Industry in Oregon thrives in this beautiful state

Industry in Oregon thrives in this beautiful state

Besides being one of the most beautiful states in the union and a great destination for tourists, there is plenty of industry in Oregon to support a vibrant economy and provide jobs for plenty of hardworking Oregonians.

If all you know about this state is what you see on the TV show Portlandia, then you really don’t know its many facets.

If you’ve seen pictures of the landscape, you won’t be surprised to find out that one of its primary industries is lumber. With almost half of the available land covered with forest, this is a major supplier of wood and wood products. Its long history in the business has allowed it to improve the management of forests and streamline the production of products and protect the environment. Oregon State University is a top forestry school for research and development.


Where this state not forest, there’s farmland – commercial farming and agribusiness are major employers of local workers. Oregon is known for its grapes and fine wines, hazelnuts (it produces almost all of the tasty nuts in the U.S.) and cranberries, not to mention craft beers and cheeses. Besides its local foods, this northeastern state has long been a center for shipping and receiving foods, both natural and processed, to the U.S. market and overseas.

Shipping and transportation need vehicles and this state has focused much of its metals manufacturing on making railroad cars and barges. Companies like Oregon Iron Works have transitioned to new transportation modes and now make modern energy-efficient streetcars.

California has its Silicon Valley – Oregon’s technology center is appropriately nicknamed Silicon Forest. Beginning in the 1960s, companies like Tektronix, Mentor Graphics and the chip-making giant Intel opened here spawning other technology businesses so that today the state is home to over 1,500 software companies in industries such as finance, education and healthcare. 

When the state is covered with “the great outdoors,” it’s only natural that it is home to many businesses catering to outdoor activities and sports. The most famous sports apparel company here is Nike, which has grown from a running shoe company into a global sportswear giant. Its location on the Pacific coast means clothing industries have ready access to the huge Asian market.

Oregon’s laid-back hippie-turned-progressive image has made it a leader in environmental issues, including clean technology. Committed to solar power and other forms of alternative energy, it attracts leading manufacturers in these industries, including Sanyo and SolarWorld. Its universities and think tanks provide research and development as well as a highly trained workforce.

While no longer a major industry, the west coast location and numerous rivers and lakes means fisheries are still prevalent there, especially salmon fishing. However, those same lakes and rivers and the gorgeous mountains that feed them help make tourism a leading source of revenue. The beautiful scenery and favorable tax rates has also made the state a new player in the motion picture industry.

With the success of its diverse industrial landscape, Oregon truly lives up to its state motto: Alis Volat Propiis – She Flies With Her Own Wings.