Intercity Visit – Hillsboro Oregon


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In 2007, the ARCC took a delegation of local leaders to Hillsboro, Oregon, to see first hand how that community had developed a chip fabrication industry while protecting their region\'s quality of life. Our diverse delegation came back to New York and put together this powerpoint presentation to describe what we learned in this visit. With Global Foundries proceeding with their chip fabrication facility in Saratoga, now is the time when we need to be learning from model communities, like Hillsboro, and making plans for our own region.

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Intercity Visit – Hillsboro Oregon

  1. 1. Intercity Visit Hillsboro Oregon Key Findings – What did we see and learn from April 28 – May 2, 2007
  2. 2. Why Hillsboro? • City grew from 7,500 people in 1950’s to 85,000 people in 2007. • Hillsboro’s economic transformation from forest- agricultural products to high technology was led by Intel chip fabrication facilities starting in 1976. • Unlike Austin, TX and Phoenix, AZ, where other chip fab’s were built, Hillsboro planned for growth to avoid sprawl and to enhance their high quality of life. • Hillsboro proves that a strong tech sector and vibrant agricultural economy can thrive side-by- side. • Opportunity to see how tech companies have impacted local schools and a local community college. • Not looking to become Hillsboro, just to see best practices in one model community.
  3. 3. Transformation to Silicon Forest didn’t happen overnight • 1950’s developed regional water system to attract food processing plants and help local agricultural economy. • Water system designed for 50 million gallons per day expandable to 80 mgpd when only 3 million gallons per day were needed. • In the 1960’s, the community decided that it DIDN’T want to become a bedroom community of Portland. • To achieve this VISION, the goal was to have enough industry to provide jobs for 2 out of every 3 local residents. • The region adopted its first comprehensive land use plan in 1978 and created Metro in 1979 to administer regional planning. • Land use plan sets aside 20-year supply of land for manufacturing and preserves farmland outside of their urban growth boundary.
  4. 4. The Intel Effect • Intel began looking at Hillsboro in 1974 and located it’s first chip fab in 1976. • Four Intel chip fab’s now in Hillsboro and 16,000 employees. • Attraction = cheap/flat land, abundance of water, no earthquakes, cheap power, private aviation, and quality schools. • Other companies followed - - mainly from CA and Japan.
  5. 5. What did we learn about Oregon… • State does tax assessment for tech related properties. • Comprehensive land use plans and zoning are mandatory by state law. • State funds 65% of school district budgets and caps local property taxes for schools at $5 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. • In 1996, state law required consolidation of local elementary school districts at urging of Intel and other business/tax advocates. • State “Strategic Investment Program” allows communities to cap assessments on equipment within facilities to encourage industrial growth. • There is no sales tax. Officials note that this promotes cooperation and prevents competition for retail between local communities.
  6. 6. What did we see and learn about Hillsboro? • Fewer layers of government – City, County, Metro and State. • One School District with 32 schools and 20,000 students. • Regional water project was key to growth even though it was built for different industry. • Region embraced vision to NOT be a suburb of Portland and to create their own regional economy. • The region has adopted a 50- year land use plan.
  7. 7. What else did we see and learn? • Cooperative spirit embraced by: – Government at the local, county and regional level AND by both the paid professional managers and elected officials – Business/Industry via the regional chamber of commerce – Education at both the K-12 and community college level • We saw high tech companies and farmland thriving in the same community and within minutes of each other by car. • Yearly town hall meetings held to celebrate and evaluate progress toward 50-year plan. • Collaborative vision with professional support and elected officials who listen to these individuals. • Hillsboro does NOT have a tourism industry.
  8. 8. What else did we see and learn? • Regulation orientation but only to the extent of being able to plan and problem solve. • Hillsboro Planning Department: “I have been here 27 years and we all are hired with the understanding that our job is to facilitate…not regulate.” • The Chamber and City spent 18 months working on a new comprehensive sign code to balance competing interest. One delegate noted: • Systems put in place to support “Although I felt collaboration and “movement” on key collaboration was their projects. primary key to success, • Wages have increased throughout the I presume their belief region’s economy. is that planning was the key.”
  9. 9. What else did we see and learn? • Creating one community is a catch phrase used by School Superintendent Jeremy Lyon in talking about how they’ve successfully integrated minority students from a range of cultures. • Embrace “people differences” with new members of the community considered a resource. • Many opportunities for women in the region’s workforce, particularly in the technology and engineering fields. • 25% of the population is Latino with a significant migrant farm worker segment that needs local services. • Hillsboro Library reading program offered in 15 languages.
  10. 10. What else… • 37% of Hillsboro’s population has a bachelors degree or higher versus 27% in NY. • High tech employees tend to be highly educated and have very high expectations for their own children’s education. • Intel’s impact and logos seen throughout local schools K-12 and community college. • Portland Community College, in Hillsboro, has both a micro- electronics program supported by Intel AND a working farm to support local agriculture.
  11. 11. What did we see and learn… • Hillsboro is the last stop on a light rail system that connects with Portland to the East. • Hillsboro is targeting properties along light rail stops for planned multi-use development including; residential, retail and manufacturing. • Hillsboro’s airport provides service to corporate jets with US customs on call to process International travelers. • Company CEO’s mentioned one major economic challenge - - increasing congestion and time for people and goods to travel to Portland International Airport.
  12. 12. What do you think? • From this presentation, what did you see or hear that is of most interest to you and your organization? • We’re there any topics raised in this presentation that you think we should act on as a community/region? • In your option having seen this presentation, what are the lessons our community/region needs to take from this visitation? • If we were to meet with you again 12 months from now, what could we have accomplished by then to convince you that the time we spent today was valuable?