Our personal and community wellbeing revolves around jobs.  Our ability to pay for food and shelter revolves around jobs. Our community’s ability to provide security and services revolves around jobs.  The number one threat in the world today, and here in Klamath County, is fewer jobs than people who wish to work. High unemployment leads to higher incidents of spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, criminal activity, and personal despair.

What is the fix? Good, full time, well-paying employment.  How do we unleash the potential for job growth here in Klamath?  How does a community provide a safe place for entrepreneurism?

The Chamber has been involved in very exciting discussions with a broad based coalition of stakeholders to help answer those very questions.  One of the first answers you reach in any discussion of this nature is; there is no easy answer, no single answer.  It is going to take a variety of approaches and ideas, covering many different job creating categories, new technologies, reading tea leaves, rolling up our sleeves and trying new things.

A few goals reveal themselves easily:

Create an environment that supports and rewards entrepreneurism –  this requires embracing diversity of thought, understanding failure and learning from it, being tenacious as a community in pursuing our own or helping others pursue dreams.

Create the kind of community our children want to return to – one universal truth seems to be the need for children to strike out on their own for a period of time and find their place in the world.  We need to be focused on building a community they want to return to. How?  By embracing and supporting an amazing resource in the people who have chosen to come to Klamath for educational or work purposes, and find their way in the world.  Give these folks an opportunity to build, or expand, a business idea that employs other people and stretches the imagination of possibilities.

Be sure our voice is heard – we are isolated geographically and this can lead to accepting isolation.  We cannot accept isolation!  We need to reach out and develop partnerships that benefit our community.  We need to tell our compelling story.

Believe in what the future holds – it is very easy to fall into old constructs and say we don’t have the means or will to pursue new ideas and create new paradigms.  We do have the means, and can.

Use all our resources – we are resource rich, it is time to take advantage of all the riches we are lucky to have.  Riches in higher education, corporate success, natural resources (including sunshine, geothermal, and brain power), agricultural production, location (we are strategically located between large metro markets on the west coast and have a truck friendly Hwy), leading edge medical services, outdoor recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, business friendly environment, and a population with strong work ethic.

How do we rebuild Klamath County’s economy…America’s economy…the world economy? Jobs! New jobs! Leading edge jobs! Yeah, simple as that, jobs!