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Community leaders cut ribbon on new REACH facility - 08/07/18

Community leaders cut ribbon on new REACH facility


Event marks completion of construction on a $7 million project to preserve and expand the nonprofit’s presence in Klamath Falls


Community open house scheduled for Friday, August 10 from 10:30am to 2:00pm


KLAMATH FALLS, OREGON – Today, community leaders cut the ribbon on a $7 million expansion of REACH, Inc.’s facility in Klamath Falls that serves people with developmental and other serious disabilities in Southern Oregon. The project allowed REACH to formally acquire the Maywood Mill Site, where it has operated for years, and a former bank building nearby, and renovate those facilities to eventually offer enhanced services to its program participants.  


“This has been a long journey that wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the Wendt Family,” said Ron Moe, Executive Director of REACH. “We’re proud that this expansion will allow us to better-serve our community in the Klamath Basin. I encourage our friends and neighbors to come to our open house tomorrow and see the project up-close.”


REACH will host a community open house for the public from 10:30am to 2:00pm on Friday, August 10. As part of the open house, complimentary burgers, hot dogs, and drinks will be available from 11:30am to 1:30pm.


In addition to over 60 production, training and administrative staff, REACH currently provides services to over 100 program participants, many of those at integrated jobs and employment training opportunities at several locations in the Klamath community. The centerpiece of its operation is its sawmill, recycling, and custom wood product facility on Maywood Drive, which is the focus of the ribbon-cutting today. Now that the project is complete, REACH expects to be able to double the number of people it serves within five years.


The overall project was financed by a $3.85 million loan from Craft3, a regional loan fund with an office in Klamath Falls, and a $6.75 million federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation by National Community Investment Fund (NCIF), which then attracted outside investment from Capital One. Diversified Contractors was the General Contractor.


The project received other financial support from The Collins Foundation, Cascade Health Alliance, The Pacific Power Foundation, and Klamath County Economic Development.


About REACH, Inc.

Don Macke, Co Founder Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Don Macke, Co Founder Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Conference Focused on Rural Business Coming to Southern Oregon (Photo) - 07/24/18

The 4th Annual Rural Business and Innovation Summit is scheduled for September 13th, 2018 in Klamath Falls and will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in rural communities. The one day conference features topics on social media marketing, retail strategies, talent attraction/retention, and cybersecurity.

“We couldn’t find any conferences on the West coast that focused on the unique rural business environment, so we started one,” said Heather Tramp, Executive Director of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce. She points out that while some topics are relevant no matter where the business is located, there are circumstances and nuances in a rural area that business owners in urban areas don’t deal with.

To plan the conference, Tramp and other event planners reach out to speakers that understand those differences between urban/rural and can offer practical, useful information to help businesses grow. For example, this year, Aaron Orendorff, Editor in Chief of Shopify Plus, will be speaking and sharing a true story of a business that grew from a small rural community and is now a multi-million dollar business. “We want to inspire business owners to dream big and imagine the opportunities that exist in rural America,” said Tramp.

Another speaker, Don Macke, co-founder of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and co-author of the book “Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities,” will be speaking about retaining and attracting talent and the younger generation. Macke has devoted years specifically researching business ownership and entrepreneurship in rural areas. “We’re thankful to the local Small Business Development Center and the Klamath IDEA for helping bring Mr. Macke to our event,” says Rachael Spoon, State Farm agent and Chamber board president.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, startups, and community leaders are encouraged to attend and will come together to exchange ideas, share experiences, and discover best practices that provide a competitive edge and lead to thriving business in rural areas.  “We hope the Summit inspire business owners to take advantage of opportunities for growth,” says Tramp.

The event will be held at Klamath Community College in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Tickets for the Summit are on sale now and can be purchased through the event’s website at www.ruralbizsummit.com or by calling the Chamber at (541) 884-5193. Tickets are $99 for Chamber members, $149 for non-Chamber members. The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce is extending the special Chamber member pricing for those who are members of any Chamber.

In addition to registering, the Chamber is offering exhibitor space at the event which is expected to attract around 130 attendees. The application for exhibitor space can be found online at www.ruralbizsummit.com.

For more information on the Summit, contact the Chamber at 541-884-5193.