Washington, DC –TechAmerica, the leading U.S. technology trade association, today heralded the unanimous passage of the Oregon STEM Investment Council bill (H.B. 2636) by the Oregon state Senate. The legislation had previously passed the House, also unanimously, and now moves to the Governor for his signature.
The bill establishes a private sector STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Investment Council that will help guide investment of an initial $8 million to spend in the next two years to jumpstart programs that help youth get interested in STEM careers. These will include in-school programs, regional hubs to bring schools and colleges together, as well as after-school programs such as First Robotics.
“Building our workforce of tomorrow is a top priority for TechAmerica. We are thrilled that Oregon has taken this important step forward and that we were there leading the charge. We are committed to the tech industry in Oregon today and in the future and this effort will ensure that the industry is strong and vibrant for years to come,” said Shawn Osborne, President and CEO of TechAmerica.
TechAmerica’s Jim Craven led the bipartisan lobbying effort to get the bill through the Legislature. He headed a coalition of more than 40 companies from all sectors and nine other business associations that worked with the chief sponsor, Rep. Chris Harker (D-Beaverton), and the Governor’s office to pass the legislation.
TechAmerica’s leadership was highlighted by Rep. Harker during his floor speech in the House.