About The Dalles

Located at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge, The Dalles is home to about 60% of the 25,000 residents of Wasco County. It is part of the larger, bi-state Mid-Columbia Region that incorporates five counties in Oregon and Washington.

The area is known for several key assets. Agriculture, with a continued foundation in production of dryland wheat and tree fruit — primarily cherries, pears, apples — remains a key part of the regional economy along with opportunities to add value to this bounty through food and beverage production. Recreational assets are abundant and diverse with the region, spanning three climate zones, and these have a positive impact on quality of life for residents as well as talent attraction. A growing technology cluster focused on unmanned systems, digital infrastructure that includes a Google data center, and renewable resources provides opportunities to build a robust digital economy at the intersection of other key regional industries.

Community partners

  • The Mid-Columbia Economic Development District‘s (MCEDD) seeks to promote the creation of family-wage jobs, the diversification of the area’s economic base, and the growth, development and retention of business and industry within a five-county district. It is the only regional entity focused on economic development for its member counties.
  • The Port of The Dalles aims to support the creation, retention, expansion, and recruitment of businesses and jobs that will enhance the economy of the MCEDD. The Port district covers 425,000 square acres covering the northern third of Wasco County. Its borders include the Deschutes River in the east, the Hood River County line in the west, and Tygh Ridge in the South. While its hub of activity is The Dalles, the Port serves the entire district and Mid-Columbia region through various economic development projects and collaborations.
  • Between its two campuses and online offerings, Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) builds dreams and transforms lives by providing lifelong educational programs that strengthen the community. CGCC strives to become the first option of choice for education and training services in the communities it serve.

Explore our Network

Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in digital skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.