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|Tuesday, December 08, 2009|
State labor economist Art Ayre took the stage before Portland’s City Club last Friday to try to explain Oregon’s persistent problem with high unemployment. It’s easy enough to understand why statewide unemployment shot up from 5 percent in early 2007 to 12 percent in early 2009. The economy was crashing and jobs were vanishing everywhere. But why was Oregon among the hardest hit, once again? Why has Oregon exceeded the national average for unemployment for 25 of the past 31 years?
Congressman David Wu had organized a round-table discussion with academic, government, labor and business leaders to explore ways to create jobs in Oregon, now and into the future. It was a lively forum, but a powerful theme emerged early. The research institutions wanted money for research, the growing companies wanted capital to grow faster; the community colleges wanted money for workforce training, the utilities wanted money for transmission lines, the renewable energy businesses wanted money for renewable energy, the micro-loan providers wanted money for micro-loans, the energy efficiency experts wanted money for energy efficiency, the contracting firms wanted money for building projects, the union reps wanted money for union jobs and the tech companies wanted money for higher education.
At the end of the discussion I asked Wu which of the many proposals he had heard seemed most innovative. He told me it wasn’t a matter of which were most innovative but which of them will work best, then proceeded to praise almost every one of the ideas he had heard as worthy of federal investment. “The New Deal didn’t get us out of the Great Depression,” he said, “because it was too small.”
Sounds like a pork fest is on the way, for better or worse or both.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.