Business & labor join for Oregon Investment Act

Statewide business and business labor organizations endorse Oregon Investment Act
Oregon State Treasurer

Statewide business and business labor organizations have endorsed the Oregon Investment Act, the bipartisan strategy that will prioritize state resources to help the private sector create jobs.The list of organizations asking the Legislature to approve the multifaceted economic development blueprint includes Associated Oregon Industries, the Oregon Business Association, Oregon Business Council and the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.

The legislation responds directly to needs articulated by business and community leaders across the state. Chief among those: Businesses need better access to capital to grow and hire.

The plan will better coordinate economic development spending, which will be targeted to create jobs and to attract new private sector investments. It also proposes to better measure the results of the state’s myriad economic development investments.

The Oregon Investment Act has 37 legislative sponsors and cosponsors. It was designed at the direction of Gov. John Kitzhaber and in partnership with Business Oregon, the state’s economic development department. The chief sponsors are state Rep. Tobias Read, D-Beaverton; Rep. Vicki Berger, R-Salem; Sen. Chris Telfer, R-Bend; and Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin.

“Oregon’s major business and business labor organizations understand that a more coordinated economic development strategy will help advance more opportunities and encourage more job creation,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. “We are grateful for their support of this important legislation.”

Today, the state’s tools for job creation are spread across multiple agencies and not all of them are strategically connected. Under the legislation, those resources would be catalogued and coordinated by a new Oregon Growth Board, which would work with private sector experts to set priorities and attract additional business capital into the state. The goal is for the new structure to be the foundation of a larger and more effective business development fund.

At least one existing state panel would be dissolved and folded into the new entity.

Ryan Deckert, President of the Oregon Business Association, said: “Oregon Business Association supports the Oregon Investment Act as a practical and meaningful improvement for Oregon’s economic development strategy.”

“AOI believes the state can play a vital role in competing for business and job growth,” said Jay Clemens, Chief Executive Officer at Associated Oregon Industries. “AOI endorses the Oregon Investment Act because it will consolidate the state’s economic development programs to bring more efficiency and clout to our economic development efforts.”

“The Oregon Investment Act takes the limited resources the state is already using to support entrepreneurs and makes them more effective,” said Pat Reiten, President of Pacific Power and chair of The Oregon Business Plan, an economic blueprint put together by the state’s leading business associations.

“Oregon and Oregon’s workers will benefit from the Oregon Investment Act, which will ensure our state’s job-creation investments are effective, coordinated, and responsive to business needs,” said John Mohlis, Executive Secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.

Details about the legislation can be found at

The State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. The office also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.

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