A vibrant local economy with good-paying, family-wage jobs and benefits is the best way to ensure a strong community, including a strong tax base to fund public services like transportation and parks. As our region grows, Gresham should work to ensure that we are getting the best deal for our community when attracting business. People who work in Gresham should earn enough and get the benefits they need to care for their families.
Maximizing our Enterprise Zones to attract industries with high skill, high-paying jobs with good benefits offered by community-minded employers. We should also ensure accountability for businesses that get tax breaks, but then fail to provide the wages, benefits, or jobs promised.
Small Business Development has always been key to Gresham’s success and should continue to be. I love the Garage to Storefront program and will be a champion of programs like it as your City Councilor. Additionally, larger investments in minority-owned businesses in development zones should be a priority to spur economic growth by women and communities of color across Gresham.
A Gresham Innovation Fund for entrepreneurs who have a good idea, but need seed capital and support. Through public-private partnerships, we can create a Gresham innovation incubator to grow the next generation of local businesses. I would especially like to see more programs to help low-income residents, including women and people of color, start their own businesses. We can also invite co-working space companies like WeWork to open a low-cost shared office space for entrepreneurs and existing small business and contractors, like software engineers.
Workforce Development Programs that address the skills gap in our region. Too many high-paying jobs are left unfilled or going to folks from across the river. I will work to build more active partnerships between local schools, Mt. Hood Community College and quality paid apprenticeship programs like those with the Carpenters and Electrical Workers unions.