June 5, 2020
News & Notes
The economy catches the unemployment bug
   It may come as no surprise to see the latest unemployment reports showing numbers have zoomed upward during the COVID-19 pandemic, with claims surpassing that of the Great Recession.
   The Oregon Employment Department's Brandon Schrader, a workforce analyst, reported Washington County’s unemployment rate for April reached 12 percent, which is a far cry from January's 2.7 percent - a loss of more than 29,000 jobs since the beginning of the year.
   He said while this news sounds dire, Washington County’s unemployment rate is below the state's (14.2 percent) and the Portland area's (14 percent).
   In Clackamas County, Workforce Analyst Lynn Wallis reports the unemployment rate is at 13.8 percent, an increase of more than 10 percent from a year ago.
   She said from March to April, Clackamas County lost more than 19,000 jobs - the largest loss came from the leisure and hospitality industry.
   To see and learn more, turn to one of these economic reports: Schrader's for Washington County , Wallis' for Clackamas County , and/or University of Oregon Economist Tim Duy's Economic Indicators.
   Next Thursday Economist Josh Lehner from the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis will join WEA for a virtual forum, sponsored by NW Natural.
   To register, click here .
   In his blog this week, Lehner presented data on historical disparities in employment.
   To read more, visit Lehner's blog .
Nike pledges $40 million, Jordan $100 million to Black communities
   In the midst of ongoing protests for racial justice, Nike announced today it will make a four year, $40 million commitment to support the nation's Black community.
   Shortly after Nike's announcement, Michael Jordan and the Jordan brand announced a $100 million, 10 year commitment/donation.
   These commitments will focus on supporting organizations that put social justice, education, and address racial inequality in America. 
   “Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America over the past few weeks serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. We know Black Lives Matter. We must educate ourselves more deeply on the issues faced by Black communities and understand the enormous suffering and senseless tragedy racial bigotry creates,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc.
   "We must join forces with the community, government, and civic leaders to create a lasting impact together," said Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand. “There is still more work for us to do to drive real impact for the Black Community. We embrace the responsibility."
   To learn more about how Nike stands up for equality, click here .
Westside Mayors talk pandemic and beyond
    WEA members and guests had a chance last week to hear from the Westside mayors during their annual forum, which was held virtually this year due to the pandemic.
   The mayors expressed concerns for their residents and business during the pandemic and economic downturn.
   Many of the mayors talked about the creative ideas their cities came up with to help support small businesses and its residents.
   For example, Wilsonville purchased gift cards to local restaurants and donated those to the food bank.
   North Plains developed a program where residents could get a discount on their utility bills by spending money at local eateries.
   Some of the larger to bigger cities were able to leverage funds and provide grants to help stabilize businesses and give resources to those residents in need.
   During the forum, the mayors took questions, which ranged in topics - government funding, transportation, and more.
   Overall, it is apparent the mayors rely on one another for partnerships, and they have a deep concern/caring for all people in their communities.
   The mayors also paid a special tribute to Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp, who will be leaving office at the end of the year.
   To see the program, visit WEA's YouTube channel .
A new do, pumping iron, or sitting down to nosh - Washington County enters Phase 1
   It's the day some have waited 10 weeks for - the reopening of Washington County.
   As of Monday, stylists can cut hair; those looking to workout can hit the gym; and restaurants can even have people actually sit down and eat in their establishments, as Washington County entered Phase 1 of reopening.
   You can also host gatherings of up to 25 people; visit a salon to get your nails done; get a massage; or go shopping at some of the stores in Washington Square .
   There are guidelines of course to help keep everyone safe.
   To see the details on what and how, visit Washington County's website .
    Clackamas County went into Phase 1 of reopening on May 23 and could be eligible for Phase 2 after 21 days.
   Photo Credit: Gochenour Photography  
Looking ahead to a fun August fundraiser
   WEA's Golf Committee met today to discuss the upcoming annual fundraiser.
   Due to the pandemic, the Westside Golf Scramble has been pushed back to August 28.
   The committee is sensitive to the current economic and societal conditions, but at the same time wants to give members and guests something to look forward to in the coming months.
   Officials at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club are hopeful that tournament conditions will be back to normal, or close to it, by August 28.
   Even if conditions aren't, the Golf Committee will get creative and work with The Reserve to make this a great event.
   If you are interested in sponsoring or playing in the tournament, please contact Teresa Dunham .
   More details will be emailed in the coming days.
   To learn more, visit WEA's website .
Odds & Ends
  • CBRE offers a podcast called "WeeklyTake" about economics & the commercial real estate industry. Today's podcast talks about agile and flex space. To have a listen, click here.

  • The City of Hillsboro is offering a new PPE (personal protective equipment) grant program for businesses. The application process started today. Click here to learn more.

  • Businesses in Hillsboro have also donated a number of resources during the pandemic. To see how they are partnering with the city and other organizations, click here.

  • Cornelius Pass is going to be shutting down again this summer. It appears road crews were not able to complete all of the repairs last summer, so Multnomah County will be closing the road between Highway 30 and Skyline Boulevard. To learn more, click here.

  • For those craving more data, Washington County has created the "Data Snack." To see what it entails, click here.

  • TriMet is hosting a few online open houses next week. One is in Spanish. Click here to see more.

  • And finally, Congratulations to the Class of 2020 - you may be setting new traditions for those behind you. Regardless, WEA is proud of your accomplishments and excited to see what the future holds for you. Video credit below to Hillsboro School District Superintendent Mike Scott.
Events coming up
Wed. 6/10 at 7:30 a.m. the Transportation Committee will meet virtually. For more information, contact Pam Treece.

Th. 6/11 at 8:00 a.m. a virtual Forum with Economist Josh Lehner. To register.

Wed. 6/17 at 12:00 p.m. the Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. To learn more, contact KC Reinhart.

Wed. 6/17 at 5:00 p.m. the virtual "State of the City" for King City

Wed. 6/24 at 7:30 a.m. the WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Fri. 6/26 at 12:00 p.m. the Golf Committee will meet. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham .

Sat. 7/4 Independence Day!

To see more of the WEA calendar, please visit the WEA website .