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  • Building Central Oregon’s Local Workforce
    by EDCO on January 26, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is committed to helping develop the regional workforce by fostering connections between businesses and local students. Part of that commitment includes managing Youth CareerConnect (YCC), a regional initiative that provides career services and internship opportunities for high school, college and alternative school students. Since its inception in 2017, YCC The post Building Central Oregon’s Local Workforce appeared first on Economic Development for Central Oregon.

  • Bend Businesses Chip in to Help Solve Affordable Housing
    by Jennifer Schlozhauer on January 26, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    Kor Land Trust Executive Director Jackie Koegh tours the organizations construction site on NE Eighth Street in Bend Tuesday Afternoon.  By Suzanne Roig, The Bulletin. Article originally published on January 21, 2023 From the hallowed halls of the statehouse in Salem to the hallways of Bend’s smallest businesses, affordable housing is top of mind. The Central Oregon worker shortage is directly tied to the affordable housing shortage in Bend, said Jon Stark, executive director for Economic Development for Central Oregon. Not having enough workers has the potential to put a squeeze on future economic growth, said Stark. “It’s very real,” said Stark. “Employers need workers. It’s the No. 1 challenge for Central Oregon. Everything we are doing is all about increasing the size of our available workforce.” Two groups have joined forces to create subsidized workforce housing in SW Bend that is only for Bend businesses. The requirements are that a business must offer up $2,500 toward an employee’s closing costs and have a workforce that is more diverse than the current population. The southwest Bend pilot project is the result of a collaboration with the Bend Chamber of Commerce and a $100,000 grant from Providence Health Plan, an anonymous donor, and Kôr Land Trust. The group has teamed up to subsidize four workforce homes in SW Bend. Homeowners will be selected by lottery in May. The project, on SW Poplar Street off of SW Brookswood Boulevard, is geared to help businesses retain their workers, said Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber of Commerce executive director. Sharon Richardson, owner of the Sprouts Montessori Children’s House in Bend, is an employer who would apply to the housing program for herself or for one of her seven employees. “As far as I know none of my employees are homeowners,” said Richardson. “I offer housing to a staff member that was a way to help her stay in the business so she could afford to be a childcare provider.” The school, which cares for infants through age 12 in three locations in Bend, like other childcare operations, is in high demand with a wait list of more than 200 parents. “Like housing, there’s a great demand for child care in Bend,” Richardson said. “I’m so excited about Kôr Land Trust and what they’re doing. Hopefully it can provide a home for me or one of my employees.” Kôr offers affordable, sustainable housing for homeowners who earn 80% of the annual median income. A teacher earning $70,529 would qualify for a home that is priced at $299,000, according to the city of Bend affordable housing website. The median single-family home price in in Bend was $724,000 in 2022, according to the Beacon Report. If the Kôr employer program can help retain workers, then it’s successful”, said Brooks. “I expect to see many businesses putting their names into the (lottery),” she said.   Building More Homes Kôr Land Trust got its start in Bend in 2014 and was the brainchild of Bend residents and business owners Jason Offutt and Amy Warren who wanted to create a nonprofit that builds sustainable affordable housing, said Jackie Keogh, Kôr Land Trust executive director. Since 2020, the trust has been able to build, on average, about five single family homes a year, but Keogh believes that trust needs to step up and build 50 homes a year. In 2019, the city estimated that Bend needs about 6,500 affordable homes. The trust has a plan in place now that asks employers to pony up $50,000, or a donation of land, in exchange for a home for their employees, Keogh said. Housing remains the largest barrier to recruiting and retaining workers, Keogh said. This fee represents the gap between what it costs to build a home and what a homeowner earning 80% of the area median income can afford and the amount the government chips in to help, she said. “Affordable housing needs private money,” Keogh said. “Affordable housing benefits us in the community, but we have been unwilling to pay for it. But it will help with the recruitment of workers in the long run.” In addition to the Poplar Street homes, Kôr and Hiatus Homes plan to build 40 houses off Simpson Avenue for interested employers who want to sponsor a cottage cluster of three to 10 homes their employees could own. Throughout the years, Kôr has completed five homes called Korazon, 12 homes that are being built and five homes on NW 8th Avenue. Hiatus Homes, which has worked with the land trust on the bulk of these projects, is mostly funded by local investors that specializes in environmental sustainability, said Jesse Russell, company founder. “Working with Kôr to create housing that is both affordable and sustainable has been a highly rewarding challenge,” Russell said. “We’re honored to be chosen to build affordable housing at a scale and quality that is greatly needed by our growing community.” The goal is build a new community for homeowners to move in every year. Homeowners of these homes don’t own the land, which contributes to the bulk of the costs, Keogh said. The land trust holds the deed in perpetuity ensuring that the home remains affordable. Homeowners can retain 1.5% of the equity each year they own the property. Prospective homeowners do not have to pay a down payment. “We will continue to build more homes, and we’ll be more intentional about who buys our homes,” Keogh said. “We have systemic housing issues.”   Learn more about the Kor Workforce Housing Program Learn More Register for Employer Info Session

  • 88% of Hiring Managers Would Consider Firing Workers for Content in Personal Social Media Posts
    by Jennifer Schlozhauer on January 26, 2023 at 12:32 am

    1 in 4 Employers Say No Personal Social Media on the Clock   Latest Results from The Harris Poll   Personal social media posts are not off limits to employment determinations as 88% of U.S. hiring managers say they would consider firing employees for content found in workers’ posts. This is according to a survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals. Fireable offenses include publishing content damaging the company’s reputation (59%), revealing confidential company information (58%), showcasing and/or mentioning illegal drug use (50%), violating the company’s social media use policy or contract (45%) and showcasing and/or mentioning underage drinking (38%). Only 12% of U.S. hiring managers say there is nothing a company could fire an employee for based on their social media posts. When asked the same question, the majority of job seekers (86%) agree companies can fire employees based on their social media posts that reveal confidential company information (64%), violate the company’s social media use policy or contract (58%) or damage the company’s reputation (57%). Further scrutiny extends to content showcasing and/or mentioning illegal drug use (50%) or underage drinking (43%) and showcasing and/or mentioning beliefs different than those held by the company (21%).   Social Media Use on the Clock 1 in 4 employers (40%) discourage the use of social media during work hours, while 30% provide resources and information on professional social media etiquette. Twenty-six percent of companies have a social media use policy/contract that employees must sign, and 25% encourage their workers to build their personal brand on social media. Leadership blocks social media sites on company property at 19% of businesses, 17% view or monitor employees’ social media accounts and 13% have access to employees’ social media accounts. Social media is a powerful tool for expression and connection, but a poor decision in content posting can haunt individuals the rest of their careers, according to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller. “The best advice is to refrain from publishing anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see or think you may regret in the future,” he said.   Survey Methodology The Job Insights survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, 2022, among 1,002 U.S. hiring decision-makers (defined as adults ages 18+ in the U.S. who are employed full-time or self-employed, work at companies with more than one employee, and have full/significant involvement in hiring decisions at their company). Data were weighted where necessary by company size to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 3.2 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest. The omnibus survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals from Dec. 13-15, 2022, among 2,041 adults ages 18 and older. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, household income and propensity to be online, to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.   If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Hollander, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.   About Bill Stoller William H. “Bill” Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment International. Founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the international staffing franchisor supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and related brands. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. About Express Employment Professionals At Express Employment Professionals, we’re in the business of people. From job seekers to client companies, Express helps people thrive and businesses grow. Our international network of franchises offers localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve across the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, employing 586,000 people globally in 2021 and 10 million since its inception. For more information, visit, and find more employment insights at

  • NAB Show Now Accepting Entries for Excellence in Sustainability Awards
    on January 25, 2023 at 5:00 am

    Washington, D.C.—NAB Show is accepting entries for the newly launched Excellence in Sustainability Awards. The awards recognize individuals, companies and products for outstanding innovations in media technology that promote conservation and reusability of natural resources and foster economic and social development.

  • Ribbon Cutting Showcase — Ryan Walker State Farm
    by Jennifer Schlozhauer on January 23, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    The Bend Chamber is pleased to showcase the ribbon cutting at Ryan Walker State Farm, celebrating the opening of their second location in Bend at 1288 SW Simpson Ave B1  on January 18. Congratulations on growing your business and the opening of your new location! Proudly serving all of Oregon, Ryan and his team specialize in your day-to-day insurance and more! They are passionate about providing comprehensive services such as commercial insurance, financial planning, annuities and life insurance. Check out all of their services: Contact: (541) 640-8080     Sponsorship opportunities are available for ribbon cuttings. Please reach out to Chloe Crabtree for more information. If you are a Chamber member and would like to talk about holding a ribbon cutting, please contact Cyrus Mooney, Events and Programs Lead. The Chamber will provide materials, photos and a short video and will promote your ribbon cutting on social media and our website.

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