Data Directions: Propel Inclusive Economic Growth & Innovation

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Data Directions: Propel Inclusive Economic Growth & Innovation

March 2023

Portland has many promising traded sector industry clusters, including Green Cities, Athletic & Outdoor, Metals & Machinery, and Food & Beverage Manufacturing. It also has cross-cutting functional clusters around headquarters, software and professional services that intersect with and support these key clusters.  Together, these clusters offer major growth opportunities – some in established, growing industries (e.g., Athletic & Outdoor, Software), some more emergent (e.g., Green Cities innovations around grid modernization), and others in legacy industries with a strong employment base and lower barrier to entry positions (e.g. Metals & Machinery).

The five priority industry clusters – Athletic and Outdoor, Green Cities, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, Metals & Machinery, and Software – demonstrate economic strength and competitiveness in Portland and future growth potential, offer quality employment opportunities, and can be leveraged to achieve equity, inclusion, and climate action goals. Organization, leadership, and opportunities for strategic interventions have been analyzed when identifying existing industry-specific opportunities and contribution to a strong ecosystem for growth in each industry.

The priority industry clusters offer a range of opportunities for workers with – or without – formal levels of education, inclusive growth potential and wages at middle- or high-income levels. The Food and Beverage cluster and the Metals and Machinery cluster offer middle-income wages, while clusters like Software and Green Cities tend to offer more high-wage employment openings.

Aside from wages, priority industry clusters offer a range of opportunities for workers with various levels of formal education.

While 40 percent of workers in Multnomah County have at least a 4-year degree, 60 percent do not. Each of the priority clusters offers opportunities for workers without high levels of formal education.

Prosper Portland’s business and industry strategy is focused on helping leading companies in the city’s priority industry clusters become more inclusive, recognizing that the fundamental equity challenge for these companies is improving access to good jobs.

The Inspiring Diversity Grant, now in its fifth year, supports recipient businesses in the city’s identified priority clusters that prioritize growth potential, leadership commitment and interest in peer learning, as well as innovation, community engagement and impact on underserved communities. The 11 companies selected in 2022 committed matches totaling $251,000 in cash and in-kind staff time, more than twice the grant fund of $120,000.

The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership has been a key Prosper Portland partner in helping local businesses in the Metals and Manufacturing industry become more competitive in the global marketplace. OMEP estimates that lean/efficiency improvement consultations for Portland manufacturers from 2003 through 2019 have resulted in the creation and retention of 421 jobs; new sales of $32,800,000; retained sales of $26,200,000; new company investments of $36,800,000; and a total accumulative impact of $103,100,000.

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2023-10-05T10:33:36-07:00March 20th, 2023|Categories: Data, Stories|

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