Thinking about moving to the Gorge and need a job? Get started on the right foot with this quick guide to searching for a job in the Columbia River Gorge!

TLDR; The Columbia River Gorge has surprisingly diverse industries and employers that go beyond tourism services. With more jobs than people to fill them, you’ll notice almost everyone is hiring. Finding housing is typically the challenging part when relocating to the Gorge.

Where is the Columbia River Gorge?

Loosely, “The Gorge” refers to the cities and communities along the Columbia Riverbetween The Dalles, Oregon and Troutdale, Oregon. The Columbia River forms the border between Washington and Oregon, so to the North you’ll find Washigton State, and to the South is Oregon.

Washington communities include: Stevenson, Carson, North Bonneville, White Salmon, Trout Lake, Lyle, and Dallesport.

Oregon Communities include: Cascade Locks, Hood River, Mosier, Parkdale/Mount Hood, and The Dalles.

To the right is a map of the Columbia Area Transit routes in The Gorge. For a cool illustration and more info about public transit in the Gorge, follow this link!

Once people visit The Columbia River Gorge, it’s easy to imagine why people love living here. In addition to the stunning beauty, we have quick access to many outdoor recreation opportunities. It’s also close to Portland, Oregon making The Gorge an easily accessible tourist destination.

What kind of jobs and industries are in the Columbia River Gorge?

While we’re small in population, the Gorge boasts a diverse range of industries and professional opportunities. Below is a short list of industries you will find here:

  • Education
  • Wedding and Events
  • Hospital, Medical, and Wellness Services
  • Glass Manufacturing
  • Agriculture – fruit, hemp, marajuana, vegitables, large crops, and more
  • Tech Manufacturing
  • Aerospace Industry – Manufacturing, Research and Development
  • Retail – Kerrits Activewear and Mosko Moto call the Gorge home
  • Food! Tofurkey is made with pride here
  • Breweries, and lots of them!
  • Wineries
  • Non for profit / Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
  • Forestry and Natural Resource Products
  • Hospitality/Resturaunt/Tourism
  • Outdoor Recreation Services
  • … and more!

Living in The Gorge

It’s no secret that Housing in the Gorge is tight. Being a popular vacation and second home destination, the limitations on development expansions in the area, and the increase in remote work and flexible working arrangements mean that homes and rentals can be hard to come by. It’s not impossible to find a rental or a home here, but it is a barrier for some looking to relocate to the area.

If you’re searching for a rental:

We recommend keeping your eye daily on as well as local property management companies such as Nunamaker for rental opportunities. Being open to a temporary rental may help you get your footing here while you search for a more permanent solution.

Beware of Rental Scams! NEVER send money to view or secure a rental sight unseen. 

Do your research – if you find housing in a neighboring town or “out in the country” – make sure you know what kind of commute you’re getting into for all four seasons. An easy 20-minute drive in the summer can double or triple in some of our famous icy winters here in the Gorge. 

Some employers offer housing assistance or housing programs for their employees. Ask your employer if they have any resources you can utilize. Your employer may also be able to go view a rental on your behalf if you’re relocating from out of town.

Gorge Hired supports local efforts to increase housing supply and find solutions to resolving the housing crisis in the Columbia Gorge. We believe that building higher-density housing, discouraging second homes, and limiting short-term rentals in residential areas are all tools that should be utilized in addressing the housing crisis in addition to local governments building inventory. Please talk to your employer about supporting and advocating for city and county measures that would help make housing accessible to all demographics, not just the wealthy.

Getting around The Gorge

We’ve got a great public transit system with Columbia Area Transit. This is a very affordable and reliable system. Many residents own cars, but you’ll find that in the warmer months cyclists commute via bicycle easily!

Carpooling is also an option. Check out Drive Less. Connect. for carpooling options in Oregon and SW Washington. RideshareOnline also has free carpool and rideshare matching, serving the Columbia River Gorge region.

Some companies, like Mt Hood Meadows, provide transportation for their employees. Ask your Employer for options!

Finding a job in the Columbia River Gorge

There are lots of jobs here! The best thing you can do is sign up to get job alerts with Gorge Hired. Check out our social media pages as well for new job postings so you can share them with your network.

Some of the small businesses are still a bit ‘old school’ here. Especially if you’re looking for a job in restaurant/hospitality, it doesn’t hurt to visit businesses in-person and let them know you’re looking for work.

Keep your eye out on the major online job aggregators – Google, Indeed, and Craigslist. Whenever possible, apply directly through the company’s website and avoid applying on 3rd party job boards.

You can also research companies in the Gorge and start browsing their websites for job opportunities. It never hurts to reach out on LinkedIn or via e-mail even if they aren’t hiring!

Do I have to live in the Columbia Gorge to apply for jobs on Gorge Hired? 

No! Anyone is welcome to use the Gorge Hired job board to look for and apply to jobs.