County looks to Nike for jobs
Another Pacific Northwest billionaire should be hearing from JacksonCounty soon.
Having fired off a letter Friday to software czar Bill Gates on be-halfof Ashland's ailing Pacific Northwest Museum of Natural History, the countyBoard of Commissioners fired off another. The second letter seeks sports-wearczar Phil Knight's help with job creation.
Commissioner Ric Holt says the idea came to him while reading that Knightis considering expanding Beaverton-based Nike somewhere out of state.
It struck me that with your beginnings in Medford, we in JacksonCounty would certainly appreciate your considering re-turning part of yourcompany to this area, Holt wrote.
The Medford connection may leave Knight scratching his head. Holt wasn'tentirely sure himself when asked but it exists sort of.
Decades ago, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman coached Medford High Schoolfootball and track before moving on to fame with the University of Oregontrack team and a shoe sole cooked up on a waffle iron.
Should Knight decide to cook up something new here, Holt figures theRogue Valley has many amenities to offer Nike: an inter-national airportdesignation, for-eign trade zone, enterprise zone, three ski areas for testinga new line of snowboards, and hard-working but unemployed timber workers.
Please, before looking out of state, give us a chance, Holtwrote.
And if Knight decides he just won't do it don't despair. The Fortune400 lists more than a score of billionaires west of the Rockies. So far,commissioners have contacted just two.