CREDC touts its role in job creation
Clark County’s chief economic development agency reported Wednesday that companies it works with invested about $120 million in land purchases, and building and equipment improvements this year, creating or maintaining 941 jobs in the region.“I believe we are doing a good job of creating jobs in the community,” Bart Phillips, president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council, said to more than 130 attendees of the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting at the Vancouver Convention Center.However, Phillips said, the tens of millions in land, building and equipment investments, while beneficial in many ways — including schools and local governments that benefit from the rise in value of property-tax rolls and the increase in sales-tax revenues — don’t necessarily add up to large job creation.In fact, the county’s level of economic development activity remains relatively low compared with previous years, Phillips said. What’s more, the county must find ways to help an increasing number of people who will lose their unemployment benefits and who will face home foreclosures as the county struggles with a jobless rate of 13 percent as of October. The county is going to “have some real issues with unemployment” for some time to come, Phillips said. Commerical real estate, computer chipsWednesday’s event also featured two speakers who addressed the prospects of two different industries that are relevant to Clark County: the market for commercial real estate, which includes office towers and industrial parks, and the market for computer chips, which are installed in everything from smart phones to high-definition camcorders.