South Wasco County, Oregon, located in the state’s north central border, experienced significant economic decline in the 1980s driven largely by the loss of timber industry. This was followed by closure of schools and consolidation of students from school districts and an out-migration of residents that disrupted economic stability, community health, and quality of life. Working together the regional Cooperative Extension professional, an NGO Coordinating Stakeholder from the South Wasco Alliance and University of Virginia researchers are evaluating methods to construct economic mobility models and adjust the approach for application in a rural environment. To do this, they are discovering, inventorying, profiling, and documenting the data sources and their fitness-for-use, to inform barriers to economic mobility. These include indicators focused on local and regional food systems, tourism, and light manufacturing. The outputs will be creation of economic mobility datasets presented in an interactive dashboard to support local decision-making.

Teaser Video:

Research Project Webpage:

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Mary Solomon

Mary Solomon

Bowling Green State University, Mathematics and Statistics


Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder

William and Mary, Government

Owen Hart

Owen Hart

University of California Berkeley, Economics and Data Science


Aaron Schroeder

Research Associate Professor, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia

Alyssa Mikytuck

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia

Eric Oh

Research Assistant Professor, Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia


Kathleen Willis

South Wasco Alliance