Friday, March 26, 2021
News & Notes
Governor bumps up vaccine timeline for those in the next eligible group
   Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced today those in Group 7 of Phase 1B will be eligible to start getting vaccinated two weeks sooner than the previous date, moving up to April 5.
   This includes people who are frontline workers, live in multigenerational households, and/or are 16 years old or older with one or more underlying health conditions.
   The Governor said bumping up the date was possible thanks to increasing supply of the vaccine.
   Those in Phase 1B Group 6 are able to start getting their shot in the arm on Monday.
   To read more, click here or check the Oregon Health Authority website to register for notifications on vaccination clinics.
Using Innovation to transform the waste that goes down the drain
   Clean Water Services' Mark Jockers talked with the WEA Land Use & Housing Committee recently about the agency's work in innovating dirty water into something much more valuable.
   Jockers shared the 50 year history of Clean Water Services, which started because of a polluted waterway, resulting in a building moratorium, which has transformed into an agency that is one of the best in the nation when it comes to treating wastewater and managing stormwater.
   Clean Water Services has gone from cleaning the water to being innovative in recovering resources from the water sent to the treatment plants.
   Jockers talked about the removal of elements such as phosphorus from the system and it's transformation into the fertilizer product Clean Water Grow Plant Food.
   This resulted from a partnership, as have some other agency projects.
   The Pure Water Brew Challenge was another interesting project, resulting from tasteful research.
   Unique beers came from a contest where brewers used effluent (water released from a wastewater plant).
   This led to the creation of an innovative trailer, known as the "Pure Water Wagon," which showcases water purification technology.
   The wastewater utility continues to work on innovative ideas, including using methane gas produced from the wastewater process to create energy to run treatment plants.
   It also utilizes energy created from fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from local restaurant kitchens delivered to the wastewater plants.
   During the pandemic, Clean Water Services has been working with Oregon State University research teams to track COVID-19 in wastewater, helping to alert public health officials when there is a spike of the virus in certain areas, usually before it becomes apparent at local hospitals.
   Jockers said Clean Water Services is an agency that has to be very creative.
   To see Jockers' slide deck from his presentation, click here.
Local employment numbers, glass half full or half empty?
   The latest local employment numbers look good...or bad, depending on what it's compared to.
   Workforce Analyst Brandon Schrader focuses on Washington County's employment numbers, and in comparison to where the region stood a year ago, the numbers are not great.
   Our unemployment rate in Washington County for January was 5.6%, which is more than double the rate it was 12 months earlier.
   Lynn Wallis, a workforce analyst focused on Clackamas County, shares in her latest report the comparison of where the county ranked when the pandemic hit in April of 2020.
   Her report shows that Clackamas County's unemployment rate has gone from 13.8% at the beginning of the pandemic down to 6.2% in January.
   Both Schrader and Wallis point out the optimistic report from the state's economists, who predict we could be back to pre-pandemic employment numbers by early 2023.
   Are you asking, "But what is the apples to apples comparison?"
   Here's the low down:
  • In January (2021) the unemployment rate was: Washington County 5.6%, Clackamas County 6.2%, & Oregon 6.2%
  • Twelve months prior the unemployment rate was: Washington County 2.7%, Clackamas County 3%, & Oregon 3.4%
  • The unemployment rate at the beginning of the pandemic (April 2020) was: Washington County 12.2 %, Clackamas County 13.8%, & Oregon 13.2%
   Jobs were lost at the beginning of the pandemic, but are slowly making a comeback, so there is work to be done.
   Economist say the good news is the economy continues to improve with each shot in the arm.
   To see the local data, turn to Schrader's Washington County Economic Indicators and/or Wallis' Clackamas County Economic Indicators.
Odds & Ends
  • Intel's new CEO Patrick Gelsinger sat down for a virtual interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt to talk about the company's future and the chip market. Gelsinger announced the company has a $20 billion investment going to it's Arizona location and it has created Intel Foundry Services. To see the interview, click here.

  • Hillsboro entrepreneurs are invited to apply for an upcoming business boot camp. There are scholarships available for women and communities of color. To learn more, click here.

  • Kittelson in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation has created a new guidebook to help jurisdictions see the potential in the technology running at intersections. Click here to read more.

  • Wilsonville is looking for volunteers to fill seats on its boards and committees. Click here to see more.

  • With more of us becoming vaccinated against COVID-19, have you wondered what you should or should not do? KGW's Cristin Severance has some answers.

  • With being in the middle of March Madness, it may be interesting to hear from someone who leads the designs athletes are wearing. Click the image below to learn more about Nike VP & Global Creative Director Jonathan Johnsongriffin, as part of the "Expressions In Black" series (scroll down in the linked page to find the video).
Events coming up
Fri. 4/2 at 12:00 p.m. - the Golf/Fundraising Committee will meet virtually. This committee is working on the sponsorship phase for the annual Westside Golf Scramble, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club. Please contact Teresa Dunham for more information on how to land a great sponsorship.

Wed. 4/7 at 6:00 p.m. - The City of Tigard is hosting its virtual State of the City address. Click here to learn more.

Th. 4/8 at 7:30 a.m. - The Government Relations Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome.

Mon. 4/12 at 12:00 p.m. - A Virtual Forum with Riahana Ansary, John Southgate, and John Tapogna, talking about the current economy and the economic development outlook as we go into economic recovery mode. Click here to register.

Wed. 4/14 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome.

Mon. 4/19 at 6:00 p.m. - Washington County is hosting a virtual State of the County address. Click here to learn more.

Wed. 4/21 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome. For more information, contact KC Reinhart.

* Items in bold are WEA events.