Earlier in the week, Governor Kate Brown ceremonially signed Senate Bill 1545, known as “Future Ready Oregon,” at Intel’s campus in Hillsboro. Future Ready Oregon is a comprehensive $200 million investment that will give Oregonians the education, training, and resources they need to secure good-paying careers in key industries across the state. The bipartisan bill is the product of years of work from a coalition of diverse stakeholders working alongside the Governor’s Office and Oregon’s Racial Justice Council.
“Approaching workforce development with an equity lens really is the heart and soul of this legislation,” said Governor Brown. “That means identifying barriers to career advancement for underserved communities, providing support services to help individuals overcome those barriers, and viewing those supports—such as child care access, or broadband—as critical infrastructure. Future Ready Oregon will open the doors of opportunity to those who have too often been left behind, including people of color, women, veterans, rural Oregonians, and people with low incomes.”
Patsy Richards, Director of Long-Term CareWorks and Co-Chair of the Racial Justice Council’s Workforce Workgroup said, “Equitable access through career pathways to sustainable wages remains the overarching goal of Future Ready Oregon. Senate Bill 1545 shines a needed light on our workforce. I’m grateful to be a part of a group of collaborative stakeholders that will not only embrace continued accountability but also highlight Oregon’s evolution to right-size our workforce development systems.”
Marin Areolla III, President of Advanced Economic Solutions and Co-Chair of the Racial Justice Council’s Workforce Workgroup said, “The Future Ready Oregon model will address the barriers to workforce participation that have kept some Oregonians -particularly BIPOC, rural and other vulnerable workers from accessing the skills and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential and earn livable wages. It will also allow businesses, community based organizations, public agencies, and other partners to collaborate to transform and reinvent Oregon’s workforce system with an equity lens that incorporates culturally and linguistically appropriate practices, respect, trust, transparency, high quality services, effective communication, and innovation at all levels.”
Mark Mitsui, President of Portland Community College and a member of the Racial Justice Council’s Workforce Workgroup said, “Future Ready Oregon will connect hard-working Oregonians with living wage careers through career pathways that bridge skills gaps for employers and equity gaps for marginalized communities, in high need sectors. Future Ready Oregon is about making opportunity as universal as the talent around us so that no matter where you were born, no matter what zip code you have, you have the opportunity to earn a better life through education and training.”
Anne Mersereau, Vice President of HR, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Portland General Electric and the Chair of the Oregon Workforce Talent and Development Board said, “The Future Ready Oregon Bill represents an important investment in our future workforce and will create the necessary pathways needed for all Oregonians to have the education, skills and training needed to enter into emerging careers across the state. We believe the transition to the clean energy future must be equitable and inclusive. SB 1545 will help remove barriers for under-represented communities looking to enter the workforce and provide living wage job opportunities all while building a skilled talent pool to ensure a vibrant Oregon.”
Jeff Birdsall, Vice President Technology Development, Intel said, “Future Ready Oregon will help people get the skills and training needed for careers at the forefront of Oregon’s technology industry. In alignment with Intel’s RISE 2030 goals, workforce investments help individuals get a foothold in the labor market, increase economic mobility, and build strong communities. Future Ready Oregon will extend our partnerships and help create the workforce Oregon needs for sustainable growth of its technology and manufacturing sectors.”