As you may have read in the last Register-Guard editorial on Measure 98, CTE classes can have a significant boost on graduation rates and student outcomes. It's why a majority of Oregon voters said yes to Measure 98 last fall. But the Oregon legislature has not made funding the measure a priority, even though it would only cost about 1% of the budget.
In today's editorial, two Lane County business owners lay out their own argument for why lawmakers need to fully fund 98. Among their several reasons is one that stands out:
"Last year, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce convened a group of local family business owners who represented 10 small manufacturers. Between them, they had 200 family-wage jobs they could not fill. These are stable, skilled, long-term jobs that pay living wages and can support families. One local manufacturer of flatbed truck trailers had been looking for skilled workers for so long that he finally gave up. Right now, he is outsourcing the manufacturing to Idaho, though he’d rather grow his business here. This problem isn’t unique to manufacturing. The Technology Association of Oregon is reporting that at this moment there are hundreds of good-paying technology positions in Lane County (some of the highest paying in Oregon) that are unfilled."
Several hundred jobs - jobs that could be filled locally - are left unfilled or outsourced, while so many young Oregonians are unable to find work. With expanded access to CTE, these young people would have the skills necessary to fill these available positions.