Forum explores economic development in Oregon
March's forum featured Business Oregon's Chris Harder, SEDCOR's Chad Freeman, and Greater Portland Inc's Janet LaBar, along with moderator Charlie Allcock from Portland General Electric.
Each panelists talked about the opportunities they see in the state and the challenges.
Allcock referred to everyone in the room as an economic development "team," working together for the betterment of the state.
LaBar talked about her organization's 2020 plan and moving towards an economy that benefits all residents.
Harder shared his insight in working at the state level and touched on how there are different economies between the rural and urban areas, but at the same time, how important resources like the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 are to both the urban and rural economies.
Freeman spoke about the importance of infrastructure and transportation.
He was also enthusiastic about how well the economy is doing and the growing demand for space, which has spurred construction.
Some of the panel said workforce development is both a challenge and opportunity they see.
LaBar said she has been told by site selectors that Oregon has a lot of great things going for it, but it needs more engineers.
This led to a discussion about career education and technical training that should include technology in all areas of instruction, even for those majoring in liberal arts.
Another component important to economic development according to Allcock is the timeliness of permitting - the speed at which a company can get something built.
He also talked about Oregon's geographic location being an asset in terms of its close proximity to the Asian markets.
If you missed this event, TVCTV has it available on its YouTube channel.
There are also photos shared on the WEA Facebook page.
Thank you again to PGE for being our presenting sponsor of this event.