Mark VonHolle, vice resident of S&B James Construction Management, and Board President of SOREDI, spoke to the Eagle Point City Council last week about the Sustainable Valley program. It is a program new to Jackson and Josephine counties, one that has been successful in other areas.
The program has gained credibility and considerable interest with the county and with key businesses and investors. Jackson County has pledged $50,000 toward the project. In its simplest form, Sustainable Valley wants to create family wage jobs.
VonHolle gave the bad and the good of statistics in Jackson County that show not only the need but the hidden potential that exists in the area. And with a little boost, the potential for clean, good paying jobs appears huge. He provided a list of businesses that few if any had heard of that are currently contributing to our economic base including Sky Research, Upwind Solutions and Rain Technology.
What Sustainable Valley wants to do is provide the opportunity for new businesses as well as businesses that need to grow. This can be done through an incubation process (nurturing) for new businesses and an accelerated process for those in business.
Hands-on help, start-up funds, working hand-in-hand with SOREDI are some of the ways to accomplish these goals.
Sustainable Valley has applied for a 501 © (3) status, which will make contributions advantageous. They are developing a three-year business financial plan, looking for sites and currently have $80,000 committed to the project. They want another $100,000 by the end of the year.
Some of those investing in the project include the City of Medford, Lithia Motors, Asante Health Systems and Medford ‘Fabrication.
VonHolle has been addressing councils and Chambers of Commerce throughout the valley. He was scheduled to address the Eagle Point/Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce Monday, Nov. 1.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent