New Economic Development Organization, Collaborative EDO, Launches in Lane County to Boost Regional Prosperity

Lane County, OR – (April 6, 2023) — Collaborative Economic Development Oregon, a new economic development organization, announced its official launch today. The organization’s mission is to accelerate the creation of high wage jobs in Lane County, through new collaborative economic development programs.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, average real wages in Lane County are $52,570, which is 22% lower than the state average and 29% lower than the national average. This wage gap exacerbates many quality of life challenges, including housing affordability. More high wage job opportunities in Lane County are needed.

“Lane Workforce Partnership understands the importance of economic development to the prosperity and wellbeing of our community; we’re dedicated to the work of Collaborative EDO and look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals,” said Ashley Espinoza, Executive Director of Lane Workforce. “We believe that by working collaboratively, we can create a prosperous economy that provides accessible opportunities for everyone in Lane County.”

Collaborative EDO has already garnered an unprecedented number of local, statewide, and national partners. Through blended efforts, new best-in-class economic development programs will be extended into Lane County to maximize results.

Collaborative EDO is proud to partner with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network to extend their signature PubTalk program into Lane County. We will work together to help entrepreneurs start up and scale up by connecting them to peers, mentors and startup funding opportunities at these ecosystem building events.

Additional Collaborative EDO partners include the Technology Association of Oregon, Link Oregon, Starve-ups, US Ignite, Oregon Bioscience Association, and Business Oregon.

“I am excited to be working with Collaborative EDO to drive economic development and international trade in Lane County,” said Steve Thompson, Oregon STEP Director and Global Trade Specialist for Business Oregon. “By working together, we can leverage our resources and expertise to attract and retain businesses, identify international opportunities, and create new jobs in the region.”

Collaborative EDO is co-founded by local economic development strategists Matt Sayre, Caitlin Vargas and Nicole Desch; who have spent years listening to what the community wanted from an economic development organization. Collaborative EDO is the natural progression. A regional organization created as an independent, non-political, mission driven non-profit.

“We believe that the vision to accelerate the creation of high wage jobs to increase local economic prosperity to the national average requires new thinking and a strategy that is anchored in authentic regional partnerships,” said Collaborative EDO Executive Director Matt Sayre. “We look forward to working with new and existing partners to make a collective impact, realizing the shared goal of increasing economic prosperity in Lane County.”

Collaborative EDO invites anyone interested in joining the work of economic development in Lane County to reach out.


About Collaborative EDO

Collaborative Economic Development Oregon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works collaboratively to accelerate the creation of new high wage jobs in Lane County. We accomplish this through targeted business recruitment, entrepreneurial support, workforce development, business expansion, regional marketing, strategic innovative projects and the formation of effective public/private partnerships. Learn more at

Sector Dashboard

Since 2015, we have focused on the Tech sector in Lane County, which encompasses approximately 616 firms spanning various industries such as software publishing, data processing services, and electronic manufacturing. As of 2021, these enterprises employed a workforce of 3,693 individuals and contributed an impressive total payroll exceeding $312 million. It’s noteworthy that the average annual wage within the tech industry locally stands at $84,534, surpassing the average of $52,596 across all industries in Lane County. Projections indicate an employment growth rate of 22% between 2020 and 2030 for local tech companies, compared to a 15% growth rate for all industries combined. Additionally, there is an expected demand for 3,757 replacements, resulting in a total of 3,889 job openings or an average of 389 openings annually. Recognizing the industry’s need for skilled workers, the workforce development and education community have acknowledged the necessity of collaborative efforts to strengthen the local talent pipeline. Furthermore, it has been acknowledged by workforce development, education, and economic development entities that supporting this vital industry presents an opportunity to foster the local economy and cultivate high-wage jobs in the area.