The Bend City Council’s biannual goal setting process is well underway, and the Bend Chamber has actively engaged in educating Councilors about the business community’s priorities. The Chamber advocated for two specific priority areas in the goal-setting process earlier in the year:

Workforce Housing

Over the past year the Chamber has leaned into this issue and invested significant time and resources to research, convene, collaborate and advocate to help alleviate our current housing crisis. The Chamber has focused on middle market housing, specifically the “missing middle” of 80-120 percent AMI. Policies for consideration include addressing the permitting process, predictability with System Development Charges (SDCs) and investments in public private partnerships, among others.

Economic and Workforce Development

A core principle of the Chamber’s advocacy work involves fostering an economic climate that can thrive throughout Bend and Central Oregon. Workforce issues, while unique in their own right, are directly related to lack of housing and childcare opportunities.

Bend and Central Oregon should utilize the state’s Future Ready funding to train and fill trades and industries most impacted by lack of labor and search for pilots in key industries ranging from construction to health care and health sciences and childcare. Bend should also explore and pursue public-private workforce partnerships to support growing industries and build infrastructure and workforce.

On March 1st, a draft goal was released with the following key issue areas: Accessible + Effective City Government; Affordable Housing + Sustainable Development; Public Safety and Transportation + Infrastructure. More details can be found on the Bend City Council’s website and Councilors are slated to present final goals later in the spring in tandem with the 2023-25 proposed budget.