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Aug-22-2019 00:22printcomments

Salem and the New Industrial Drive

Salem has a long history of entrepreneurs and industrial progress.

Salem Oregon railway
The Capital City Railway Company streetcar in Salem, Oregon, 1894.
Photo courtesy: Ben Maxwell collection

(SALEM, Ore.) - A threshold between urban and rural, Salem has been a hub for industrial manufacturing and agricultural work for over a century. The scale of industrial business in the city is formidable and, despite incidents like the August 19th pallet business fire, continues to experience growth. Hemp and CBD production in particular has seized local attention, providing huge benefits to the town. For Salem, new industry is leading the way forward to growth and success.

A case for old industry

Texas-based experts Kardie Equipment have noted the demand for lift and sky work vehicles in the Pacific North-West region, a clear nod to the historical lumber and communications industries in the region, and media coverage has shown that, too. Both truckers and logging companies voiced their discontent at proposed regulations, a show of force that indicates the relevance of these older industries in the new business makeup of the state. Whichever way business continues to evolve, the classic industries of Oregon will have a part to play.

Hemp and the Transformative Impact on the Area

With hemp and marijuana legal in Oregon, and hemp recently subject to relaxed growing laws, the industry has – understandably – took off. According to OPB Radio, 50,000 acres are now being grown in the state. The positive knock-on effect of this growing is the research and innovation associated with hemp growth.

While the crop itself is eminently useful, it also provides inspiration. One grower noted the potential for bio plastics, animal feed and even building material in the form of hempcrete. The only bottleneck is the number of manufacturers able to process the plant – a clear opportunity for entrepreneurs.

The digital side

Oregon is a forward-thinking state and has a long association with communications. In July 2019, the potential of Oregon tech start-ups was further confirmed as wireless comms business Rigado were bought out by a Swiss wireless venture capital business. With a new office set to be located in Salem, this again indicates the potential of the city in industrial manufacturing, and opens the door to new business.

Salem has a long history of entrepreneurs and industrial business. This is set to continue with the advent of modern business. While this will color the debate for years to come, there will always remain an important place for older industrial styles.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.