Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

Oregon has been awarded a 3 million dollar grant to boost manufacturing apprenticeships.

The grant is part of $175 million from the U.S. Department of Labor. Securing the money was a collaborative effort between the Employment and Labor Departments, forming the Oregon-Apprenticeships in Manufacturing, or AIM, Program. Andrea Fogue is a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Labor. She says during the next three to four months, while the program is being set up, the state will work with community colleges and employers to get the money on the ground.

Karen Richards

Elected officials and Chamber of Commerce leaders gathered in Eugene today (Thursday) to recognize a company that's hired 250 people in just four months. FirstSource Solution plans to more than double that number in its next phase.

The Mumbai-based company signed a 10-year lease on the Chad Drive property. FirstSource provides online chat support for a large telecommunications company. Chris Autrey is the Site Director. He says even though the Eugene area has several other customer support centers, his company hasn't had difficulty finding workers:

Unemployment is up in Lane and Douglas counties. But as KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the numbers can be deceptive.

Both counties have seen increases in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates at the same time they’re *adding jobs.

Brian Rooney is a Regional Economist. He says the rate of joblessness can be volatile this time of year with schools out for summer break. People can come from outside the county to compete for available jobs. And, some employees just decide to quit.

Rachael McDonald

Members of Eugene's Silicone Shire gathered at the University of Oregon Tuesday to talk about opportunities in technology.

Will A New Casino Threaten A Tribe's Economic Base?

Aug 21, 2015
Ann McGarry / OPB

The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde have made huge strides in rebuilding their culture after it was dissolved by the federal government during the 1950s. Revenue from their Spirit Mountain Casino west of Salem has allowed the tribe to build itself back up. But, the Grand Ronde worry that revenue is now under threat.

Simple white crosses dot the grounds. The brittle yellow grass crunches under foot.

“This is the tribal cemetery … This is one of the few places we had that were left with after termination.”

Oregon Employment Department

Oregon's unemployment rate jumped up to 5.9 percent last month. That's despite job gains over the past year.

The Employment Department said Tuesday the state added 4,600 jobs last month.
Nick Beleiciks is a state employment economist.

Beleiciks:  "Quite a few industries added a lot of jobs. Five major industries added at lease 1000 jobs with construction leading the way by adding 2,300 jobs, followed by professional and business services which added 1,700 jobs."

Jon Rosman / OPB

Residents of Junction City will get to vote on whether to allow the sale of marijuana in their town. The Junction City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to put the issue to voters in November 2016.

Rachael McDonald

The 5-thousand classified workers at Oregon's 7 public universities are negotiating with administration for a new contract. The old one expired in June. These are the people who clean classrooms, shelve books and cook for students.

"My name is Shawna Schultz, and I am a food service worker."

Schults works in Carson Hall, one of the U of O dorm buildings.

Schultz: "I supervise students. Teach them the rules of the kitchen and we service our guests and also maintain a very safe environment for our students."


If you've always wanted to work for the TSA, now's your chance. The Transportation Security Administration is hiring full and part time workers at the Eugene Airport.

To be one of those people who runs the x-ray machine and pats down passengers traveling by air, you have to be at least 18. Applicants also must be high school graduates, American citizens, or U.S. nationals, and speak English proficiently.

Nico Melendez is a TSA spokesman out of Los Angeles. He acknowledges the job can be tough.

Oregon’s unemployment rate of 5.5 for June is slightly higher than the national average. That’s according to numbers released by the state’s employment department. The jobless rate increased in Lane and Douglas counties as well.

The increase in unemployment in both counties is due to growth in the labor force. Regional economist Brian Rooney says when college students graduate in June, they’re added to the labor force. They’re also added to the unemployment rate.