The Oregon Legislature will meet in Special Session on Friday, December 14, to consider authorizing Governor Kitzhaber to enter into agreements with companies committing to significant job growth and investment in Oregon. The Governor called the session at a news conference today where he emphasized an extraordinary opportunity exists to boost Oregon's economy with high wage jobs.
"With legislative action this week, Oregon can secure high wage jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of new private investment in the next five years," said Governor Kitzhaber. "In fact, Nike is ready to commit to a significant expansion of its Oregon operations if the state can provide certainty we won't change tax rules after they make a new investment. It's an easy call and a perfect fit with our strategy to attract and retain companies that create jobs and boost per capita income."
The Economic Impact Investment Act would allow the Governor to enter into qualifying investment contracts with any company committing to a minimum of 500 jobs and $150 million in capital investment over five years. The Act creates a new economic development tool and has no fiscal impact on the state.
Nike would expand to accommodate current and future job growth. Nike's employment in Oregon has grown 60 percent since 2007 with an average annual compensation of over $100,000, about double state and regional averages. A recent analysis by AECOM, a global professional services firm, estimates the economic impact of a potential expansion to be more than $2 billion a year and more than 12,000 jobs by 2020 (direct, indirect and induced). Construction alone accounts for about $440 million and more than 2,900 jobs.
"Private sector job growth is driving Oregon's economic recovery, but state government has an important role to play in helping create a business climate to accelerate that growth," said Oregon Business Association President Ryan Deckert. "We've been focused on finding ways to boost wages, and the Economic Impact Investment Act will be a powerful tool to drive per capita income up in Oregon."
Governor Kitzhaber is convening the special session under his authority pursuant to section 12, Article V of the Oregon Constitution.