Support for Prosperity 1000 in State Legislature

Support for Prosperity 1000 in State Legislature

HB 2820 or the Prosperity 1000 Act, would create an innovative program to leverage federal dollars to provide job training and support for 1,000 Oregonians in economically distressed communities in Oregon.

This bill will target these critical job training resources, including job placement, into the communities that national, statewide, and regional economic data have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Portland Business Alliance just released our 2021 economic report on the Portland region, and the data shows that communities of color, low income communities, and women have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic in the region.

Multnomah County itself is home to perhaps one of the biggest and most persistent economic inequities in the State of Oregon – the historic investment and economic inequity between the part of Multnomah County east of I-205, and the rest of the county. The economic condition and unmet needs of East Multnomah County is masked by the county data used in state funding formulas and other critical policy decisions. Countywide data typically shows Multnomah County as one of our State’s most prosperous, but this masks that East Multnomah County is one of the State’s most economically distressed. 

According to the most recent county data, 50% of households in East Multnomah County have a household income of $50,000 or less compared with 38% in the rest of the county and 45% statewide. 45% of residents are renters compared with 38% county and statewide. The median household income is $12,000 below the rest of Multnomah County and about $6,500 less than the state figure.

And a 2019 special analysis of East Multnomah County’s economy, commissioned by the Portland Business Alliance, showed that while East County has over 100,000 jobs, across the board nearly every job sector pays less than the rest of Multnomah County.

By leveraging federal dollars to target job training to areas of our state which are economically distressed, like East Multnomah County, HB 2820 would create an innovative program that could be easily expanded in future years. And by leveraging federal SNAP funds, it provides these badly needed job training supports for half the cost to the State. 

The Portland Business Alliance is committed to being a partner in not just economic recovery, but recovery to an economic future that is more equitable and prosperous for all Oregonians, especially historically underserved communities like East Multnomah County.

HB 2820 creates a pilot program that could be critical to ensure a strong and equitable recovery. And perhaps most importantly, these programs will be available for those communities that have been most impacted by the current pandemic. We hope that passage of this bill is just a start as we know that more than 1,000 Oregonians need job training and placement support.   

Track this bill in the 2021 Oregon Legislature here.