The Plan Framework: Three Imperatives to Achieve Shared Prosperity

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Adding Shared Prosperity to the Business Plan’s Economic Goals 

Since its founding in 2002 and especially during the past decade, the Oregon Business Plan has sought to increase and maintain high-wage jobs that support families and maintain strong communities.  Through 2019 this effort had three goals:

  • Create 25,000 net new jobs per year.
  • Bring Oregon’s per capita income from 90 percent of the national average to above it.
  • Reduce poverty to below 10 percent.

In 2020 we added a fourth: Increase economic mobility and shared prosperity across Oregon’s diverse communities and geography.

This newest goal accompanied a revision in the Oregon Business Plan framework illustrated below. With this framework, the Business Plan has shifted to a focus on three imperatives to achieve shared prosperity.

  • Economic Development — growing, creating, and attracting good jobs
  • Workforce and Education — preparing Oregonians for the jobs of today and tomorrow
  • Economic Mobility — providing supports that enhance access to opportunities.

Each of these imperatives is fleshed out in more specific objectives. The right side of the illustration highlights near-term policy opportunities.

The Business Plan Still Envisions a Strong Traded Sector 

The Oregon Business Plan envisions a prosperous Oregon based on the growth and success of leading-edge industries that sell their products and services outside of Oregon, what we call “traded sector” industries.

Most jobs in Oregon are actually not in the traded sector.  They are in local service industries such as restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and schools.  However, because traded sector industries bring in the fresh dollars that allow these other industries to grow, we must pay special attention to the traded sector.  Traded sector companies are both small and large.

The success of traded-sector companies is not random.  These industries tend to “cluster” based on shared advantages such as natural resources, a specialized workforce, proximity to suppliers, and a policy environment conducive to the industry’s activities.

While the future of these industries is in their own hands, it is critical that Oregon’s leaders understand our key traded-sector industries and pursue initiatives that provide them with a competitive advantage over other states and nations.

Four Ps Set the Conditions for Traded Sector Success

When leaders of Oregon’s traded-sector industries are asked to describe what makes a competitive business climate for their industry, they point to the same set of issues:

People:  A talented workforce
Productivity:  Quality infrastructure, reasonable business costs and a competitive regulatory climate.
Place: An attractive quality of life and quality public services that attract and retain talented people.
Pioneering Innovation:  An innovative, entrepreneurial spirit statewide.

We call these the “Four Ps”.

While the needs of individual industries may differ, the Four Ps provide a handy way to think about how we improve the business climate.  Finding the right mix of the Four Ps that supports our key traded sector industries is an important task for community and policy leaders working to strengthen our economy.