Building: The Foundation for Oregon's Future
By Russ Kuhn, MAML University Development Counselor
Grand Canyon University, Medford
The coach is in
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Oregon’s expanding skyline isn’t the only indicator of a changing economy these days! From 2017 to 2027, Oregon’s construction workforce is expected to grow by 17.5%. Although the industry was hit hard during the latest recession, it’s back and building more momentum than ever. The Oregon Employment Department says that their workforce has increased by 46% since 2010 and the construction industry is projected to hit the highest rate of any industry in the state – second only to private health care. This is due partly to the thriving tourism industry in Oregon, which brings in $11.8 billion annually. Of course, we also have to thank the beautiful landscape and thriving communities: once people visit the “Beaver State,” they don’t want to leave! Oregon was among the top U.S. moving destinations in 2018. Ultimately, all of the above leads to the booming construction industry evident today around Oregon. Major building projects around the state from the last few years include: Amazon warehouses and data centers, new Nike headquarters, University of Oregon construction and much more. Intel and Facebook are also building and expanding their locations. In fact, there are so many construction efforts underway that the workforce is struggling to expand fast enough to keep up with the demand. Reports say that nearly a quarter of construction workers are age 55 and over, which will lead to even more open positions as retirement looms. 
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About the Author:
Russ Kuhn is a University Development Counselor at Grand Canyon University. Kuhn brings more than 30 years of global leadership experience to the Rogue Valley as the Medford-based UDC. He serves as the local face and brand ambassador to support GCU’s mission and help students start their educational journey.

Grand Canyon University 3300 W. Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017 866-332-8863 Toll Free Fax Russ.Kuhn@gcu.edu
Refer someone to attend Grand Canyon University at http://www.gcu.edu/udc/Russ.Kuhn
“In addition to offering competitive wages and lots of work opportunities, the construction industry has also expanded its longer-term efforts to deepen its labor pool,” the Portland Business Journal notes. “For starters, there’s been a big push to diversify the construction workforce. Long seen as a traditionally white male industry, construction in more recent times has been adding layers to its demographics.” The increased demand for talent in the construction industry is not unique to Oregon. Many other U.S. states are growing and prioritizing their workforce expansion alongside building efforts. This shift is likely to come in many forms – from promoting the value of trade schools and apprenticeship programs to encouraging more women to step into the industry. Overall, construction trends around the nation include: o   Green construction and sustainability o   Technological integrations o   Smart safety equipment How does Oregon’s booming construction industry effect your business? An increase in building innovation and improved economy is beneficial for everyone! Whether it attracts new customers to your area, provides new space for your business or offers more employee opportunities, the industry is sure to set up the state – and your local community – for positive growth.
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The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
101 E. 8th St.  |  Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 779-4847

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