Gorge STEM Hub Offers Resources, Newsletter

The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub is a regional network of schools, nonprofits, businesses, and civic leaders working to increase opportunities for all students in the region to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The GTA is involved with this initiative to connect our efforts to strengthen STEM education in the Gorge. You should be too!
This month’s calls to action:
  • Sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on what’s going on.
  • Donate tools or materials you no longer need so they can get in the hands of STEM educators in the region for their Free Resource Market or their STEM Lending Library
  • Contact Christy with questions or to get more involved!

Robotics Tournaments Need Volunteers

Have fun as a volunteer at the GTA-hosted FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics tournaments in the Gorge in December! The tournaments for youth ages 9 to 14 are one-day events planned for Dec. 2 at Hood River Middle School, Dec. 9 and 10at The Dalles Middle School.


Volunteers with all backgrounds/ expertise are needed to serve, mostly as judges but also as referees and general volunteers. Online training will be provided to all volunteers prior to the events. Sign up to help on just one day or for as many as you can support. Contact Jessica to sign up or with questions.

Member News: Clark College Offers Mechatronics Program

GTA Member Clark College has spaces still available for the Winter cohort of its Rural Access Mechatronics Program (RAMP). Mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical, and control-system expertise. This two-quarter hybrid online (in-person and online) program provides a foundation in Mechatronics fundamentals. Students attend class online, coming for hands-on lab work on Saturday’s to Clark’s Columbia Tech Center facility in East Vancouver. Graduates leave ready to pursue entry-level technician positions or to continue in the Mechatronics program to earn an associate degree.View the flyer to learn more here.

It’s Time to Join the GTA as a Member!

All GTA memberships and many sponsorships are on an Oct 1 renewal cycle, which means it’s time to recommit yourself to the GTA, or finally make the leap and join! Just look over our website at our new Strategic Plan, Membership Benefits, all of our events and initiatives. If you want to stay involved and supportive of our work, renew or join today. View the full list of membership benefits here and sponsorship benefits here

GTA Announces New Membership Benefit in Partnership with BCI Group, a HUB International Company

The GTA is excited to announce a new benefit offering for our members through partnership with BCI Group, a HUB International Company (BCI/ HUB).  BCI/ HUB employs an experienced and dedicated consultant to help facilitate benefit pathways and coordinate all listed services for each of our members.

BCI/ HUB can help you find creative options to balance your company’s needs with your employees’ benefits priorities. BCI/ HUB supports both your company’s culture and its bottom line by structuring plans for the greatest return on cost.

GTA members will be offered each of the following carrier pricing and related networks/services through Providence, Regence, and UnitedHealthcare. And for those companies that enroll in a BCI/ HUB Plan Option, your company will receive wellness discounts, online benefits enrollment/onboarding software, COBRA administration, benchmarking surveys, and other HR resources -all of which can be coordinated through BCI/ HUB. 

Additionally, Hood River GTA members that are small and medium sized Technology, Engineering and Architecture sector companies can access the same purchasing power as large firms through OSBA (Oregon Small Business Alliance) Providence Health Plan.

To find out if the GTA benefit offering is right for your company, email Henoch Tezera at GTAbenefits@hubinternational.com  or call 503-496-1908.

Benefit Offerings and Discounts Include:

OSBA / Providence
United Healthcare

Life Balance
Health Fair/Health Risk Assessments

401(k) Plan Review and/or Implementation
Smart Dollar

Payroll / HRIS Assessments
Benefits Administration and Onboarding
Benefit Guided Educational Videos

Employee Handbook
HR Help Desk
HR 360 Compliance Library
Employee Benefit Surveys

Section 125 / Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
COBRA Administration
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA)

GTA Completes Strategic Plan Update

The GTA is pleased to announce the completion of our Strategic Plan for the organization’s work through 2021. Over the last several months, the Board and staff, with the support of Scheinberg Consulting, conducted organizational research through interviews and surveys of our members, sponsors and key stakeholders to gather feedback on the work of the GTA and where we should focus our energy over the next few years. This information was distilled into four critical goals that represent the long-term aims we plan to achieve (in no particular order): 

  1. Strengthen STEM education.
  2. Increase success of member businesses.
  3. Increase visibility of the Gorge as a center for high tech innovation and commerce.
  4. Increase the GTA’s impact and influence by increasing organizational and programmatic capacity.

These goals are in support of the GTA’s mission to support, connect and develop the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge and our vision of a Columbia River Gorge region known as an innovative technology community where businesses thrive, entrepreneurs are nurtured, community members are engaged,  meaningful employment is abundant, and all children have access to innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities. View the full 2017 Strategic Plan here.

The Board is now leading the development of four committees to create and implement work plans around each of the goals and seeks the involvement of our members, sponsors and partners in the committees: STEM Education, Business Success, Communications and Growth. Contact the GTA if you would like to be involved or for more information. 

Many thanks to Scheinberg Consulting, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and a grant from The Ford Family Foundation for helping the GTA complete this important process. 



Nominations Open for 2017 Awards

The Gorge Tech Alliance is seeking nominations for Gorge tech leader and tech organization of the year for our annual awards. These awards honor those who are making great strides in growing the tech industry and/ or STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in the five-county Gorge region. Nominees need not be GTA members. Our 2016 winners were Bill Vaglienti of Power4Flight for Tech Leader of the Year and Trillium Engineering for Tech Organization of the Year. Nominations will be accepted through November 9 and the winner announced at our Winter Party on December 12 at Springhouse Cellar Winery.
Download the applications here:

Immense Imagery

Immense Imagery is a Columbia River Gorge-based digital marketing company located in The Dalles Oregon. The company manages Social Media accounts, builds websites and creates short films. Their staff of five comes from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. “We are Filmmakers, Sound Engineers, Website Designers, Graduates in Music, Veterans of the US Armed Forces, Specialists in Digital Media, Social Media Managers and capable SEO providers,” says Scott Scrimshaw, Managing Director. “We aid agencies in getting connected, businesses in being noticed, events in being well-attended and non-profit organizations in getting funded.” Immense Imagery has experience creating both the digital content and online portals of discovery.

Scott adds, “It is our desire to capture truly amazing photographic images and film footage, to write a collaborative narrative with our clients and apply that imagery and narrative to their websites, social media platforms and short-film campaigns.” Immense Imagery introduces clients and their services as quality destinations of note. They include aerial drone work identifying the local area, the Columbia River Gorge, and their clients being easily accessible from both rural and larger metropolitan areas within the Pacific Northwest. Immense Imagery’s clients assess where their marketing dollars are going and connect with the company’s unique services when they realize that online and mobile devices have outpaced traditional media.

Immense Imagery’s experience demonstrates that in order for their clients’ efforts to be successful, there must be a high-quality digital presence across multiple platforms – i.e. Google Business Page, Facebook, website, YouTube, Instagram, etc. There must also be a shared continuity of quality. For example, a beautiful short film that refers back to a low-quality website or poorly utilized Facebook page works against the purpose of the short film, or a poorly managed Facebook page or website works against a top tier Google ranking. Immense Imagery’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services gain their clients a top-tier internet status, appropriately driving traffic to their places of business.

Immense Imagery is a member of the GTA to connect their services with the Gorge’s tech community and share the message of the region’s strong tech industry.  

The video below shares a sample of their impressive body of work and communicates more the mission of the company. To learn more, visit immenseimagery.com or contact Scott Scrimshaw at 541-399-0195 or email him at scott@immenseimagery.com 

About Rob Denning, Founder

Rob is an avid, Mountain biker, Kite Border and Outdoor enthusiast. He is a graduate of England’s North Hampton School of Music. He brings an exceptional production value to Immense Imagery’s audio production as well as their filming, photography and overall project development. He has worked alongside many local Gorge-based businesses and also successful music groups including One Direction and Coldplay.
 “We’re offering a new service – to give small businesses the ability to market themselves online inside and outside the Gorge. We want to give business owners the opportunity to say what they want to say to the people they want to say it to, and then listen to that audience and respond.”