Tualatin economic outlook improving, 153 new business licenses taken out last year
The economic news for Tualatin looks good and is getting better according to a recent report from the city's economic development director.
Last month, Jonathan Taylor, Tualatin's economic development manager, presented the Tualatin City Council with an annual economic development report and answered questions about the city's economic lookout during a follow-up interview.
Among the highlights were that the city's partnership with Greater Portland Inc., the regional economic development recruitment agency, resulted in holding 12 Small Cities Consortium meetings in Tualatin. That same agency showed that of the 41 businesses recruitment projects that had owners expressing interest in locating in the Portland metro area, 26 of those were also actively interested in Tualatin.
"We like that figure," said Taylor. He pointed out, however, "Closing those deals is much harder."
Still, Greater Portland Inc. has recruited three companies to Tualatin since 2014, creating roughly 75 jobs, said Taylor.
"If we had to sum up what we do here (it's) being good business partners that facilitate economic opportunity," Taylor said. "My goal is to help Tualatin move from economic development to economic vitality."
It's estimated that of the 34,000 jobs available in the city, 93 percent of the workforce comes from outside the city limits each day.
"So what we know is we're a primary employment center with one worker for every one resident in Tualatin," Taylor said. "The largest percentage of our workforce lives in Portland."
At the same time, that means 86 percent of the city's working age residents commute outside the city each day.
"Given our working age population and number of jobs, Tualatin has two jobs for every one working age resident of Tualatin," said Taylor.
One economic boost last year was the groundbreaking of the Franklin Business Park III, a 31,000-square-foot multi-tenant industrial building located on 112th Avenue, a project with an estimated value to the city of $2 million.
Taylor said the top industry cluster for jobs (3,439 direct jobs) are in the advanced manufacturing sector, which includes those industries involved with metal products, lighting and electrical equipment, metal working technology, production technology and metal manufacturing. That's followed closely by health services with 3,253 employees.
Taylor said Lam Research -- a company that "allows chipmakers to build device features (that are) more than 1,000 times smaller than a grain of sand" -- is the city's largest employer with 1,500 employees.
Legacy Meridian Park is the second largest employer, followed by Nortek Air Solutions and Pacific Foods.
Some other interesting economic facts and figures include:
-- 153 new business license applications were taken out in the city in 2018, resulting in a 5-percent increase in workers added or roughly 1,330 more new employees, based on a state of Oregon economic report from 2016-17.
-- 566 building permits were taken out in 2018, resulting in new commercial and industrial investments of nearly $100 million ($99,496,000).
-- Tualatin residents have an average household income of $72,580 and of those almost 45 percent have a bachelor's or higher college degree.