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Updates on PDC's work on the activewear cluster
14
Dec '09
Activewear Cluster report is the second in a series of briefings on the cluster work of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and focuses on the activewear cluster.

The report includes a briefing on the industry, including statistics about the strength of Portland's activewear cluster. The report also provides a brief overview of PDC's cluster development framework, an update on the evolution the activewear cluster, and timeline for the development of an action plan for the industry. In addition, this report provides an overview of the Materials Resource Library – an initiative identified in the City's five-year economic development strategy to support Portland's position as a global creative center.

The activewear cluster was identified as a target cluster by the Portland Economic Development Strategy, which seeks to grow employment in the city by 10,000 net new jobs within five years by focusing its job growth and retention efforts on four clusters. Clean technology and sustainable industries, software, and advanced manufacturing are the strategy's other target clusters. Subsequent briefings over the next six months will provide detailed updates on PDC's work within each of the target clusters.

PDC's current approach to support job growth in the activewear industry is to partner with industry leadership to develop an action plan that will position Portland as a competitive location for firms in this industry to start, expand, grow, and attract talent. A key focus will be to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation, and identify industry led initiatives that offer the opportunities to improve the competitive environment for local activewear firms.

Why Focus on the Activewear Cluster?

• Definition:
o Activewear firms are companies that design, manufacture, and/or market:
- Footwear;
- Apparel;
- Gear and/or equipment for: camping, hiking and other outdoor activities; and
- Accessories (purses, belts, etc.).

• Statistics:
o The activewear cluster is healthy and growing in Portland:
- Local employment is growing faster than the national average. This cluster grew 37% faster than the national average between 2001 and 2007 and
- Compared to the national average, activewear employment is more highly concentrated in Portland than the nation.

o Activewear is a high performing cluster:
- In 2007 cluster firms contributed $55M in value added growth to the local economy.

o The cluster provides Portlanders with quality jobs:
- As of 2007, 9,833 activewear jobs were located in the region, 3,620 of which were in the city.

- 37% of the region's activewear employment was located in Portland in 2007; and
- For 2007, the average cluster wage in Portland was $52,295.4

• Companies:
o Activewear companies contribute to Portland's unique international brand. Portland is home to:
- Keen, adidas, Nike, Lucy, Icebreaker, Nautilus, Columbia Sportswear, Ziba, Nau, Danner/LaCrosse, Sapa Profiles, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Leatherman, Li Ning, Merrell, King Cycle Group, Dr. Martens, Castelli, Looptworks, Yakima, S Group, Showers Pass, Dunderdon.

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