A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), was entered into on the 14th day of December, 2010, by and between COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE COMMISSION an interstate compact agency (hereinafter called CRGC), MID-COLUMBIA COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS (hereinafter called MCCOG) an Oregon Chapter 190 entity, MID-COLUMBIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT (hereinafter called MCEDD) an Oregon Chapter 190 entity, and a Washington 39.34 entity, and MID-COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY (hereinafter referred to as MCHA) organized under ORS 456 and the Columbia Gorge Housing Authority organized under RCW 35.82 which serves Washington Counties to forma Sustainability Consortium.
The four agencies each represent independent geographic areas and separate constituencies with common interests. The parties came together to develop and identify common threads from individual projects, increase coordination among participants, and lay the foundation for broad based support for various initiatives benefiting the region. The parties agree that the overall effort will be to work toward community sustainability in the areas of affordable housing, transportation, community/economic development and workforce training throughout the region. The vision includes an expansion of efforts to work together and with new partners to develop measurable outcomes to enhance the entire region including underrepresented populations. The parties agree to continually scan the total environment periodically to identify untapped resources and changing needs while wording together toward implementation of projects leading to a stronger and more sustainable region.
List of partners
- Hood River County
- Mid-Columbia Council of Governments
- Mid-Columbia Economic Development District
- Columbia Gorge Housing Authority
- Columbia River Gorge Commission
- Columbia Gorge Community College
- Wasco County
- Gilliam County
- Sherman County
- City of Rufus
Gorge Applied Training Center
The Gorge Applied training Center – a facility designed to satisfy the demand of the regions 550 contractors for skilled workers in general construction, electrical plumbing and new green building technologies.
At –risk students, dislocated adults, returning veterans and other in need of new opportunities will be offered ways to develop new career paths, MCCOG also plans to use short term training techniques to teach basic life skills, office technologies and their training to get works into the workforce again or for the first time.
It is estimated that by the end of the firs t year , this new applied training center will have trained 200 + workers in general construction, including specialized training in plumbing, heating, electrical, ventilations, and air conditioning, In addition to new skills, these clients will receive required placement assistance for procuring positions with local employers and contractors.
The Mid-Columbia region with its diverse geography holds a vast potential for Community Based Renewable Energy Projects (CBREP’s). CBREP’s represent a significant revenue enhancing opportunity –building local capacity for sustainable energy. Additionally, locally owned energy projects help keep dollars circulating in the region, compared to purchasing energy from large-scale commercial producers, seeing the majority of dollars leave the region.
(Region 9) –GILLIAM, HOOD RIVER, SHERMAN, WASCO, AND WHEELER –there are several CBREP’s identified. These projects include:
- Small hydro using existing diversions
- Wind Projects
- Bio-mass using fuel reduction strategies to assist with forest health management practices.
The CBREP’s concept promotes substantial funding by private sources, allowing the local government ultimate ownership. Projects would all be structured under The Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act so they would qualify for avoided cost rate structure. The project limits would be 10 MW or less so they would qualify for the Production Tax Credits and Business Energy Tax Credits.
The MCCOG Staff has a wide range of skills and experience to assist local government with a variety of projects and activities. Call to visit about how we might be able to assist in moving your key project forward.
Examples of Past Efforts:
- Sherman County Workforce Housing
- The Oregon Consortium and Oregon Workforce Alliance TOC/OWA Regional Economic Impact National Emergency Grant – Oregon Strategy for Rural and Regional Prosperity http://www.tocowa.org/Projects-and-Programs/New-Oregon-Trails-177.html
For more information 541-298-4101 ext. 203 or email our office.