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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Convening as a tool for change.

As WEA continues celebrating our 25th year, it is the perfect time to talk about the work we do.


Westside Economic Alliance was built to be a public-private table that would convene to discuss the hard

questions. From transportation projects and their funding to urban growth decisions to economic development financing tools, WEA has used our Board of Directors table, our public forums and our partnerships to work through these complicated, sometimes, heated issues.


With the end of 2023 around the corner, we have the opportunity to host one more large convening. On Monday December 4 we will host our State of the Westside luncheon. We will bring together a panel to talk about what it took to build Intel’s Ronler Acres - speakers from Intel, PacTrust and the City of Hillsboro will share a look back at that extraordinary partnership. Then we will switch to panelists who can talk about the ‘next big thing’ for the Westside. With our extraordinary moderator, Johnell Bell of Espousal Strategies, we will then have a

conversation with panelists and attendees about the through line. How do we

take lessons from the past and apply them to the future?


Join us for this important conversation.


The Westside is poised and ready for a big ‘what’s next’. With federal and state CHIPS dollars, the Inflation Reduction Act’s promise of investments in clean tech and matching infrastructure dollars from the federal government, we are at a generational inflection point. Join us for this important table setting conversation.

WEA Celebrates 25 years

WEA's 25th Anniversary was a tremendous success. Members, partners and supporters came together at NW Natural to honor the last quarter century of work for our region. We honored founding board members who brought unparalleled commitment to our region, to our community and to our organization. Thank you to the recipients of our Founder's Award: Lois Ditmars, Norm Eder, David Bennett and Jack Orchard.

WEA's Vision is that we must work to realize vibrant, prosperous, and diverse Westside. We can't get there if we aren’t willing to take some big risks. We have to commit to looking ahead – dream big – and then we are the ones that have to forge the path to get ourselves there. WWe had the opportunity to honor three individuals and one business who have made that commitment to think big, to push.


We presented our first-ever Visionary Awards to honor work on the federal and state CHIPS Act - ensuring we have the opportunity to grow our regional economy by creating, expanding and preserving semiconductor and advanced manufacturing in Oregon. The continued onshoring of this work to our region will have generational impacts on our economy. US Senator Ron Wyden, state Senator Janeen Sollman and Oregon Representative Janelle Bynum provided the fearless leadership needed to meet that moment.

WEA Executive Director Elizabeth Mazzara Myers, WEA Founding Board Member Lois Ditmars, WEA Board Member Ed Trompke

WEA Board of Directors - Evan Bernstein - Pacific NW Properties, John Howorth - 3J Consulting, Mimi Doukas - AKS Engineering, Marshall McGrady - IBEW 48, Nina Carlson - NW Natural, KJ Lewis - PGE, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers - WEA, Bradley Dettmer - Kaiser Permamente, Damien Hall - Dunn Carney, LLP, Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Metro

Awards Winners and Honorees

Founders Awards

David Bennett | Lois Ditmars | Norm Eder | Jack Orchard


Visionary Awards, Individual and Corporate

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden | Senator Janeen Sollman | Representative Janelle Bynum

Intel Corporation

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Presented by

NW Natural

Major Sponsor


Supporting Sponsors

Columbia Pacific Building Trades,

Dunn Carney LLP, Metro Regional Government, PacTrust

Key Partners

City of Hillsboro, Hillsboro Hops, IBEW Local 48, Intel,

Jordan Ramis, LLP, Portland Metro Chamber,

Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors, TriMet

Media Partner

Tualatin Valley Community Television (TVCTV)

News & Notes

North Plains Urban Growth on ‘pause’

On Tuesday the Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to put a ‘pause’ on the City of North Plains’ Urban Growth Boundary process. For the last several years the City of North Plains has been working to bring a need based urban growth effort to fruition. They have been through public hearings, have heard and considered testimony from opponents and supporters, and have performed all required studies and even received a planning grant from the state. But their work was stopped by an outside group whose prime directive is to stop growth. The City now heads to the ballot in May for, as the Oregonian puts it, "the only time in memory any Oregon city's proposed boundary expansion has been referred to voters."

Westside Economic Alliance’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers said, “It now seems unclear how any Oregon community can move through an already arduous, decade-long urban growth expansion process when we now allow small bands of voters to derail it. What does it mean for jurisdictions around our state who follow the process only to have this new twist added?”

The referendum challenging the North Plains ordinance will be on North Plains May primary ballot.

HECC Grants PCC $2.2 million for Workforce Development

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission is providing a significant boost for Portland Community College.

PCC received a grant of $2,235,649 for its Community 2 Career (C2C) Program. This funding is part of the Future Ready Oregon Workforce Ready Grant initiative, which has been distributed to 30 community-based organizations and workforce service providers across the state.

The program will utilize the grant to support community-based organizations, PCC’s network of Opportunity Centers, and its regional employers. The primary goal is to enhance workforce training opportunities for communities of color and low-income students.

“We will use the grant to strengthen connections between our Opportunity Centers and community-based organizations, as well as create pathways for traditionally marginalized populations to succeed in education and move into careers with economic mobility,” said Pam Hester, PCC’s Business, Community & Workforce Development Program dean. “In collaboration with manufacturers, funding will also support development of new short-term industry-recognized microcredentials in manufacturing, addressing a critical workforce need.”

This round of grant funding is the most substantial to date, with a collective award of approximately $35 million. The “Workforce Ready Grants, Round Two: Innovation in Workforce Programs” fund initiatives that cater to Oregon's underserved and marginalized communities, ensuring access to resources for quality employment opportunities in vital sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

Reminder: Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee Recruitment & Information Session

The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) is seeking volunteers to serve as a member of the state’s Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee (CIAC). CIAC members are appointed by LCDC to provide advice on community engagement in land use planning.


The current CIAC recruitment is for one member representing Oregon's first Congressional District, which covers Clatsop, Columbia, Washington, and Yamhill Counties and portions of SW Portland in Multnomah County.


Applications are due by November 22, 2023 at 9a.m.

If you are interested in learning more about the CIAC, or are considering applying, DLCD Staff and members of the CIAC are hosting a meeting to provide information for community members to learn more about CIAC and the work of the coming year.


Please join us!


Topic: Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee Information Session

Time: Dec 8, 2023, 11:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 879 1052 5318

Passcode: 618700

One tap mobile

+1 253 205 0468

+1 253 215 8782

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kstRg08GE

Upcoming WEA Events

December 4: State of the Westside Forum


What's Next for the Westside?

Join us for a look back at the founding of the Silicon Forest, Intel's investment and where the Westside is heading for advanced manufacturing, the workforce and building sustainable communities.

For Questions or Sponsorship Information

[email protected]

Thanks to Our Sponsor

Kaiser Permanente

Thanks to Legacy Health for Presenting the Annual Forum Series

Legacy Health is a nonprofit health system with one mission: to bring good health to our communities. At Legacy Health, our integrated network of clinics and hospitals covers the Willamette Valley from Silverton to Southwest Washington and everything in between. Our services include, dozens of primary care clinics and urgent care centers, six hospitals, including a dedicated children’s hospital. Legacy also works in partnership with non-profit community organizations to address the most pressing public health needs in our communities including access to care and addressing social determinants of health, such housing and food stability. For more information, visit www.legacyhealth.org.

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