Americas Best Communities
is a contest sponsored by Frontier Communications, Dish Networks, CoBank and The Weather Channel to help revitalize small towns and rural communities across the United States. Over 400 communities engaged in the contest to attempt to win up to $3M for economic revitalization. Newberg is one of 50 communities selected as quarter-finalists.
As a quarter-finalist, Newberg was awarded $50K, which the City of Newberg matched with $15K provided by Waste Management’s Green for Growth grant. These funds were used to develop a plan that expands upon the economic development and community initiatives that were initially identified in our ABC application. Newberg engaged economic development experts at ECONorthwest to help us develop a comprehensive, plan that brings family wage or better jobs to our Newberg and the Valley in a sustainable, balanced way.
By January, 13, 2016, 15 semifinalists will be selected to attend the America’s Best Communities summit to present their strategies, with eight finalists then awarded $100,000 to continue implementation of their plans.
In April 2017, America’s Best Communities will name its three competition winners — those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.
The Newberg ABC Team, led by the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce, is comprised of approximately 100 community partners including representatives from the Chamber, the City of Newberg, Providence Hospital, Climax, George Fox University, Portland Community College, the Newberg School District, the Chehalem Cultural Center/District, CPRD, A-dec, the Newberg Downtown Coalition, various businesses, and service organizations.
See a complete list of our Partners and Contributors here.
Newberg will build on its advantageous geographic location and the capacities of its business, education, government, and community partners to become a national leader for cross-industry innovation in manufacturing, healthcare, wine, hospitality, and high tech. The city’s business, educational and built environment will support growing entrepreneurship for existing and new businesses of all types.
Newberg, through strong public/private partnerships, will achieve this vision by:
- Promoting a vertically-integrated wine industry
- Vertical integration will allow the wine industry to reduce costs and become more efficient while facilitating collaboration between vineyards. This system will in turn allow for greater innovation and grow the Valley’s wine industry globally
- Establishing an Innovation Accelerator
- A high-tech accelerator focused on fostering innovation will provide mentorship, a collaborative space, and high-speed internet for entrepreneurs and startups that support growth across many industries and capitalize on the many talents of Newberg area residents and students.
- Implementing a Business Resource Center
- The Center will provide a one-stop-shop of resources necessary for small and startup business success, from online information on incentive programs to in-person business support services.
- Developing Newberg’s workforce
- By developing a well-trained workforce with skills that are applicable to local industries and businesses, Newberg will retain a greater proportion of its workforce. Such a workforce will provide the basis for the expansion of local industries and facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Revitalizing downtown
- Downtown revitalization will make Newberg a more desirable place for current residents to live and for tourists to visit. It will also facilitate greater community engagement and support local businesses.
You can view more details of the vision and plan here.