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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Report: OR workforce grows, but gaps should be addressed

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024   

A new report analyzes the workforce dynamics in Oregon and how the state can address gaps for workers and industries.

The 2024 Talent Assessment finds that Oregon's economy is in a strong position, with significant growth in the labor market and more growth anticipated in the future.

Christiana McFarland is director of the Center for Innovation Strategy and Policy with SRI, the firm that conducted the assessment.

She said there are some factors that could be barriers to achieving that future growth.

"We know that jobs are projected to grow, but we know that the population and population growth is relatively stagnant," said McFarland. "So, that's going to be a challenge into the future - particularly for occupations and industries that have a really high demand for workers in the state, particularly health care and child care."

The assessment was conducted for the Workforce and Talent Development Board and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for the State of Oregon.

The report offers industry-level recommendations.

McFarland said employees in the health care field need more on-the-job training. Same with semiconductor manufacturing, which is ramping up in Oregon.

McFarland said this work is actually closely related to IT work, and that's important to keep in mind so people in the state are well positioned for these jobs.

"It's critical for semiconducting manufacturing programs," said McFarland, "to include coding and programming as the core part of their curriculum."

McFarland said Rural Oregon could be another asset for the state when considering how it closes employment gaps in semiconductor manufacturing and other industries.

"Where are workers coming from?" said McFarland. "Whether it's a matter of attracting talent from out of the state or thinking about who is underserved within the state, namely rural communities, and how can rural communities and rural students better understand the opportunities that are available to them within the state?"

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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