For public hearing 4/11/17
To: House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development
From: Dave Porter
Subject: Proposed amendments to HB 3437
Please amend HB 3437 by adding the following:
Section 2. (1) (h) Economic growth abroad, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, over the next decades will provide increasing business opportunities for Oregonians with foreign language skills and foreign market experiences.
Section 2 (2) The Legislative Assembly declares that it will be beneficial to consolidate state-level coordination, employer engagement and oversight responsibilities with the State Workforce Investment Board and to align state investments in workforce development, economic development and education to the needs of key industries. The State Workforce Investment Board shall convene and engage Investment Board and to align state investments in workforce development, economic development and education to the needs of key industries. The State Workforce Investment Board shall convene and engage senior executives of traded sector and high-growth industries, the Oregon Talent Council, the Oregon Business Development Commission, the Higher ,Education Coordinating Commission, the Department of Education, the Bureau of Labor and Industries, the STEM Investment Council, local workforce investment boards, the Employment Department, the Department of Human Services, the Commission for the Blind, the Chief Education Office, the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, the Secretary of State’s Small Business International Trade Office, and the Youth Development Council to:
Section 2 (2) (b) (F) Expanded opportunities to learn Asia-Pacific region languages.
Trade relations and the geo-politics of the Asia-Pacific region are in turmoil. By 2050, the five largest economies in the world are forecast to be in the Asia-Pacific region. China continues to grow its economy and military. North Korea may soon be able to hit Portland with a nuclear missile. Much of the Asian-Pacific region felt snubbed as President Trump rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is difficult to foresee the long-term future of the region. But the region will be important and there will be many new economic opportunities for those who are ready and engaged.
Elsewhere I have proposed that Oregon needs an additional educational goal as follows: “To prepare the next generations of adults for the global economic and national security challenges they will face over their lifetimes.” And, in seeking to meet that goal, Oregon should ensure that sufficient students are learning the many languages of and spending sufficient times abroad in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan.
Oregon education needs to prepare its next generation for the opportunities and challenges the Asia-Pacific region will present over their lifetimes. Such skill development should be part of the Oregon talent pipeline.