Clark County is a driving force behind the greater Portland-Vancouver region’s reputation as “Silicon Forest.” With companies like Logitech, TSMC, Silicon Forest Electronics, SEH America and others calling Clark County home, computer and electronics is a strong legacy cluster for the county but also a growth opportunity as the world sees growing demand in clean technology, automation, especially in autonomous cars, and computer hardware needs.
The greater Portland region has earned a reputation as a growing startup and software hub for those firms that want an alternative to areas like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Research suggests that emerging software and startup businesses are now looking for communities that offer a high quality of living and access to a strong talent pool.
Given the county’s location and growing software community anchored by companies such as Zoom Info, Home Depot Quote Center and FINVI (formerly Ontario Systems), and many others, Clark County has a solid opportunity to grow its computer software cluster with unique specializations in network and systems design, web development, and the emerging fintech sector.
The market size of the Solar Power industry in the U.S. has grown 15.0% per year on average between 2017 and 2022. The sales of electric vehicles in the United States more than doubled in 2021. With a strong legacy in computer and electronics, available employment/industrial lands, and a skilled workforce, Clark County has a competitive foundation for supporting growth in clean technology with a specific focus on the technologies associated with solar energy and battery.
With companies such as Farwest Steel, Vigor, Columbia Machine, and others, Clark County has a storied history of metals and machinery manufacturing. While production employment across the U.S. is declining, Clark County has withstood this trend. This is largely because its specialization in this sector has centered on advanced skills such as motor manufacturing, pump manufacturing, and sophisticated steel fabrication. Not to mention, Clark County has a skilled talent base from which to draw expertise in this sector.
With Absci, Twist, Genentech, and other companies, the greater Portland-Vancouver region’s life sciences cluster is a top 10 emerging cluster in the U.S. that offers a substantial opportunity for job creation and firm formation. While life sciences can be a broad cluster, Clark County’s life sciences strengths and competitive advantages are centered around the Biotech subsector and manufacturing.
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