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Press Release: January 11, 2011

Governor Kitzhaber Initiates Job Creation Action Items as First Act in Office
Brings business, labor and legislative leaders together to set priorities; Orders energy audits of 500 schools to begin immediately

(Salem) - Governor John Kitzhaber today directed the Oregon Department of Energy to use $2 million in unused recovery act funding to proceed immediately with energy audits on 500 Oregon schools - the first step in a plan to create near-term jobs and long-term benefits to the state's economy.

Governor Kitzhaber brought together business, labor and legislative leaders to prioritize early action items for job creation in the areas of energy efficiency, biomass, manufacturing, high demand jobs and economic development.

"Getting Oregonians back to work is my top priority," Governor Kitzhaber said. "Together we can put our state back together and build a solid foundation for the future."

Conducting energy audits of Oregon schools will create immediate private sector jobs and is the first step in the Governor's commitment to create thousands of Oregon jobs through school weatherization retrofits.

Other early actions recommended by Governor Kitzhaber's jobs and economy transition teams include:

  • Ensure that EPA regulation of biomass reflects the beneficial carbon profile of woody biomass in the Northwest.
  • Include preference for biomass boilers in school retrofit programs.
  • Set regular meetings with key members of the manufacturing community, and focus on regular communication with the business "clusters" that have developed in Oregon.
  • Take administrative action to integrate Oregon's On-the-Job Training and Career Readiness Certificate Programs to prepare them for scale-up.
  • Fund the Oregon Innovation Council, one of the most effective public/private partnerships transforming university research into market-ready jobs - responsible for at least 600 jobs in the current biennium.
  • Revamp the Oregon Growth Account to ensure that it is primarily used as an economic development tool.

 

Contacts:
Tim Raphael, 503-689-6117
Amy Wojcicki, 503- 689-5324

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