Portland Job Search
The Portland metro area has two Fortune 500 companies − Nike and Precision Castparts. The majority of Portland businesses are small to midsized, meaning they employ less than 500 people. Portland doesn’t have Seattle’s business might − no Boeing and the high-tech wealth of Microsoft and other software companies. It used to have a large wood products business, but that industry while still important to the state’s economy, has diminished.
Manufacturing is especially important in Oregon, where as recently as 2007, high-tech manufacturing accounted for about 10 percent of economic output − eight times the share nationally. Yet since 2007, Oregon has lost about 40,000 of its 200,000 manufacturing jobs. National contract manufacturers have left the state in droves, heading overseas or to lower-cost domestic locales. RadiSys Corp. has moved the last of its Hillsboro manufacturing to Asia. Suntron Corporation closed its Newberg plant, laying off 190 workers. Solectron Corp. closed its Hillsboro plant and laid off 160, moving work to California and Mexico. Benchmark Electronics Inc. closed in Beaverton, laying off 180 and moving work to plants in Minnesota and Texas.
Intel still employs about 15,000 – 16,000 in the metro area and continues to invest in new plant expansion. Some large high-tech companies thrive. Beaverton-based Merix Corp., for example, was sold in 2010 to Viasystems Group. The St. Louis-based giant primarily assembles circuit boards abroad, but retained Merix’s Forest Grove electronics-assembly plant for defense business, quick-turn jobs and prototypes. Hillsboro-based TriQuint Semiconductor, with 845 Oregon employees, makes components for wireless communication. It has added more than 800 employees company-wide since 2006, and plans to add about 160 more this year for a total 2,760.
Solar panel companies have taken over the chip plants as this industry is growing and retrofitting a chip plant to solar panel is relatively inexpensive. Oregon has used subsidies and other incentives to attract solar companies. Japan’s Sanyo Electric Co. employs about 200 at a Salem solar plant. Germany’s SolarWorld employs about 900 workers in Hillsboro.
Many services-based ecosystem have bloomed in the last few years: micro breweries, bike shops, advertising agencies and apparel firms. It’s a business ecology that prizes progressive social values and livability, not raw wealth and power.
Portland is big into shoes mainly because Nike has created a pool of talented shoe designers in the area. Shoes companies in the Portland area include Danner, Lacrosse, Columbia Sportswear, Keen, and Le Coq Sportiff. They do the design here but almost all the manufacturing is done overseas. But it takes more than designers to make a successful shoe company. For example, a special skill-set is necessary to understand and negotiate the contracts with Pacific Rim companies for the manufacturing.
A good example of taking this business ecology one step further into actual manufacturing is United Streetcar, LLC (a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, Inc.). United Streetcar and SKODA have partnered to produce modern, efficient, American-manufactured streetcars and to be a pioneering force in increasing urban transit options throughout the United States. In 2009, United Streetcar completed manufacturing the first Buy-America compliant modern streetcar for the City of Portland, Oregon. These cars will be on the streets of Portland in 2010. Many other cities in the USA have expressed an interest in purchasing United streetcars.
Thomas Friedman: How to Get a Job
Underneath the huge drop in demand that drove unemployment up to 9 percent during the recession, there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America. Anyone who’s been looking for a job knows what I mean. It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore what you know; all it cares “is what you can do with what you know.” And since jobs are evolving so quickly, with so many new tools, a bachelor’s degree is no longer considered an adequate proxy by employers for your ability to do a particular job — and, therefore, be hired. So, more employers are designing their own tests to measure applicants’ skills. And they increasingly don’t care how those skills were acquired: home schooling, an online university, a massive open online course, or Yale.
One of the best ways to understand the changing labor market is to talk to the co-founders of HireArt (www.hireart.com): Eleonora Sharef, 27, a veteran of McKinsey; and Nick Sedlet, 28, a math whiz who left Goldman Sachs. Their start-up was designed to bridge the divide between job-seekers and job-creators.
People get rejected for jobs for two main reasons, said Sharef. One, “you’re not showing the employer how you will help them add value,” and, two, “you don’t know what you want, and it comes through because you have not learned the skills that are needed.” The most successful job candidates, she added, are “inventors and solution-finders,” who are relentlessly “entrepreneurial” because they understand that many employers today don’t care about your résumé, degree or how you got your knowledge, but only what you can do and what you can continuously reinvent yourself to do.
Read the entire story by clicking here.
Source: ‘How to Get a Job’ by Thomas Friedman, Published May 28, 2013. New York Times.
National Web Sites for Finding a Job in the Portland Metro Area
Local Web Sites for Finding a Job in the Portland Metro Area
Portland Metro Area Largest Employers
Source: Portland Business Alliance
Not-For-Profit Web Sites for Finding a Job in Portland
Women and Diversity Sites for Finding a Job
Green Job Resources
Online Job Boards
Green Drinks Beer, conversation, and a chance to network with other environmentally minded people. The group meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month, first floor, Ecotrust, 721 N.W. Ninth Avenue. Green Drinks also meets in Oregon cities such as Eugene, Hood River, and Vancouver. Find your city at greendrinks.org/index.php
Education Institutions to Help you Prepare for a Green Job
Government grants can help pay for training. In most cases, laid-off workers enrolled in an approved program can continue to receive unemployment benefits. To determine eligibility, find the WorkSource Center near you at www2.worksourceportlandmetro.org.
Employers in The Portland Area
Government/Public Employers in Portland and Oregon
Education Employers in The Portland Area
With numerous staffing/employment agencies located in the Portland Metro area, it is impossible to list them all. We suggest the following:
Oregon Labor Market Information
Network for Women