October 5, 2011
Just back from the annual Inter City Leadership Visit sponsored by the Saint Paul and Minneapolis chambers of commerce. This year’s event took us to Portland. While you can’t help but notice the expansive transit system and the large number of homeless people living in downtown, what impressed me most was their “Oregon Business Plan.” Developed by a broad cross-section of the business community, the Business Plan’s mission is to spur business development and high-wage job creation across the state. The document outlines the issues Oregon’s economy faces and key initiatives for the state to address. Interestingly enough, ours agendas are fairly similar – revamp Oregon’s budget system, seek to derive greater value for their public dollars, reform public employee compensation, etc. Minnesota faces similar issues. Based on the visit to Oregon, I believe we have an opportunity to develop our own business plan. Hopefully it will be as well received here by our elected officials as it is in Oregon.