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Talent Pipeline

Greater Portland is a talent magnet, with a workforce that is becoming younger and more educated. The region’s workforce of more than one million is growing at six times the national average. From 2003-2013, two in five residents moved to Greater Portland from elsewhere in the U.S.

The region's diverse range of industries benefits from a highly qualified pool of local talent. 

The high-tech workforce numbers 86,000, thanks to a semiconductor industry and the presence of global giants such as Intel, Qorvo, SEH America, ON Semiconductor and Microchip. Additionally, the region includes a rich base of software and IT companies, such as Mentor Graphics, Salesforce, Airbnb and Puppet Labs.

More than 177,000 Greater Portland residents are employed in manufacturing — twice that of Denver and Austin combined. Daimler, Precision Castparts, SolarWorld and Boeing all have a substantial presence in the region. By 2017, manufacturing employment is expected to grow by 13 percent, the strongest growth of any major metro on the West Coast.

Greater Portland includes world-renowned firms creative firms like Nike, Wieden+Kennedy, Adidas and Ziba Design. Creative occupations grew by more than 22 percent from 2003-2013, substantially outpacing the national figure of 4.7 percent. Across the board, Greater Portland’s workforce brings notable sources of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial energy, making the region a human capital powerhouse.

Educated Workforce

Greater Portland is home to 36 public and private non-profit colleges and universities within 50 miles of the city center. Collectively, the region’s colleges and universities enroll nearly 150,000 students in degree programs. Greater Portland regularly draws graduates from the two stand-out state institutions: Oregon State University and University of Oregon.

The region’s workforce is highly concentrated in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), with nearly 50 percent of the labor pool holding degrees in science and engineering fields, compared to 44 percent nationwide. Regionally, STEM jobs account for nearly 7.2 percent of all jobs, well above the national average of 5.8 percent. 

Click to Expand

Click here to download a table with a summary of enrollment by degree.  

Learn more about our region's institutions and programs by downloading our higher education brochure.

Additional Resources

Code Oregon
Regional Education Assets
Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council
State of Oregon Employment Department
State of Washington Employment Department
Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County
Worksystems, Inc. 


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