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Ashland Works Update July 3, 2020


Ashland Works – Projects to support economic recovery in Ashland. 

  • Ashland Works 501c3 formation to support local innovation, education, and job creation.
  • Incubator to develop and attract startups in software, green technology, and light manufacturing. Working with SOU, interns, and volunteers to develop this program.
  • Revisioning Ashland community conversations – hosted by the Ashland Food Coop and planning to expand to the greater community in the coming days.
  • Community Investment Fund – to allow local investors to support development of ideas and social/commercial enterprises to meet local needs and create good local jobs.
  • Mountain Bike Summit – to accelerate mountain biking as a form of recreation and economic development

We decided to take these actions after orienting ourselves in conversation with our community based on the observations below.

ORIENTATION – How we see the situation

  • Economic disruption is likely to be long and damaging to Ashland’s current businesses.  So, job creation will become vital for the health of our community.
  • Economic development should be focused on a shared vision for Ashland’s traditional qualities and possible futures.
  • State, county and city governments are unlikely to have the funds or bandwidth to create the solutions we need.
  • Return to prior economic levels is likely to take years according to government and private studies.


  • Public health locally is manageable, but Covid cases in Jackson County and across the state are accelerating.
  • Nationally, infection rates are accelerating and opening is being rolled back in many states.
  • Millions have returned to work nationally, but many more millions remain unemployed.
  • State, county and city government budget shortfalls are just becoming clear now.
  • While businesses are reopening, demand still seems too low to be sustainable.


Leading in a crisis post explores this methodology (OODA loops) in detail


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