Oregon is fighting to keep Nike Inc. happy and its 5,000 jobs from leaving the state.
But the Idaho Department of Commerce and local business recruiters are doing their best to defeat Beaverton in its battle with Nike over zoning.
State officials are not waiting for Nike and Beaverton to work out problems. Commerce Director Tom Arnold said his department has prepared a computer-assisted pitch to persuade Nike to bring its expansion here.
The presentation includes favorable comparisons between Idaho and other states on such things as taxes, workers compensation rates and power costs. It also spotlights Idaho’s outdoor recreational amenities. A date has not been set for the presentation.
The mayor of Beaverton has made a proposal to resolve a zoning dispute between Nike and city officials. The Beaverton City Council is scheduled to vote on the issue next week.
“We have not had a response at this point,” said Linda Adlard, chief of staff to Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake.
The sneaker and clothing giant has accused Oregon state and local officials of ignoring its concerns while offering tax breaks to out-of-state companies.
About six weeks ago, the company sent letters of inquiry to Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, California and British Columbia. The company says it is looking for a place that would welcome a 5,000-job expansion.
Nike officials deny that the letters were devised simply to get attention at home. But the letters did prompt action from Oregon’s local and state officials. Oregon’s Economic Development Department has stepped up its yearlong effort to resolve problems Nike has had, Marcy Jacobs, the department’s regional development officer, said Monday.
“We’ve seen positive results in the past few weeks,” she said.
Nike executives have spent two weeks visiting the seven possible plant locations and are expected to narrow the list to three, Arnold said.
“I’m very optimistic that we will have what they want,” he said.
xxxx NIKE PLANS The company says it is looking for a place that would welcome a 5,000-job expansion.
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