Gov. Brown touts new career-training program at State of the Sta - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Brown touts new career-training program at State of the State address

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Education, training, and jobs, jobs, jobs – those were the priorities Gov. Kate Brown hammered out Monday as she gave Oregon’s State of the State Address at the first day of the legislative short session.

Brown spoke for 26 minutes, and all but four, were devoted to Oregon’s economy and the need to train the next generation workers in career-ready skills, despite whether they went to college or not.

In her speech, Brown wove in her own family story: talking about how her single grandmother struggled to provide for her four children on a nurse’s salary.

Brown said education was the ticket that got her family out of poverty, and that was the biggest theme, as she pledged to spend $300 million in the 2019-2021 state budget to help Oregonians develop career-ready skills.

Brown said she wants to boost high school graduation rates and expand opportunities for young adults beyond college, pointing to an example of tens of thousands of vacant jobs in Oregon, and noting that one in four jobs in the tech industry is filled from out-of-state.

The governor said more apprenticeships and hand-on-learning will help students learn skills needed for higher paying jobs in industries like technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.

“There is a gap between the skills Oregon workers have, and the skills that our growing businesses need,” Brown said. “This is unacceptable, and it’s also an incredible opportunity – it’s an opportunity for our students, for our businesses and for the well-being of our communities.”

Brown also said she especially wants to invest in job opportunities in rural and under-served communities.

The plan is called Future Ready Oregon.

According to the plan, affordable housing will be another key component to boosting families.

Governor Brown also briefly touched on a variety of other issues – including healthcare, immigration and Oregon’s debt-ridden and ballooning Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). 

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