
11 Apr 2022

What is the number 1 highest paying job? ›

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
4 Oct 2022

What are the 4 types of industry and examples? ›

Industry, a group of productive enterprises or organizations that produce or supply goods, services, or sources of income. In economics, industries are customarily classified as primary, secondary, and tertiary; secondary industries are further classified as heavy and light.

What makes a successful cluster? ›

Among these factors are a clear core competency, access to funding, strong leadership with the capability to run companies, highly qualified researchers for new ideas, skilled workers, and demand for the cluster products or services.

What is the purpose of a cluster? ›

At a high level, a computer cluster is a group of two or more computers, or nodes, that run in parallel to achieve a common goal. This allows workloads consisting of a high number of individual, parallelizable tasks to be distributed among the nodes in the cluster.

What is the goal of cluster? ›

The goal of clustering is to find distinct groups or “clusters” within a data set. Using a machine language algorithm, the tool creates groups where items in a similar group will, in general, have similar characteristics to each other.

How do clusters work? ›

In a computer system, a cluster is a group of servers and other resources that act like a single system and enable high availability, load balancing and parallel processing. These systems can range from a two-node system of two personal computers (PCs) to a supercomputer that has a cluster architecture.

Why are clusters good for economy? ›

Clusters arise because they raise a company's productivity, which is influenced by local assets and the presence of like firms, institutions, and infrastructure that surround it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cluster? ›

The main advantage of a clustered solution is automatic recovery from failure, that is, recovery without user intervention. Disadvantages of clustering are complexity and inability to recover from database corruption.

What does Oregon grow the most of? ›

Oregon's top agricultural products include: milk, nursery stock, hops, cattle and calves, berries, pears, potatoes, eggs, onions, peppermint, wine grapes, cherries, hay and sweet corn. There are more than 38,500 farms in Oregon, a number that is down about four percent from the previous census five years ago.

What is the fastest growing employment sector in Oregon? ›

The fastest-growing sector has been leisure and hospitality, which rebounded over the last year with more than 29,000 jobs. While Oregon's unemployment rate now matches the national average, the pace of job recovery is slightly behind the country as a whole, according to the state's analysis.

What is the most eaten food in Oregon? ›

When it comes to food, Oregon is known for blueberries, huckleberries, marionberries, Dungeness crab, and hazelnuts (Oregon produces 99% of the nation's hazelnut crops). Voodoo donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, Tillamook cheese, are also all popular foods with origins in Oregon!

Why is Oregon the best state to work? ›

The state ranked first in scores for worker protections and the right for workers to organize and sixth for wage policies, giving it the overall top score in the in the new study. Oregon came in first last year as well, but improved its score for wage policies, moving up from ninth place.

What jobs are good in Oregon? ›

So, as a young professional or an expert, you can access some of the best jobs in Oregon.
The Best Jobs in Oregon: Explained
  1. Anesthesiologist. ...
  2. Surgeon. ...
  3. Psychiatrist. ...
  4. Obstetrician and Gynecologist. ...
  5. Physician. ...
  6. Nurse Anesthetist. ...
  7. Pediatrician. ...
  8. Dentist.
27 Jul 2022


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