Stories about how the Port is moving with purpose to transform our region into a place where everyone is welcome, empowered, and connected to opportunity.
Centering the East County Community

Moving with purpose means making decisions with intention: listening to the needs of the communities impacted by our decisions, and finding creative ways to use our resources to rev the economy in ways that will drive toward better outcomes for the people who live and work in our region.

Enter the Port of Portland’s East County Strategy, where we’re connecting with community leaders and elected officials throughout East Multnomah County to better understand the community’s priorities. Though we’ve played a major role in this area’s economic development for decades, we’re now identifying opportunities for the Port to do things differently – centering the needs of the local community and businesses throughout every phase of the work.

Why East Multnomah County

The Port’s presence in East County began when we acquired Troutdale Airport in 1940 and continued with the development of Troutdale-Reynolds Industrial Park and Gresham Vista Business Park. The development of these business parks led to job creation, but as a region, we believe that we can do more than just provide jobs. Coordinated investments to create mixed income housing, access to quality services and quality, living-wage jobs will all lead to stronger communities and more economic opportunity.

At the Port, we believe that with our resources, connections and influence, our role as a major industrial developer can meaningfully evolve to prioritize improving quality of life. In East County, we see potential to use our assets and drive investments in ways that will create thousands of new, quality jobs – jobs that pay living wages, have low barriers to entry and offer skill development and growth opportunities – and support local businesses to grow and scale. Most important, we're centering the residents of East County every step of the way, because we want to make sure the decisions we make work for them.

Centering the East County Community

At the Rock the Block summer event in the Rockwood neighborhood of East Multnomah County, we asked local leaders two things: What are the key economic development projects they’re working on, and what are their organization’s priorities for economic development in East County.

Our East County Strategy is driven by a community-led engagement process. Working in coordination with state and local agencies, economic development organizations, and community-based organizations, we’ll listen to, learn from, and collaborate with the East Multnomah County community to learn about gaps, needs, and opportunities for economic development. That means showing up where businesses and residents are, convening partners who share this vision for a stronger East County, and supporting partnerships that are already working toward this goal.

Using what we learn from this engagement work, we’ll create a road map for investment opportunities and redevelopment of our assets to drive equitable economic development in the area.

We’re also meeting community members where they’re at: Over the last six months, we held more than 30 meetings with public agencies, small business owners, education groups, and community-based organizations. Over the summer, we attended eight community festivals, where we heard from more than 700 community members about their priorities and what makes for a quality job.

East County by the Numbers

In the past six months of 2023, we’ve:




Held 32 meetings with public agencies


Heard feedback from 750 community members


invested $9,000 into the community



In the next year, we’ll continue to meet with and learn from the community. Stay tuned for updates as we host community forums, continue gathering with leaders, and begin sketching out our roadmap for the work going forward.