Two of the top three contenders for governor of Oregon have outlined their plans for economic development, particularly as it relates to the Portland metropolitan area, with just a few weeks until the election.
The conference on Monday concentrated on four significant economic challenges affecting the state: company growth, workforce, housing, and transportation, despite the fact that there have been many political advertisements regarding positions on matters like gun control, homelessness, or reproductive rights.
The gubernatorial candidate event, which Western Economic Alliance hosted, concentrated on topics that affect the wider tri-county area surrounding Portland as well as ones that have a statewide influence. One among those was the difficulty businesses had in hiring enough employees.
As many people struggle with severe student loan debt, independent candidate Betsy Johnson suggested focusing on professional and technical training as a viable alternative to four-year degrees.
In addition to encouraging young people to identify a specialty that satisfies their professional aspirations and advance in that position, Johnson noted that it is important to ensure that education is in accordance with business needs. “I believe we need to begin earlier and make it clear to individuals that a career in an apprenticeship, starting in an apprenticeship, or enrolling in career technical school is as beneficial or valuable to certain people as a four-year degree,” said the author.
Democratic candidate Tina Kotek, meanwhile, advocated combining choices like vocational education and college, beginning with the state’s Student Success Act, which provides a strong start foundation before the next step after high school.
Community colleges will play a significant role in my workforce dynamic. Knowing the types of occupations that are needed, in my opinion, is crucial, Kotek added. “I believe we will need to do it sector by sector to ensure that the workforce is present. Making ensuring the Student Success Act is fully implemented is another matter.
Affordable housing and having enough of it is a major economic issue. The development of strategies to expedite and reduce the cost of the building was a point of agreement amongst the candidates.
Rents and home prices are rising, while housing inventories are at an all-time low. According to contractors, getting something approved can take as long as actually building it. That’s absurd,” remarked Johnson.
Johnson offered financial literacy programmes for people to strive toward home ownership, while Kotek advised more possibilities, such as townhomes, beyond stand-alone homes, given the necessity for people to be able to purchase homes in the first place as rental costs rise.
Working with our home builders, who offer incentives for various first-time homes, helps people become homeowners and then grow the money necessary to purchase and move on to the next property, according to Kotek.
Aside from the workforce and housing, the candidates also spoke about the need for new bus lines, rural transportation, and plans to attract more firms to Portland that will stay.
Christine Drazan, the Republican candidate for Oregon governor, was expected to come as well, according to Westside Economic Alliance, but her campaign said Sunday night that Drazan had a last-minute scheduling difficulty.
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