December 03, 2010

Mayor Sam Adams and Portland Development Commission (PDC) staff joined more than 200 software business leaders and representatives of related nonprofit organizations and educational institutions gathered at City Hall on Thursday, December 2 to unveil an industry-driven action plan that builds on Portland’s existing competitive strengths to grow regional software employment.

The action plan emphasizes the building of a formal network for connecting mentors and mentees, establishing more direct channels to access financing, and technology development through the support of user groups. Input for the plan was based on the findings of a three-part software survey conducted over the past eight months.

“We want a software industry that is highly networked, and bigger, richer, more sustainable, and more well-known globally than it is today,” said Adams. “And I am convinced that, in order to achieve this goal, we must continue to define ourselves by our own unique values.”

The metro-area software industry consists of more than 1,500 companies, with more than half of those based within the city of Portland. The city’s five-year economic development strategy identified software as an emerging and growing cluster of business in Portland, based on three factors: 1. A higher than average location of software companies as compared to the national average; 2. A higher annual wage of $84,857 for software as compared to $44,244 for all other Portland industry sectors; and 3. A fit with the available workforce and the start-up culture of Portland.

“The software community has been involved from the very start in helping to define a strategy for industry growth,” said Matt Nees, board president, Software Association of Oregon. “We need to continue our partnership with PDC and the city, refine our approach, collaborate on ideas, and get people participating from all corners of the industry.”

The mayor’s office and PDC partnered with the Software Association of Oregon, high-tech PR and ad firm McClenahan Bruer, survey specialist Fuse Insight, and network service provider ViaWest on the software survey and action plan development.

The December 2 event featured remarks by Mayor Adams, Thompson Morrison of Fuse Insight and Gerald Baugh, software industry manager for PDC, followed by a question/answer session.

More information on the industry action plan is available at