Resources for Portland

Best Practices for Portland

  • Articulating the cost benefits, efficient, and economic incentives from open data and open source.
    • “Entrepreneurship and small business development have become increasingly prominent in the national economic development policy…[and] a Portland economic gardening program possesses the potential to tap emerging resources that are focused on fostering entrepreneurship.” (From Portland Economic Development Strategy report)
  • Reviewing the available data sets and seeking support from interested developers
  • Enhance the vitality and distinctiveness of Portland to showcase the sustainable ways of life and attract a new class of talent.

Open Source Development

  • Small business - Portland’s efforts at leadership in sustainable economic development are bolstered by their legacy economic assets. Over 95% of Portland’s businesses have fewer than 50 employees, and nearly 3/4 of net new jobs are created by small businesses. In addition, the metropolitan area is one of the most active regions in the U.S. for entrepreneurial activity as measured by monthly new business formations. This entrepreneurial spirit can help with overall revenue and employment growth. Portland’s Economic Development agency thinks that open source will play a crucial role in building the next generation of government and business tools.
  • Higher Education - The City also supports the efforts of higher education institutions to serve as the innovation engine of the economy. Portland’s status as a center of innovation in sustainability depends on the frequent introduction of new technologies and a continued infusion of entrepreneurial, management and engineering talent into the workforce. Entrepreneurial regional economies such as Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle depend on local universities to drive innovation. The region’s higher education institutions, including state universities, private colleges and community colleges, will play the lead role in fueling innovation in the target industries. To do so, the research and development work of these institutions must be enhanced by creating an entrepreneurial culture within higher education that rewards professors and researchers for work with commercial applications. More explicit connections between higher education and firms in the target industries are needed, whereby universities help solve technological challenges faced by cluster firms, and firms help commercialize the innovation that occurs within school walls. This type of symbiotic relationship benefits both sides financially and through the notoriety that accrues to regions known for innovation.
  • Workforce Development - Portland’s workforce development system should provide a continuum of training services to prepare local residents for occupational training and post secondary education, including pre-apprenticeships. The range of youth apprenticeship and summer jobs programs that exists through alternative schools, community colleges, apprenticeship coordinating council, and BizConnect, will be coordinated to ensure that as aspiring target industry employees move through the workforce system, they will receive the proper preparation for each stage in the education process. Exposure to jobs through summer jobs and apprenticeships are critical to fostering commitment to the multi-year training process.
    • Convene industry skill panels to design and evaluate curricula to ensure that the training meets targeted industry goals. - (Comment: Portland plans to focus on their tech sector in both bullet points.)
    • Enhance and align services to prepare local residents for occupational training in the targeted industries.

Funding Strategy to Open Source, Open Data, and Economic Development

  • reliable multi-year operating support for the key initiatives in the strategy, including work supporting job growth in target industries and thriving small businesses, promoting international trade, and assisting small neighborhood businesses;
  • a range of innovative debt products to finance the growth of existing businesses and serve as incentives for attracting firms to the city;
  • investment capital for start-up and emerging businesses in target industries and those identified through economic gardening;
  • strategic investment funds to jump start new programs and facilitate collaboration among existing programs, particularly for workforce development and research and development initiatives; and
  • financial incentives through regulations and policies designed to promote growth within target industries and firms adopting sustainable business practices.

[Pending updates]