Vital Stats on Southern Oregon


Southern Oregon’s traditional economic base of logging, wood products and agriculture is still strong, but increasing economic diversity has brought specialty manufacturing, retail, tourism, medical care, and transportation enterprises to the area. Oregon has long been a haven for independent thinkers and small business owners, and Southern Oregon enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a business community where creative entrepreneurs find success. SOREDI (Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc.) is a two-county agency with a long history of success in helping established companies relocate their operation to Medford, like Amy’s Kitchen, the fastest growing frozen and prepared natural food company in the nation, who relocated their operation to Medford because of lower operating costs, transportation infrastructure, and quality of life.  SOREDI also supports creative entrepreneurs, such as Allyson’s of Ashland, founded by Allyson and Steve Holt, who (after a three-day visit to Ashland) developed a plan to create a gourmet food and entertaining business. Southern Oregon’s ideal weather is matched by a terrific business climate featuring a ready workforce (local colleges include Oregon Institute of Technology, Rogue Community College, and Southern Oregon University), low workers’ compensation rates, short commutes, quality water, tax incentives to business, and abundant commercial and retail spaces. 

Top Employers

Largest Private Sector Area Employers

• Asante Health System Healthcare – 3,780
• Harry & David Operations Gourmet fruit and gifts – 3,500
• Providence Medford Medical Center Healthcare – 1,150
• Boise Building Solutions Secondary woods – 900
• Timber Products Secondary woods – 757
• MasterBrand Cabinets Cabinets – 600
• Erickson Air Crane Heavy-lift helicopters – 598
• Amy’s Kitchen Organic frozen foods – 500
• Lithia Motors Auto dealerships – 470
• Ashland Community Hospital Healthcare – 435
• Carestream Health Medical imaging – 400
• Rogue Valley Door Doors – 400
• Fire Mountain Gems Beads and gems distributor – 400
• Regence BlueCross BlueShield Healthcare claims processing – 400
• Oregon Shakespeare Festival Theatre – 400
• Rogue Valley Manor Healthcare – 357
Source: SOREDI survey data 2005-2007 (estimates only)


Southern Oregon is strategically located midway between Portland and San Francisco on Interstate 5, with connections to the Oregon coast via Highway 199 and to eastern Oregon via Highways 62 and 140. Southern Oregon is a major commercial motor freight transportation hub, with more than 30 interstate, intrastate, and LTL carriers based locally, along with numerous truck brokers. Rail freight service is available through Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad, connecting the region north to Eugene and south to California. Air freight services are provided by UPS, Federal Express, DHL, Airborne Express, H&S Packing, Pony Express, and others. (source: SOREDI)