Poverty Reduction Initiative
Reducing Oregon’s poverty rate is one of the three goals of the Oregon Business Plan. OBC is partnering with several foundations in the Poverty Reduction Initiative. This is a cross-cutting project, calling for improvement in education and workforce development, job growth, and social safety net policies.
The Oregon Business Plan white paper, A Path to Prosperity, describes poverty in Oregon and the Oregon Business Plan strategy to help more Oregonians share in prosperity.
OBC Is Organized Around Policy Initiatives
OBC carries out most of its public policy work along the lines of particular initiatives within broad categories. For example, the Oregon Business Plan and the Oregon Industry Cluster Network promote economic development. Oregon Learns continues OBC’s long standing efforts to improve public education. The Oregon Health Leadership Council and the Healthiest State support better health care policies and health outcomes.
OBC directors often either take part in these programs directly or oversee them through OBC committees or task forces. For example, OBC’s Education Task Force oversees the work of Oregon Learns. The Poverty Reduction Task Force works on the Poverty Reduction Initiative. OBC also has many partnerships or alliances in these initiatives with other business associations, independent business leaders, elected officials, government agency officials, and leaders from the nonprofit and philanthropic communities.
Oregon Business Plan
Since 2002 the Oregon Business Plan has been the state’s principal economic development forum. Its work goes on year round in studying and framing public policies to solve problems or capitalize on opportunities that can improve Oregon’s economy. Areas of focus range from education to infrastructure to industrial land to federal forest policy and more. (See more here and at the Oregon Business Plan website.)
Oregon Industry Cluster Network
The Oregon Industry Cluster Network was created as part of the Oregon Business Plan in 2005 to support Oregon’s mature, growing, and emerging industry clusters and to assist cluster participants as they work to accelerate innovation and the competitiveness of their industries. The network connects industry leaders with resources, generates new prospects for business recruitment, develops economic and industry data, guides public policy, and helps cluster facilitators across the state share best practices. (See more here and at the Industry Cluster Network web pages.)
OBC created Oregon Learns in 2012 to assist policy makers, education officials, and stakeholder groups as they shape and implement Oregon’s comprehensive redesign of public education. The purpose of the redesign is to tap and unleash the potential of students, teachers, and schools in helping more Oregonians succeed in their studies and attain postsecondary degrees or credentials. Oregon Learns offers stakeholders information about education redesign and implementation issues, brings together policy makers and stakeholders in discussion forums, and provides education officials technical assistance or support on redesign and implementation issues.(See more here and at the Oregon Learns website.)
Oregon Healthiest State
Behaviors and environment make up 70 percent of the factors that influence health. Yet medical services make up 96 percent of national health care expenditures—and prevention only 4 percent. The Oregon Healthiest State project was created to help Oregon communities focus on the behaviors and environments that make health more robust and medical care less necessary. (See more here.)
Oregon Health Leadership Council
The Oregon Health Leadership Council grew out of concern among business groups in 2008 that Oregon reforms were not sufficiently focused on health care cost reduction. To address this issue, OBC helped form the Health Leadership Task Force as well as a roundtable forum for industry dialogue about health care solutions. The leadership task force created four work groups to study payment reform, value-based benefit designs, evidence-based best practices, and administrative simplification. Over 2009 these groups produced such significant findings and recommendations (many soon adopted by health plans), that the task force formerly made itself a membership organization in 2010—the Oregon Health Leadership Council. (See more here and at the Oregon Health Leadership Council website.)