Life and Work in Medford, Oregon
Great Cities Along Bear Creek/Rogue River
Medford is an anchor city in the Medford-Ashland Metro Area of Southwestern Oregon, supporting over 1,500 small and large businesses. As such, it serves as an economic and medical services hub for both Southern Oregon and Northern California.
This part of the Pacific Northwest features fruit orchards, shopping malls, skateboard parks, fire-spinning events, and indigenous pow wows in addition to good job opportunities. A number of excellent retirement communities are also present.
This part of the state includes the large Rogue Valley Mall, with a cultural and theater complex in nearby Ashland to the south of Medford.
Several natural attractions enliven the days of people of all ages, including a group of entertaining annual festivals, well maintained historic districts, and popular sports events. In particular, Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
As the Oregon and California Railroad was built out to this area, the town site was chosen by the railroad for a city along Bear Creek in 1884. Thereafter, the city became a hub of commerce and transportation for the timber and agriculture industries. Peaches, pears, and grapes have been a long-term foundation of the fruit trade in this area; joined by timber in the early days and to a lesser extent today.
Ashland was named by settlers in honor of the like-named counties in Ohio and Kentucky, where founders of the Oregon city had left family members to travel west.
Upon arrival of the pioneers, agriculture quickly became an economic mainstay, with the orchards bringing international recognition, especially the local pears and the Ashland Peach that garnered honors at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Agricultural trade depended upon the new railways in the area beginning in 1883 for distribution and both Ashland and Medford benefited from the booming railroad era.
The Commons in Medford
The Commons is an ongoing revitalization project in the downtown urban center of Medford that is increasing the city's economic strength with new businesses and jobs. Public parking and recreation opportunities are also expanding, with overall project plans extending to the year 2017.
In relation to this revitalization, Vogal Plaza has become the center for several events, including the Art in Bloom Festival held near Mother's Day annually. The Pear Blossom Run is held around nearby Alba Park, across from city hall. The Taste of History celebration is held in the Downtown area each June.
Evergreen Mixed Use Project
Green building and construction methods for sustainability have become a part of the Downtown revitalization project. All this includes street and sidewalks, parkways, fencing, new businesses, and re-builds.
Alternative Energy Sources
Greenberry Industrial Mechanical Contractor - Medford projects include structural/mechanical work in industrial constructions such as boiler making, heavy rigging, millwright and equipment setting, pipe fitting, and steel. Partnering with Medford in alternative energy production, this company is supplying the construction management, fabrication, and field services required.
Top 10 Jobs Through AD 2024
- Teaching and Teachers' Assistant work in mainstream classrooms at nearly all levels of the school system. These positions cover the full gamut od education from K-12 to community college and vocational schools.
- Healthcare is another local high demand job field, particularly for Registered Nurses (RNs).
- Tourism is also a healthy part of the local economy, with residents from Northern California, Northern Oregon, Washington, and elsewhere regularly traveling into the area to shop and visit.
High Demand Jobs in the Medford-Ashland Market Area
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Operations Managers and General Managers
Auditing and Bookkeeping Clerks
Mainstream Elementary School Teachers
Mainstream Secondary School Teachers
College-Level and Vocational Teachers and Instructors
Mainstream Middle School Teachers
- Retails Sales Persons and Supervisors
- Heavy- and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
- All Food and Beverage Preparation and Service jobs
Additional high demand jobs include:
- Teachers' Assistants
- General Clerks and Attendants
- Licensed Real Estate Agents
Largest Area Employers
- Harry and David Operations: Well known fruit and vegetable growers & shippers.
- Rogue Valley Medical Center & Asante Health System
- Jackson County Government
- Medford School District
- Boise Cascade Corp. - Paper products and office supplies.
- Cascade Wood Products
- Providence Medford Medical Center
Diversity Employment Training and Job Placement
- Living Opportunities: 717 Murphy Road, Medford OR 97504. This company shows the concern of the people of Oregon in the well being and advancement of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Clients can seek job training and support here, as well as use a studio for the arts, music, and performing work and training. An associated organization is Bridging Communities, which has empowered Oregon families to find new, effective ways of managing different aspects of clients on the autism spectrum.
Harry and David Direct Mail Order
It all began with pears and became the largest company in Medford.
Harry and David started with a 240 acre pear orchard at the turn of the 20th century. Company owners began a direct mail order fruit business and followed with high end gift baskets of fruits, jellies, and related items. Their Fruit-of-the-Month-Club offerings are famous throughout the world.
The "H & D Green Promise" is a company project that has eliminated many tons of a paper catalogues via Internet ordering lines. They participated in financing the Jackson County Expo Solar Energy Project and others. Further, they recycle from 50 - 99% of their waste materials, depending upon the type of material. H & D has won awards for is presentations entitled "Sustainability - It's Just Good Business!"
The company regularly employees a staff of 1,700+, but requires around 6,500 seasonal workers every year.
Medford Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber sponsors foreign trips to nations that trade with the city on a continuing basis. These trips include parts of China, Italy, and other locales where Chamber members and expecially young professionals can make business contacts and friendships.
China is Oregon’s number one trade partner and The Chamber has played an active role in the formation of the Southern Oregon China Connection.— Medford Chamber of Commerce website
Educational Opportunities for Good Careers
- Abdill Career College: Medical Assistant training and other vocational programs. Location is 843 E Main St #203, Medford OR 97504.
- Pacific Bible College. 28 S Fir St Suite 212, Medford OR 97501.
- Rogue Community College
- Southern Oregon University, located in Ashland
- Siskiyou Bible College. 2715 Table Rock Rd, Medford OR 97501.
- Oregon Institute of Aesthetics is located at 2425 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland, 97520; with sites in Medford and Talent, Oregon. They are recognized by the Oregon Department of Education for part-time study programs that allow students to graduate in five months and meet full requirements for Oregon State Board licensing exams to become an aestheticism. Instruction is in a small clinical setting and covers skin care, skin disorders, glycolic peels, facial massage, spa services, and business practices.
Top Seven Retirement Communities, According to YELP in 2019
- Prestige Senior Living Arbor Place
- Rogue Valley Manor
- The Springs at Veranda Park
- Weatherly Inn
- Fountain Plaza
- Bonaventure of Medford
- Pioneer Village
Rogue Valley Manor
Interesting Local Activities
Sports, Recreation and Entertainment
- Ashland Little League
- El Chico Fire Spinners
- Hotrod and Custom Car Show: Each April.
- Medford Comic-Con: Late April each year.
- Medford Golf Courses
- Medford Pear Orchard, 2750 N Foothill RdMedford, Oregon.
- Medford Skate park
- Oregon Rodeo & Events Calendars
- PBA Medford Bowling Open: An annual professional bowling event televised on ESPN.
- Pow Wows sponsored by various local nations
- Salmon Fishing on the Rogue River
- Southern Oregon Artisan Corridor: Farms, creameries, and vineyards near Medford in Central Point.
- Southern Oregon University: Raiders sports. 1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland OR 97520.
El Circo - Firespinning Troupe from Ashland
Medford Skate Park
Southern Oregon University Pow Wow
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS