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GPI in the Press

Business Tribune column: Economic Summit showcases regional collaboration

August 16,2019 | By Matt Miller | Business Tribune

This was the first of Matt's monthly columns in the Business Tribune. Matt Miller is GPI's interim president and CEO.

The region we serve is special. It spans two states, seven counties and dozens of communities.

While each community brings something unique to the table, we've always been stronger together. As the regional economic development organization, Greater Portland Inc (GPI) works to elevate individual strengths in telling a cohesive story about what makes our region so special. A true public-private partnership, GPI is supported by a spectrum of partners invested in growing prosperity for all.

We are proud to work alongside cities, counties, ports, universities and colleges, workforce organizations as well as utilities, banks, law firms, professional sports teams, construction companies, commercial real estate firms, and numerous other service providers serving the residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Working with these community partners, we help bring new companies to the region — spurring investment and adding good-paying jobs and new tax revenue to our local governments. We are proud of GPI's track record.

Last year, working on recruitment projects such as the expansion of Genentech into the Lloyd District and bringing Element Six to Gresham, our team helped attract companies that will create nearly 1,400 jobs and added more than $74 million in income to the region. Cumulatively from 2015-2018, for every $1 invested in GPI, more than $24 of income was generated in our community.

But this growth is only possible because of the high degree of collaboration we have fostered with communities, institutions and advocacy groups throughout the region.

I am thankful for the chance to share news about our region through this column. This will be a space to provide updates about what GPI is doing to make our region a great place to live and do business.

When we introduce people to our region for the first time, they're often struck by the sense of community and collaboration. It's not as cut-throat here, they say. At GPI, we believe a culture of cooperation is our region's greatest strength. One area where this is most evident is talent development.

There is a symbiotic relationship between industry and higher education. Companies need a workforce that's properly trained. Institutions need to understand industry's needs in order to provide that training and prepare the workforce of the future.

At our Greater Portland Economic Summit, happening Sept. 12 at Portland Art Museum, we'll be highlighting the partnerships between industry and education.

This year, with conversations led by our higher education and workforce leaders, we'll explore how these partnerships ignite innovation and serve to help students, communities and our regional economy thrive.

GPI convenes a higher education committee made up of leaders from multiple colleges and universities. Clackamas Community College, Clark College, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon and Washington State University-Vancouver all participate, ensuring a high level of bi-state cooperation and shared visioning for nurturing a strong region.

The purpose of this group is to leverage collective expertise and assets to advance regional economic development efforts and the competiveness of Greater Portland.

Last year, the committee was tasked with providing information about their institutions' study programs, enrollment and graduation data, industry partnerships, workforce development programs, and the accolades and national rankings that make us all so proud.

It wasn't easy, but we whittled this information down into GPI's first talent development marketing brochure that tells the story of our region's extraordinary higher education institutions. We share this story with companies that are interested in expanding or relocating to the region.

Come see for yourself at this year's Summit. You'll be excited by the collaboration and innovation happening in Greater Portland.

Matt Miller is the interim president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. GPI is a public-private partnership working to advance regional economic development through job growth and investment. Matt can be reached at: matt.miller@greaterportlandinc.com.


What: Greater Portland Economic Summit

When: Sept. 12
7:30 a.m.: Registration, breakfast and networking
8:30-11 a.m.: Main program

Where: Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave.

$150 each or $1,500 for a table of 10
GPI investors: $125 each or $1,250 for a table of 10

Buy tickets: greaterportlandinc.com/2019summit

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