"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

An industrial park that worked

Travel around small towns in the Northwest and it’ll seem half of them have something designated as an industrial or business park – a place where businesses, especially but not exclusively manufacturers, are given encouragement to take root. It often seems a good idea but so often fails to pick up steam. A lot of them look sadly underpopulated.

So, an interesting piece in the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce about an industrial park success story at Estacada, a hidden-away (in a pretty area in the Cascade foothills) little town, not long ago a post-timbertown depression story, which seems of late to be finding its economic footing. In 2003, only one person worked on the 25-acre tract. Now: “. . . the once paltry property has exploded, morphing into the Estacada Industrial Park. The new center of all things industrial – typically steel fabrication and mechanical work – now employees more than 100 people at 12 locally owned companies.”

There seems to have been no single silver bullet, more a confluence of good fortune. (And locals are talking about finding ways to accelerate further.) But it’s a story worth considering as businesses, and people, hunt for answers in tougher days.

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