What is COIC's History?

The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council was formed in 1972 by the region’s cities and counties as a “Council of Governments” under Oregon Revised Statute Section 190, which provides for the establishment of intergovernmental organizations.

COIC initially served as a venue for regional prioritization, comprehensive planning, regional studies, and collaborative problem-solving. COIC’s early functions included planning for law enforcement, emergency medical services, affordable housing, senior services, economic development, transportation and workforce development.

In the late 1970’s COIC’s leadership moved the organization toward the delivery of economic development and workforce development services.  COIC was designated as an “Economic Development District” in 1979 by the US Department of Commerce, with a resulting focus on activities that more directly impacted the region’s economy. COIC was designated by the counties as a workforce development service provider around that time, providing job training support to Central Oregon job seekers, youth and businesses through the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

COIC took on an Economic Development Administration public lending program in the early 1980s. Later, COIC formed a Community Development Corporation to access Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan resources. These public lending programs were established within regionally-based community organizations such as COIC as a means to provide efficient local access to loan resources, particularly in communities struggling economically.

COIC successfully managed the transition from the federal CETA workforce program to the Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA), and then on to the Workforce Innovation Act (WIA) in 2000. COIC took on employment and training services in Klamath and Lake Counties in 2008 in response to a request from the county members of The Oregon Consortium, primarily due to COIC’s outstanding track record in delivering services and managing federal funding resources.

Reflecting the primary focus on workforce development, economic development and business lending services, in the early 1990s the COIC board adopted a mission statement: “To provide education, retraining, and economic development services to positively affect regional employment, individual lives, the business community, and local government.”

As population growth ramped up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, COIC’s regional roles continued to evolve.  Over the past 15 years COIC has taken on more functions consistent with its Council of Governments origins, including regional telecommunications planning and advocacy, wildfire risk reduction planning, large lot industrial lands coordination, and public transportation services planning. COIC has increasingly become a home for regional stakeholder coordination, planning and problem solving – demonstrating the value and effectiveness of regional collaboration to meet a broad array of economic and social needs.

Regional public transportation needs became a major issue in Central Oregon in the early 2000s, with no general public service available in Central Oregon at that time. In 2006 COIC was asked to take on public transportation service delivery by Crook County, with the understanding that by centralizing this service, efficiencies could be gained and more services could be provided to the region. COIC then took on client-based senior transportation services regionally, and opened the service to the general public. Cascades East Transit was branded in 2008 as the region’s first general public transit service. COIC took on Bend Area Transit in 2010, forming a regionally integrated transit system with urban scale fixed route services in Bend, general public dial-a-ride services in rural communities, and connector shuttle services linking the region’s cities.

COIC continues to strive to meet regional-scale needs in 2020 and beyond through regional collaboration, achieving economy-of-scale efficiencies, and through the efficient delivery of public services. COIC’s current work force exceeds 110  staff members, with several office locations across cities and counties and the tribe. COIC’s board of directors is composed of elected officials from Central Oregon’s three counties and eight cities, and a member from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the private sector, education, and chambers of commerce. Primary program areas are Community and Economic Development, Business Loans, Employment and Training (including education), and Transportation.

What is COIC's Organizational Assessment?

COIC is a trusted partner to the city and county governments of Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties, and the Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs, providing collaborative leadership on issues across jurisdictional boundaries, and delivering programs that are regional in nature. We provide a venue for regional planning, problem solving, prioritization, and shared services. Our regional-scale work enhances the strength and effectiveness of local governments and helps build economically successful communities.

We promote collaboration among a wide variety of private, public and nonprofit partners to effectively leverage state, federal and other resources for the greater benefit of the region. We are positioned to start up and incubate programs, and to carry out and deliver services to best meet the needs of our communities. We are experts in public-private partnerships, state and federal funds management, grant solicitation, facilitation, and program design and delivery.

Our primary areas of focus include workforce development; education; transportation; community and economic development; and natural resources. The programs we deliver have a positive, measurable impact on the people of the region.  We are an effective steward of public resources, and accountable to the communities of Central Oregon. We are strong and flexible as a result of our expertise and partnerships, with the ability to meet a wide range of regional challenges.

What Are The Current Programs & Services?


COIC’s core administrative service functions are housed at COIC’s administrative offices at Hawthorne Station.  Central services include:

  • Accounting – accounts payable, and receivable, cash management, financial reporting, budget-to-actual tracking, contract and grant management, single audit – annual financial statement preparation.
  • Information technology (IT)
  • Human resources
  • Payroll
  • Procurement
  • Policy development
  • Facilities management
  • Strategic planning.
  • Legal Counsel

Adult Employment and Training

COIC provides a variety of adult and dislocated worker programs at WorkSource locations throughout Central Oregon.

COIC services include:

  • Career and employment counseling
  • Computer Workshops
  • Resume and Cover Letter and Interviewing Workshops
  • Vocational training scholarships
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Work Experience placements

COIC employment and training programs are intended to help unemployed and under-employed job seekers to meet their employment goals; and to help businesses find qualified workers.

Community and Economic Development and Loans

CED provides coordination/collaboration, convening, technical assistance, and planning services to meet regional and community needs. These services provide a means for the region to work together to identify issues and opportunities which are regional in scope, to achieve concurrence for cooperative actions, and accomplish goals identified by Central Oregon cities and counties and other partners.

CED’s Current Program areas:

  • Regional governance and committees (e.g. COACT)
  • Region-scale plans:
    • Regional Emergency Services Training and Coordination Center
    • Regional Housing Needs Assessment
    • Regional Housing and Homelessness coordination
      • Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC)
      • Regional Housing Council
      • Lead agency for the region’s Continuum of Care
  • Local government infrastructure and planning (e.g. local infrastructure project and CPP and HMP plans)
  • Rural community and economic development visioning and planning
  • Collaborative natural resource management (Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project, Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative, Ochoco Trails Strategy Group, Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative)
  • Local food systems development (regional food hub development; farm business support; etc.)
  • Grant writing and grant administration
  • Project development and technical assistance (Downtown development programs; Labor Standards Monitoring, etc.)

Every five years, CED works with regional partners to develop the Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which provides a prioritized action plan for CED and our partners. CED also assists the Executive Director to regularly convene the Regional Administrators’ group to identify regional needs, and assists the Executive Director in corporate strategic planning efforts.

Public Lending

COIC provides alternative loans for new or existing small businesses. Our Economic Development staff is responsible for originating and servicing these loans, compliance with applicable federal program regulations, and managing fund balance sheets.

COIC’s public loan programs are intended to work in cooperation with conventional bank loans or in some cases to fully fund projects when bank financing is not available (or not available on reasonable terms), and are intended to create or retain job opportunities and/or to assist credit-worthy business owners who are unable to secure financing from other sources.

COIC Loan programs:

  • Economic Development Administration (EDA) revolving loan fund, available in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson, counties;
  • USDA Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) revolving loan fund, available in the above counties plus Malheur, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco, Lane, Douglas, Coos, Curry, Josephine, and Jackson counties;
  • Jefferson County revolving loan fund (origination and servicing only, as the fund is owned by the county).

Public Transportation

COIC’s public transportation programs strengthen regional public transportation services and infrastructure through the development and implementation of regionally-based transportation plans, public transit operations, service coordination, and project development.


  • Cascades East Transit – urban (Bend) general public fixed route transit services and ADA complementary paratransit services
  • Cascades East Transit – Rural general public “demand-response” service in La Pine, Madras, Prineville, Redmond, Sisters, and Warm Springs
  • Cascades East Transit – Community Connector regional shuttle service
  • Recreational transit – Ride the River, Mt. Bachelor, and Lava Butte seasonal service
  • Cascades East Ride Center – Medicaid Ride Brokerage
    • Transportation to Medicaid appointments:
      • Travel Reimbursements
      • Non-Emergent Ambulance Transport
      • Ambulatory Rides
      • Volunteer Transports

Contact us

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC)

1250 NE Bear Creek Rd.
Bend, OR 97701


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