Business Resources at Gorge Small Business Development Center

Did you know the Gorge has a Small Business Development Center that offers free one-on-one business counseling, workshops and other services? They work with businesses in every industry and at every stage of growth from start-ups to well-established companies, from one employee to 500. Housed at Columbia Gorge Community College, upcoming courses include a Quickbooks Learning Lab in August and the Small Business Management Program.
The Small Business Management Program is open to business owners and managers of businesses that have been operating for at least 1 year. This ten-month program (meets one day per month) provides 30 hours of classroom training and up to 20 hours of one on one business counseling and mentoring. It provides an opportunity for established business owners to improve their financial knowledge and management skills. Classes include business planning, understanding financial statements, breakeven and cashflow analysis, growth planning, marketing / website, employee management/strategic planning, and business transition. Learn more about the SBDC or search their online resources here

GTA Strategic Planning Continues

As we’ve reported before, the GTA is elbow-deep in an intensive Strategic Planning initiative for the organization. Many thanks to our many members and sponsors who took our online survey or participated in one-on-one interviews to inform our background research. The Board will be meeting on August 3 to use your feedback in a focused retreat. Stay tuned for details as a stronger, future-facing organization emerges with even better tools to serve the Gorge’s tech community!  

Seeking Individual Passionate for STEM Education

The GTA has been proud to be a part of the Gorge STEM Hub since its beginning a few years ago. The STEM Hub is a regional collaborative of schools, nonprofits, business and civic leaders with the shared goal of transforming science, tech, engineering and math education for students. 

The Gorge STEM Hub is seeking a unique individual to serve as the Coordinator to lead, focus, inspire and collaborate with the diverse partners in achieving the STEM Hub’s goals. Find more information here.

Partner Event: OR UAS Summit in Bend, Aug 10

SOAR Oregon is hosting Oregon’s first Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Summit and Expo on August 10 in Bend. This free event will offer insights from legislative leaders, panel discussions with industry experts and advice on business operations from Oregon Economic Development officers. Oregon UAS Test Ranges will be explaining the first steps to get your project flying and businesses will have the chance to exhibit. Whether you’re a Part 107 pilot or a UAS manufacturer, this is the event for you!
SOAR Oregon is hosting this event to make sure everyone has access to the resources they need to make their UAS business successful. Register or learn more here. 

Gorge Tech in the News

In case you missed it, The Columbian ran an article highlighting the Gorge’s tech industry on June 4: Aerospace industry, led by Insitu, lifts economies of Columbia Gorge communities. From the article:
“Welcome to one of the most resurgent places along the Columbia River, 60 miles east of the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area. Cities on both sides of the river have found success, thanks to landing big players in the drone industry.
“In Klickitat County, the home of little towns like White Salmon and Bingen, the population has risen just 3 percent since 2010. But median household income has risen nearly 30 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 10 percent of households in the county earn between $100,000 and $149,999 – more than double its share in 2010.” Read the full article here.

GTA Scholarship Recipient, Match Announced

In June, the GTA was pleased to announce Margaret Totten, a senior at Hood River Valley High School, was chosen as the 2017 recipient of our Corwin Hardham Memorial Scholarship. This is the second year of this scholarship being awarded to Gorge students pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math disciplines. Margaret will be attending Kalamazoo College this fall, majoring in Computer Science. 
In June, we also conducted a fundraising campaign for the scholarship. Many thanks to those who contributed, particularly East Cascades Workforce Investment Board, which provided a 2:1 match for your contributions, made possible by Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission! Learn more about this scholarship here and how to contribute to the fund, housed at the Gorge Community Foundation.
Looking for an easy and fun way to support the scholarship? The Griffin House donates the proceeds of their summer concerts to our scholarship! View tickets for upcoming shows here.

GTA Members and Sponsors Encouraged to Take Survey for Our Strategic Plan Update

The GTA has started the work of updating the organization’s Strategic Plan and seeks input from our current Members and Sponsors on our work. Your feedback will be important in setting a plan for the next five years. All current Members and Sponsors (including all employees of current Members and Sponsors) are welcome to take a 5-minute survey. Survey respondents can enter their name to win a $30 gift certificate from Springhouse Cellar Winery. Please complete the five-minute survey by June 14th. Just click here!

Governor Brown Makes 4th STEM Career Day Extra Special

The GTA was thrilled to have Oregon Governor Kate Brown welcome students at our fourth-annual STEM Career Day on April 28, 2017 at Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) in The Dalles. She welcomed the students and engaged them in thinking about what they want for their futures to set the stage for the day. 

Around 700 7th graders from the Gorge’s five counties attended this year’s event to learn about local jobs in science, technology, engineering and math and the educational pathways to reach those jobs. The event included a presentation about what it’s like to go to college at CGCC and Oregon State University (OSU), as well as a presentation from Insitu engineers Kenna and Alden Welsh on their pathway and experience at Insitu.
The students then broke into smaller groups to travel around the campus and hear presentations from CGCC Health Sciences Program, CGCC Renewable Energy Technology Program, Google, Hood Tech, IBEW 48, Insitu, Interfluve, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, NuCulture Foods, Oregon Dept. Environmental Quality, Oregon Dept. Fish and Wildlife, Qstream, Real Carbon, Research Scientists Miller/ McCabe, SigmaDesign, TacAero and Zepher. 
Many thanks to Columbia River Insurance, our event sponsor! Thank you also to CGCC for hosting, Suzanne Burd with CGCC and Ann Harris with OSU Open Campus for helping organize and to the many businesses noted above for their participation. Thank you also to Governor Brown for making our annual event extra special.

Seeking Interest for GTA Board of Directors

The Gorge Tech Alliance is collecting names of Full Members / Sponsors interested in serving on the organization’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors fills an important role in guiding and managing the organization. The eleven-member Board currently meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., usually in Hood River. Board members also contribute some time outside of Board meetings for GTA business. Any Full Member/ Sponsor of the GTA who has been a Full Member / Sponsor for at least one year is eligible. Board terms are one year in length. A ballot for the Board will be sent to all Full Members / Sponsors for a vote in April. Please contact Jessica by April 10 if you are interested in joining the Board.