Media Room


December 13, 2017

Oregon has the fastest growing economy in the country, and we continue to see record job growth. However, our economic growth isn’t spreading evenly across the state, particularly for our rural and underserved communities.

As I travel the state, I constantly hear from local businesses and large employers who are increasingly having difficulties recruiting and filling vacant positions with skilled and qualified candidates. 

We can address this skills gap by making sure our students have access to hands-on learning opportunities and by creating pathways to high-wage, high-demand careers. We do this by focusing on the following:

Make Sure Students Graduate with a Plan for their Future:

     Career and technical education helps schools feed their local economies by teaching students the skills business and industry need to grow.

     Nearly 90 percent of students participating in career/technical programs graduate from high school on time. Oregon’s education system must produce more job-ready graduates.

When children learn through experience, they gain more than just lessons in a particular field. We are creating lifelong learners, teaching transferable skills that set students up for success in their careers and lives.

Create Apprenticeship Opportunities of the Future:

     Apprenticeships create pathways to better jobs. 

     We know apprenticeships keep workers competitive and ensures employers have a well trained workforce that not only knows today’s technologies, but how to learn tomorrow’s. 

     Apprenticeships shouldn’t be the secret of the construction industry. We need to expand apprenticeships in fields like IT, healthcare, and high tech manufacturing.

Oregon’s tech industry is growing quickly and helping to create new career paths that support Oregon families. We must invest in training programs to support a qualified, homegrown workforce ready to keep pace with Oregon’s tech field. 

Our goal is to make sure we’re training folks in the IT sector to meet the needs of the workforce here in Lane County, and throughout Oregon. 

I’m excited about Apprenti’s innovative model to train people in the IT field. 

Oregon can play a leading role in meeting workforce needs of the future in our nation.