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.
OBSERVATIONS - Inputs
- 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.
ABOUT OUR APPROACH
Leading in a crisis post explores this methodology (OODA loops) in detail