first_imgScot Walstra, director of planning and development for the Port of Camas-Washougal, will leave his post at the end of today under a plan by the port to consolidate its economic-development efforts into a new partnership with the cities of Camas and Washougal.His salary will be routed to a new nonprofit, tentatively named the Camas Washougal Economic Development Association, which will also receive funding from both of those cities.David Ripp, executive director of the Port of Camas-Washougal, said the new group will neither overlap nor conflict with Clark County’s chief economic development agency, the nonprofit Columbia River Economic Development Council.“We’re not taking anything away from CREDC,” Ripp said. “We’re going to continue to support that group as well.”The Camas Washougal Economic Development Association will be expected to promote the east Clark County to employers, recruit companies to the area, create jobs and diversify the region’s economy, Ripp said. A priority will include attracting new industries to Washougal, which has traditionally been dependent on timber.“Our big picture is to create and jobs and have diversification,” Ripp said. One key will be to get a handle on which industries are up-and-coming and should be focused on as soon as possible. “What’s next in line?” Ripp said. “You don’t want to jump in after it’s started.”last_img