What Are the Next Steps
For any economic development strategy to be successful, we must create an environment that supports private-sector job retention and creation. In the coming months, we believe we must address the policy issues that drive our economic environment, including:
- Does our community truly welcome business and job creation, particularly as it relates to the large, internationally traded firms that offer higher wages?
- Can the regionís leaders come together and agree on a unified economic strategy Ė and then implement it?
- When we must make trade-offs between competing interests, how do jobs and economic growth fair? Can we institute a Ďjobs impact analysisí for every policy consideration?
- Do we have an educational system, especially a higher education system, which is graduating the talent we need to be competitive in the knowledge-based industries of the future?
- Are our land use, transportation and tax policies supportive of growing jobs and incomes?
- Can we nurture our small businesses Ė our entrepreneurial class Ė so that they have the opportunity to grow and thrive, generating more jobs?
- Do we believe a strong urban core in Multnomah County is essential to the long-term economic health of the region and are we willing to act now to reverse the decline in private-sector jobs?
We must act on these questions boldly and quickly. In January 2011, the Portland Business Alliance board of directors will host a jobs summit to begin the process of answering these questions and starting the conversations. All of the partners in this report will participate, and we stand ready to work with elected and other leaders to chart a new course for the regionís economy.