Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) has joined other recreation organizations as the newest member of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website.
As ORR’s first higher education member, OSU’s CORE will bring the bandwidth and expertise of a top-tier public university to the $689 billion outdoor recreation industry, supporting the sector’s research and workforce development needs through the development of industry-informed and relevant trainings and certifications.
ORR and CORE have already collaborated on several successful efforts. Earlier this year, CORE helped ORR develop the ORR Rural Economic Development Toolkit to support rural communities in building their outdoor recreation economies, and together led information sessions for government agencies and industry leaders about the importance of economic and workforce development for the outdoor recreation economy. CORE has consistently brought survey development expertise to the table with ORR members, supporting numerous studies related to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, project eligibility through the $900 million Land and Water Conservation Fund, and insights into current workforce trends.
Oregon State’s work in the outdoor recreation industry through CORE focuses on the following four efforts:
- Education and Training: Blending academic rigor with industry expertise to develop and offer relevant professional education, certificates, and degree opportunities.
- Research: Connecting industry with faculty experts and researchers to assess outdoor recreation workforce trends through surveys, interviews, case studies, and other services.
- Industry Engagement: Engaging with executives, talent experts, and associations to ensure CORE’s workforce offerings meet the industry’s current and future needs.
- Higher Education Collaboration: Spearheading the creation of a national consortium designed to support and coordinate industry-responsive research and program development at post-secondary institutions nationwide.
In 2022, the ORR and OSU collaboration will focus on the following actions for the outdoor recreation economy:
- Use its research capacity to conduct a comprehensive analysis of wage and career path data across the recreation economy.
- Build on the highly successful rural development toolkit platform and continue to expand resources for economies across the country looking to transition to recreation-based economies.
- Work with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to promote understanding of the comprehensive benefits of outdoor recreation economies’ impactful rollout of the new $750 million in funding for travel, tourism and outdoor recreation to the communities.