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Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is situated in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River running north through the city.Salem was founded in 1842.It became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851.Salem is operated by using the council–manager government model.
Salem's largest employer is the State government. The city also serves as a hub for the area farming communities. It is a major agricultural food processing center lying along the I-5 corridor and is within an hour's drive of Oregon's largest city, Portland.Salem is the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Corrections and home to four state correctional facilities, including the Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon's only maximum security prison.
The top private employer in Salem is the Salem Hospital with over 2,700 employees. Others include the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde's Spirit Mountain Casino west of Salem, the T-Mobile Calling Center, GE Security (Formerly Supra Products Inc.), Wells Fargo Customer Contact Center (Formerly Wachovia Securities), NORPAC Foods, Inc., Roth's Family Markets, Sanyo, and Willamette University.
Salem attracted a number of computer-related manufacturing plants in the 1990s. In November 2003, the Sumitomo Mitsubishi Silicon Group (SUMCO), one of these arrivals, announced it would be closing its two silicon wafer plants at the end of 2004, eliminating 620 jobs, and moving production to other plants. Several projects are underway to increase the supply of housing in the downtown core. These projects will provide upscale, low and high rise condominium and office space.