“Locally grown talent helps us compete and expand.”

The good news is that Central Oregon companies are expanding and growing in number, creating professional jobs with opportunities for advancement. Recognized as fertile ground for innovative entrepreneurs, Bend is also attracting the capital to fund these ventures.

The sad news however, is that most of Bend’s companies are struggling to find the skilled workforce they need. Establishing four-year university here in Bend ensures that our graduates will have the skills to match local career opportunities, and that companies will have the talent they need to compete and grow.

A strong, diverse local economy equips us to manage through business cycles.


My Why Now


As a business owner with a world-class team of top performers, our growth is limited right now by a lack of qualified talent. We’ve had to begin looking beyond Central Oregon to recruit new employees. Having this campus in our community is a vital need, and the reality is that any location will have its naysayers. In this particular location, if the campus doesn’t go there, something else will, and it will still affect the local community. This campus will be a tremendous boon for our area, and we at Pneuma33 highly recommend that this project moves forward immediately.

James Kramer, Pneuma 33

Establishing OSU-Cascades at this site is a critical foundation for the tri-county economy and to our efforts to attract and grow employers that need an ever-more skilled workforce. Without a campus, our ability to compete with other parts of the country for well-paying jobs is compromised.

Roger Lee, Executive Director for EDCO

I am excited to support OSU-Cascades because it will bring an interactive campus full of vibrancy and educational opportunities for not only students but all of Bend and Central Oregon. The campus will be a large economic driver for our region that we have been working towards and have needed for decades. The west side location is zoned for this type of use and I believe a four year university is a much better addition to our community than many of the possible alternatives for this site.

Romy Mortensen

I have practiced law in Bend for 42 years. I served as your State Senator for eight years and as the lobbyist for the State Board of Higher Education /Chancellor’s office for six years. I mention this because it has been a struggle to have the state approve and fund a new campus. If our community does not succeed now it will be 5,10 or 20 years before the state would support a new college in Central Oregon. We cannot take that chance.

Neil Bryant, former State Senator

Its interesting watching the conversation regarding what OSU Cascades should be and where it should be located. Should it be a world class urban campus location attractive to students in the heart of Bend or should it be an isolated commuter campus located out in the sage brush east or north of town? If certain folks don’t want it on the west side, what do they think will be located on the site otherwise? Its time to stop the discussion and move forward. I support the Westside Campus location for OSU Cascades.

Jeff Henry
Brandon Olin Photo Quote

As an architect, the quality and diversity of the built environment in our city is representative of the priorities and beliefs of the people who live and work here. Locating the university campus in the heart of our community demonstrates a belief and understanding that education is central to development and well-being in our lives, our families, and our community.

Brandon Olin, Architect

As a startup founder and organizer at BendTECH, I speak with many of the technology professionals who are moving to Bend. They often ask about the local talent pool, and how easy it is to hire skilled interns and employees. OSU plays a critical role in allowing companies to grow locally, and I believe a location near downtown and the Old Mill is the best way to attract top-tier students to the campus.

James Gentes

I support building the proposed OSU-Cascades campus now, both personally and as a business owner.
As a resident and father of twin 14-year-olds, I see the campus as vital to the community and our family. A community of our size needs a four year campus, which adds to the vitality of Central Oregon and provides cultural enrichment.
As CEO of Five Talent Software, a custom software development company located in Bend, we hire highly-skilled, well-paid, college-educated talent, most of whom move from major metros on the West Coast. A campus would allow us to hire graduates locally as well as provide continuing education in fast-paced industries such as ours. Hi-tech talent evaluating a move to Bend consider a four-year campus a sign of economic vitality and a rich tech eco-system. We need this campus NOW.

Preston Callicott

As a supporter of small businesses and a thriving community, I wholeheartedly back a four-year university in Bend. Healthy businesses need a talented workforce to draw from and growing our own is one of the key factors in their success. The location of the new campus is also the perfect place to have our students, close to COCC and close to the downtown area where they can easily commute by walking and biking to the jobs they will have as they continue their education. For our children, for our community, for our future economy, now is the time to make this happen.

Steve Curley, director COCC Small Business Development Center

Today’s global businesses, large and small, are building the future of America’s success. Each day, their employees act as ambassadors, developing powerful relationships among cultures. To ensure the success of these organizations, we must build healthy, diverse communities that educate future generations in an environment that allows equal access to our community resources, and fosters interchange from all. Reserving the beauty of Westside of Bend for only a few is not aligned with this objective.

As someone born and raised in Bend, one of our nation’s most beautiful communities, I advocate that that OSU Cascades be built at an intersection of inclusion.

Kyle Teater
Senior Manager
International Finance
The Boeing Company

Kyle Teater

Like many women in Central Oregon, I wear a lot of “hats”: wife, mother, business owner, volunteer, etc. OSU Cascades gives all of us the opportunity to continue learning and to complete a degree while living in an amazing community. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Lorri Taylor