There are many moving parts in the building and maintaining of a vital community. At times a peek behind the curtain reveals issues we don’t like to deal with in the forefront of our lives, but they impact all we do and need to be addressed.
A recent case in point is a behind the scenes look at the local mission, and its focus on feeding the homeless and helping the downtrodden. Drawing the curtain back and seeing how facilities operate, the kinds of services provided, and the kind of meals served is an important part of understanding how any community service program works.
TEAM Klamath, an ad hoc partnership of Economic Development groups, governments, educational institutions, and private businesses, is focused on a wide variety of development targets. It works on retention, expansion and recruitment through many avenues of pursuit and strives to balance efforts across many business categories to ensure diversification of the local economy.
Recent activities have included projects ranging from biomass (renewable power generation), to a pumped storage project (renewable power generation), to the Sanford Pediatric Clinic (healthcare), to agricultural value added packaging and commodities, to light manufacturing, to retail and commercial development.
We’re on a mission…Every day!
There is no argument that Klamath County is in need of real economic growth. Local business and industry has taken an economic beating the last four or five years. The community’s unemployment rate is unacceptable and will only lead to further deterioration of our economy as our skilled workforce seeks opportunities outside the area.
The Chamber’s every day job is to help our members prosper and grow through active promotion, advocacy, and education. In addition, we work with a variety of partners to promote the region as a great place to visit, build a business, or move a family. One of the ways we do this is to advocate the expansion of local business opportunities and help attract business development in a highly competitive national marketplace. Klamath is competing directly with thousands of communities around the US and world in seeking business development and growth.
The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce participated in a Southern Oregon Chamber Day at the Capitol in Salem recently. We visited with State Representatives, State Senators, the Governor, and Secretary of State, a big thank you to all who dropped in to visit and answer questions. Our group, close to 50 in size, included Chamber members, Board members and staff from Klamath, Medford and Grants Pass.
It was a very enlightening and instructive day, and for me caused wonder as to how the State actually manages to function in a coherent way at all. The wide interests represented to our group by the various legislative and executive representatives are staggering. To date nearly 4000 (yes, FOUR THOUSAND) bills have been presented in the House and Senate for consideration this session, which ends June 30th.
The number one subject throughout the day was the effort to reform PERS. Every representative spoke to the subject, all with differing perspectives on the likelihood or the extent of reform, potential success, and real long term impact. PERS is a weighty subject and touches everyone in the State in some way, whether through individual retirement, school funding, or state services; all of which are impacted by the amount of money flowing to PERS. This is not to say PERS retirement is bad or un-needed, it is just overextending its ability to meet previously negotiated levels of payments and something needs to be done to stabilize the system so it doesn’t overwhelm the State budget.