Meet Our RARE AmeriCorps Participant: Katelynn Essig

Katelynn Essig RARE AmeriCorps Resource Assistance for Rural Environments Oregon CIty

About Katelynn Essig

Katelynn received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Environmental Science from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Upon graduation, Katelynn interned with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as the Environmental Data Operations Technician, where she helped coordinate the move of 7,000 facilities from an old online data entry system and paper submission system to a new online data entry system. Katelynn went on to earn a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development and Policy. Katelynn hopes that the RARE AmeriCorps program will give her the opportunity to explore many different areas of sustainable development. After her year with RARE, Katelynn hopes to use her newly gained knowledge and people skills to facilitate awareness and change.

About Oregon City

Oregon City is located southeast of Portland on the east side of the Willamette River and was the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains. Oregon City offers a full service local government organization located at the southern edge of the Portland Metropolitan Region serving approximately 35,000 citizens and 1,700 businesses and is the county seat of Clackamas County.  For much of its existence, Oregon City’s economy was dominated by the forestry industry, until the decline of the Pacific Northwest lumber industry started in the 1980s. Currently, the Oregon City is home to several notable high technology and light manufacturing companies.

Katelynn is placed with Oregon City and will take on an array of economic development projects with the overall purpose of increasing local tourism and business activity. Katelynn will assist in the development of a citywide marketing/branding strategy; conduct a comprehensive inventory of local businesses relevant to Clackamas County targeted industry clusters; organize and facilitate a series of open forums for Oregon City developers and business owners; create a community profile for regional economic development efforts; and create a template and well documented strategy for responding to State business leads.

Meet Our RARE AmeriCorps Participant: Saira Siddiqui

Saira Siddiqui RARE AmeriCorps La Grande Main Street Downtown

About Saira Siddiqui

Saira received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design with minors in Studio Art and English from the University at Buffalo, New York.  As a student, Saira held internships with the Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning. Upon graduation, Saira applied to the RARE AmericCorps Program in hopes of gaining hands-on experience in the community development field while making positive changes in the community she serves. Following her second year with the RARE AmeriCorps Program, Saira plans on attending graduate school to further her studies in planning and community development.

About La Grande Main Street Downtown

La Grande Main Street Downtown works to revitalize the City of La Grande’s downtown area using the Oregon Main Street approach.  La Grande Main Street is volunteer driven by downtown businesses owners, community members and supported by many local organizations.  The La Grande Main Street Downtown Program was officially designated by the State on September 26, 2008 as an “Oregon Main Street Transforming Downtown.” La Grande joined 10 other Oregon communities which were designated as either Performing Main Street programs or Transforming Main Street programs at that time.

Saira was placed with the La Grande Main Street in 2013 and 2014. As a second year RARE participant, Saira coordinates and manages various components of the La Grande Main Street Program. She is involved with daily administration, long-range planning, stakeholder engagement, and various special projects such as the Eastern Oregon Beer Festival. Major activities include the daily, weekly and monthly management of the program and the associated standing committees and the LGMS Board of Directors. Saira also provides staff support for meeting management, calendars of events, single-point-of-contact; marketing and communications; event coordination; project assistance, coordination, and management; and, technical assistance to committees as needed.