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Rogue Workforce

Governor Kate Brown Highlights Workforce Development Partnerships and Transportation Priorities in Southern Oregon

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Governor Kate Brown toured Medford recently, highlighting workforce development opportunities and transportation priorities in Southern Oregon.

The region is home to several higher education institutions, including Rogue Community College, Southern Oregon University, and Oregon Institute of Technology, which are partnering with Rogue Workforce Partnership, WorkSource Rogue Valley, and local employers to grow a skilled workforce and create pathways to careers.

Governor Brown toured Coding Zeal, a software company based in Medford that provides custom software and web services to companies around the world. With support from Business Oregon, the company has grown to serve as a community tech hub in Southern Oregon, providing coding curriculum and workforce training to local students.

“Business owners and employers across the state tell me that hiring a skilled workforce is one of their most significant challenges,” Governor Kate Brown said. “By leveraging partnerships with employers and integrating training and development into school curricula, Oregonians get the skills employers need to expand their businesses and grow our economy.”

Governor Brown then convened a discussion on transportation priorities in Southern Oregon at the construction site of the Oregon 62 Expressway Project. The two-year, four-lane Jobs and Transportation Act project will reduce congestion and improve safety throughout the region.

“We know mind-numbing traffic is only getting worse, and investments in transit and critical seismic and safety infrastructure improvements are needed.” Governor Brown said. “I’m committed to developing and presenting to the 2017 Legislature, a transportation package that meets the needs of every community to move Oregon forward.”

The Oregon 62 Expressway is a vital freight corridor, yet Mike Card, President of Combined Transport, explained Portland metro area congestion compounds congestion in Southern Oregon, impacting freight-dependant businesses across the entire state.

In addition to impacts to businesses, congestion and the transportation sector on whole account for 37% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. Governor Brown heard from representatives of Rogue Disposal & Recycling on a recently completed compressed natural gas (CNG) facility providing a clean fuel alternative for heavy trucks and buses in the region. The CNG facility captures methane gas from the nearby Dry Creek Landfill to create a clean and resilient energy source now used in fleet vehicles operated by Rogue Disposal & Recycling and in the clean fuel mix of Rogue Valley Transit District‘s bus fleet.

Mobile labs will give Jackson County students hands-on jump on high-wage jobs

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Students throughout Southern Oregon will have ready access to state-of-the-art manufacturing and design equipment, including large-format 3-D printers, welders, laser cutters, plasma cutters, drones and more, thanks to a nearly $500,000 Career and Technical Education grant.
Of the 73 grant applications reviewed by a committee of educators and business, trade and industry leaders, 25 applicants were awarded grants totaling $9 million. Of that, Southern Oregon Education Service District, in collaboration with the Medford and Grants Pass school districts and ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, and the Malheur Education Service District in Eastern Oregon were awarded the largest share, $488,432 each…

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Powering Advanced Manufacturing

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There is no argument-developments in advanced manufacturing positively impact manufacturing in many ways such as cost efficiencies, quality, consistency, and speed to market to name of few. Manufacturing still helps drive economies and advanced manufacturing in making developments happen at a rapid pace to fuel strategic growth and competition. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every dollar spent in manufacturing another $1.37 is added to the U.S. national economy, the largest of any industry. Manufacturing in the U.S. contributes over $2 trillion to the economy, provides good jobs and fuels the middle class. However, our economy is not out of the woods from the recession…

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Who Benefits From College And Why

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For years the mantra has been: get a college degree if you possibly can. It’s true that the benefits of a college degree generally outweigh the costs, but given the price, many students and their families are taking a closer look. Authors of a new report from the Brookings Institution conclude that college may not be the best investment for certain schools, specific fields of study, occupations and individuals. Those who start but don’t finish college seem to pay a particularly high price. The value of a bachelor’s degree and its alternatives for the 21st century’s labor market.

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Character’s Content

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Every year large percentages of American elementary school students fail to learn basic math skills like how to add fractions with unlike denominators. The situation is even worse among students from the poorest American neighborhoods, despite the fact that from fourth grade on their teachers drill them in these simple steps: find a common denominator; add the numerators; reduce. There are many explanations for why such a simple procedure proves to be so hard to convey. Reformers and policymakers point to sub par teachers and inadequate principals; to single-parenthood and other demograph…

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Dept. of Labor Announces $100 Million TechHire Competition

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While everyone looks to Silicon Valley and its tech startups for the next unicorn to generate huge amounts of wealth, there is considerable competition for talent with the right skills. With the immigration debate stuck in neutral, there are hundreds of thousands of tech jobs throughout the U.S. that are currently unfilled in rapidly growing sectors.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration announced a $100 Million TechHire grant competition designed to provide individuals with the skills they need and connect them to those high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries…

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Haves, have-nots in Jackson County further apart than ever

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The divide between the haves and have-nots is growing wider, threatening the long-term economic vitality of Jackson County and Oregon as a whole, a new study shows.
Top earners in Jackson County are making 13 times more than the lowest wage earners, a figure that’s been steadily rising in the past 10 years. Elite earners receive $1.63 to every $1 received by the county’s working poor, the study says.
“We are at a critical point in our economic history where inequality is recognized as a problem,” says Bruce Weber, director of Oregon State University’s Rural Studies Program…

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Oregon Receives $3 million Grant to Boost Manufacturing Apprenticeships

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The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (USDOL-ETA), has awarded a $3 million grant to the Oregon Employment (OED) Department to help promote apprenticeship and workbased learning opportunities. “At a time when many of our most highly skilled manufacturing workers are retiring, this grant will help us expand apprenticeship and work-based learning. You can‘t beat having employers directly responsible for the programs, supported by education and social services,” said OED Director Lisa Nisenfeld.

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Assessing The Investment In College

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Let’s talk about the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime.

And no, it’s not your home, though that is a big one. Your choice of college–for yourself or your kids–is a huge investment in the future, but just a bit more difficult to measure.

Peter Cappelli at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania provides some perspective on making the decision, and what it’ll cost you.

He joins us with some of the major points.

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