By Kiera Morgan
Governor Kate Brown opened the 35-day legislative session Monday revealing her plan to improve technical education and training programs so more Oregonians can land jobs in growth industries. The governor noted that businesses currently tap out-of-state candidates to fill one out of every four job openings in Oregon’s technology industry and one out of every five jobs in advanced manufacturing. Governor Brown stated she wants to help create a future ready Oregon. “The goal is to close the skills gap between the workforce that we have and the workforce that we need. to fuel Oregon’s economy.” Brown added “We need to make sure that every student graduates from high school with a plan for their future, and the tools they need to compete in a global economy.
To do this she said the state needs to expand on career and technical education for students. Much of the plan centers on a $300 million proposal she said she will bring to the Legislature in 2019 if she is re-elected. “Future Ready Oregon,” is a plan to boost spending on hands-on career and technical education in the next state budget. Hands on learning she said connects classrooms to careers. She noted that Oregon graduation rates have increased nearly 5%, with 86% of students graduating who had career and technical education. Brown said this type of education is critical to reaching Oregon’s goal of having a graduation rate of 90% by the year 2025.