Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, met with education, business, and government leaders on Tuesday
As part of a discussion revolving around economic development in Klamath County, two Oregon Tech officials were at the table with Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, and other education, business, and government leaders on Tuesday.
Oregon Tech Interim President, Dr. Jay Kenton, and Hallie Neupert, Interim Dean of Oregon Tech’s College of Engineering, Technology and Management attended the meeting to discuss Oregon Tech’s role within entrepreneurship efforts in Klamath. The meeting appropriately took place at the soon-to-be headquarters of Klamath IDEA (Inspire Development – Energize Acceleration) Center for Entrepreneurship and included leaders and partners of the project.
President Kenton spoke of Oregon Tech’s role and commitment for the project; “We have the ability to shape a workforce custom to the specifications of businesses that want to build in Klamath County. We’ve been working with Klamath IDEA, KCEDA (Klamath County Economic Development Association), and Klamath Community College to build bridges between organizations and keep our students here by providing the jobs they need.”
Dean Neupert was on hand to represent Oregon Tech and Klamath IDEA, of which she is on the executive board of directors. “We’ve really worked hard to engage our students in entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Dean Neupert. “Oregon Tech has been expanding efforts to encourage economic growth within Klamath County over the last few years. One of the largest projects is Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge, an annual event that aims to support business ideas in Klamath Falls.”
The Catalyze contest encourages students or recent alumni from any field of study at Oregon Tech to produce a new idea, product or service that could become a thriving business in Klamath Falls, and has the potential for job growth in rural Oregon. The contest awards a pool of $17,000 to teams to ignite development of their projects. The contest has helped fund business ideas such as Gro-volution (“in the box farming”) and GO Possibilities (producing 3-D printers for graphene oxide for energy conduction and storage in numerous products). In its third year, teams present their final concept for judging on May 18, 2017.
Oregon Tech has also been working with KCEDA and business and community leaders to support Tech Hills Business Park, which is a vision to create build-ready sites to leverage technology, energy, education, and healthcare industries.
With the support of business and community leaders, many of the projects on the table for the rural opportunity initiative fit right in with Governor Brown’s vision for “this to be a ground up solution to business development in rural Oregon.”
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic university the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering, technology health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on, applied learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, an Online campus, as well as other degree deliver sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.