As the Recovery Grows, Portland is Positioned to Benefit
Startup PDX Challenge semi-finalists named; public vote begins
The Portland Development Commission has narrowed a field of 134 Startup PDX Challenge applicants from the United States and Canada to 19 semi-finalists in Portland’s search for startups with diverse founding teams and the ambition to scale to a national or international market.
Up to six for-profit startup businesses will receive a package valued at $50,000 per company with a $15,000 working capital grant, a full year of rent-free office space at 115 SW Ash in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown, and free professional advice, memberships and services. Up to four more startups will be named merit finalists and will receive a package valued at $4,000 per company.
Daimler Breaks Ground on Portland Headquarters Building
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014 – Mayor Charlie Hales and Gov. John Kitzhaber were on hand Friday for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the $150 million Daimler Trucks North America headquarters on Swan Island.
Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, spoke about the choice of Portland for the expanded facility.
“Daimler is a good corporate neighbour,” Hales said. “They get the spirit of Portland. I’ve heard Martin Daum talk about it before, and he’s right. Daimler and Portland are a perfect fit.”
In 2012, Daimler and Western Star Trucks purchased $135 million from Oregon vendors and suppliers. Daimler also supports area high schools, the Oregon Food Bank, the United Way and the Washington Park Summer Concert Series.
A 265,000 square-foot building will bring together Daimler operations now scattered across several offices and will allow for growth. Daimler plans to add another 400 employees to its Portland work force.
The project also includes opening a greenway trail along the Willamette River and construction of a parking garage. The company has partnered with Ankrom Moisan for the architectural design and Hoffman Corporation for construction.
Mayor Hales Supports Shriver Report’s ‘City-Festo’ for Women’s, Other Groups’ Empowerment
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014 — At Happy Cup Coffee Company in City Hall one afternoon, barista Caitlin Lawson coached Keyona, 28, through the register, checking out an iced coffee order.
Happy Cup — with its coffee roasting operation and two café locations — is a program through Full Life, an organization that employs developmentally disabled adults like Keyona who want to work for minimum wage or better with benefits, job counseling, and other services. Full Life was founded 12 years ago by a woman who championed opportunities for disabled adults.
“It’s fun,” says Keyona, who has worked with Full Life for seven years. “I get to work with different people. It gives me a different outlook and perspective on life.”
The city has supported Happy Cup’s mission, helping it into the City Hall location and into a Northeast Portland space near the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct.
Such support is why Maria Shriver, founder of Shriver Report, praised Mayor Charlie Hales at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June for Portland’s progressive and innovative efforts to create an equitable city. Shriver Report is a nonprofit online platform through which women and others may share stories of progress in overcoming inequity. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Shriver’s organization distributed a “city-festo,” a guide to implementing policies that support families and work to empower both women and men to be successful in their cities.
In addition to existing policies and advocacy at the city, state and federal level, Hales is supporting Shriver Report’s call for city leaders to be “architects of change,” encouraging policies that support women and families through education, involvement and outreach.
“Happy Cup embodies Portland’s progressive values,” says Hales, who visits the City Hall café for coffee and salads. “We’re a city that cares for its people, and we put our progressive values into practice.”
The mayor has thrown his support behind the “city-festo” as another step in overcoming historical inequities to make the city more livable for everyone.
“Portland is a deliberately family-friendly city,” Hales says. “We’re continuing to work to make sure every resident lives in a complete neighborhood, with parks full of amenities, streets and sidewalks in good repair, and equal opportunities for successful futures.”
The “city-festo” calls for an informed community, 100 percent voter registration, and education, encouraging city officials to teach equity through leadership, policies and practices.
Hales, through diversity workshops such as White Men as Full Diversity Partners and outreach initiatives such as Black Male Achievement, has led Portland through many of the report’s 10 steps to build change.
Likewise, the city has made progress through Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s citywide paid sick leave policy; sick leave was the No. 1 policy that women who were surveyed said they needed from their city. Shriver told Hales that Portland’s policy is an exemplar for cities nationwide.
Through Black Male Achievement, Hales led community leaders in collaboratively developing programs to support young, African-American men, who disproportionately experience high incarceration, dropout and unemployment rates. SummerWorks, whose second-largest funder is the city, finds summer internships for at-risk teenagers, helping them stay on the right track. City Hall this year hired 100 interns.
Hales, through the U.S. Conference of Mayors, has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. At the state level, the city has advocated for statewide sick leave, affordable housing non-discrimination legislation, tuition equity, and for funding pilot programs to build of Portland Community College’s successful Future Connect scholarship program, which seeks to eliminate financial barriers to college. Last year the City Council passed two affordable housing policies that were key to preserving affordable housing units in Portland. One continued a tax abatement program to create an incentive for developers to build affordable housing, and another clarified that affordable housing on city property is tax-exempt.
And the city supports businesses like Happy Cup.
“Happy Cup establishes challenges that not every service job gives you,” says Lawson, the barista. “The relationships we build with Full Life clients make the job so much more fulfilling.”
ShriverReport’s “city-festo” gives the city more equity goals to pursue — 100 percent voter registration, addressing inequities across the city, empowering oftentimes marginalized populations.
“The ‘city-festo’ is a great list of goals that Portland is capable of achieving,” Hales says. “We’ve made tremendous progress over the last year-and-a-half. Now it’s time to focus our energies on making this city truly equitable for all genders, all races, all sexual orientations — all citizens.”
Mayor Hales, Sen. Wyden, Commissioner Smith Kick Off SummerWorks' Sixth Year
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014 — City, county and federal partners today at the Portland Building kicked off the SummerWorks program’s sixth year placing young people in summer jobs.
Mayor Charlie Hales, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith praised the program for helping teens and young adults gain the work experience that is critical to their long-term success.
SummerWorks, a program through Worksystems Inc., since 2009 has placed 2,617 young people, ages 16 to 21, in summer jobs. The program emphasizes under-represented youth who face challenges such as growing up in poverty or at risk of dropping out of high school.
“We’ve been able to grow this program at Multnomah County since 2011 from 25 young men and women to 125 this year,” says Smith, who will accept an award July 13 on the program’s behalf at the National Association of Counties’ annual convention. “This program works because it connects young people with quality jobs at good pay and provides the skills they need to make their lives better now and in the future.”
The program formed in response to a persistent youth unemployment problem in Oregon; 36,000 young people are both out of school and out or work in the Portland metro area. Last year only about 25 percent of people 16 to 19 years old had a job. For young African-American men, that figure was only 12 percent.
Hales has prioritized working with public and private partners to build a more robust internship system to connect Portland students to the local workforce, and is particularly focused on ameliorating disparities in education, work and family outcomes for African-American men.
“There are several ways we as a community have failed the African American youth — education, employment, incarceration rates,” Hales says. “These internships help level the playing field in a key performance measure, employment. This program provides a leg up. It’s a small step, but a good one.”
Nearly 60 percent of SummerWorks’ funding comes from the city of Portland, Multnomah County, and Worksystems Inc., which is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor. Last year, Worksystems contributed $222,169 to the program; the city of Portland $188,071; and Multnomah County $173,475.
“The SummerWorks program is an indispensable tool in training the next generation of productive workers, in breaking the cycle of poverty, and in teaching young people the value of work and the self-esteem that comes with it,” Sen. Wyden says. “This program is the gold standard for demonstrating to the rest of the country that local governments and the federal government can come together with local nonprofits and private enterprise to find good jobs for young people who want to work and want to contribute to their community.”
Urban League Career Fair Slated
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 – The Urban League of Portland's annual career fair is scheduled for next week.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Double Tree Hotel, 1000 N.E. Multnomah St., near the Lloyd Center.
This fair gives jobseekers the opportunity to meet face to face with recruiters from more than 50 employers, including representatives from corporate, professional, clerical, construction and health care industries, as well as the non-profit and government sectors.
Family behind Orox Leather artisan goods used PDC assistance to open 1st store, workshop in Old Town
After many years making sandals out of a garage and selling at Saturday Market, Orox Leather Co. moved into Old Town in December 2012, and celebrated its first bricks-and-mortar store with a grand opening party on August 1, 2013.