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Throughout the process of developing the Portland Plan, the city’s 25-year plan for growth and development, Portlanders have said that one of their top priorities is a robust economy and living wage jobs. The Portland Plan Economic Prosperity and Affordability Strategy presents a smart response to the complex challenges facing Portland.
Many Portlanders are out of work and struggle to make ends meet. The reasons for this are complex. Regional job growth has not been fast enough to bring down Multnomah County unemployment rates, and average wages and salaries in Multnomah County have not kept up with the rising cost of living over the last decade.
The Economic Prosperity and Affordability strategy focuses on business growth, a robust regional economy and individual prosperity. It draws on a broad range of implementation tools and partners in business development, urban innovation, land development, transportation, housing, education and training, and social supports, which collectively broaden local business opportunity and prosperity. Recognizing the connection between an educated workforce and a robust economy, for example, the strategy would pursue connections between higher education and firms in target industries to help solve technical challenges facing industry and transform innovations within school walls into commercially viable and valuable products.
The strategy identifies a series of “quick-start” actions that focus on traded sector job growth, urban innovation, trade gateway and freight mobility, and growing employment districts. One of these actions “… focus[es] business development resources on enhancing [the] competitiveness of businesses in five industry concentrations: Advanced Manufacturing, Athletic and Outdoor, Clean Tech, Software, and Research and Commercialization.” It also includes actions that address affordability, expanding opportunities for households that are currently unable to cover costs for basic needs. Another action would facilitate private investment in moderate-income housing to expand affordable housing options.
Based on thousands of public comments, expert counsel and extensive research, these focus areas and actions promise to be the most effective in achieving our goal of a thriving and prosperous city, with opportunity for all.
The Portland Plan team and its business partners are working together to make this strategy as strong and effective as possible. On April 29 (7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.), the Portland Plan team will be hosting a business forum at the NW Natural Building to solicit more feedback on the Economic Prosperity and Affordability strategy, in particular, as well as the other Portland Plan strategies and an Equity Initiative. As in the past, we’ll be soliciting feedback from the business community to refine the strategies and ensure that they will help Portland businesses survive and thrive into the future.
For more information about the Portland Plan Business Forum, please contact Barry Manning: 503-823-7965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Plan Business Forum
Friday, April 29, 2011
7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
NW Natural Building
220 NW 2nd Ave.