Jan 25, 2021

Working Together for a Better Clackamas

Written By: Clackamas Workforce Partnership

The challenges before us are not easy to tackle – identifying solutions requires an immense amount of innovation, piloting and adapting. Perhaps most critical to finding solutions is by strengthening the workforce through proactive collaboration amongst a wide range of partners – from academic to the private sector to youth and our local government.

Innovation is not accomplished by one organization or sector and that’s why we are seeking ways to share knowledge, develop solutions, and accelerate progress towards a more responsive workforce in Clackamas County.






  • 1.91m Employed Oregonians throughout the state
  • 3,710 Women, Infants & Children received WIC services per month in Clackamas County (March 2020-December 2020)
  • 19,900 Jobs lost in Total Net Covered Employment in Clackamas County February – April 2020
  • 18,900 Jobs Lost in Private Employment in Clackamas County February – April 2020

For A Better Clackamas – The Year Is 2021

To list or describe the amount of change that has occurred in the past year would be… unnecessary. We have lived through what was a devastating period; one that continues.

Let’s break down workforce and development. Workforce means people. Period. It means people the same way student, customer, staff, talent, participant means people. Workforce is not about a single person, but the entire community, full of people. It means people exchanging their time, talents, gifts, expertise, compassion for pay.

Development is a process. It takes time and requires iteration, trial, and error. Trying to understand the world around you, and your place in it, begins the moment someone is born. Of course, genes and family history will play a part, and an important one, but we begin learning immediately.

Let’s Be Intentional

So to recap, workforce development is about being intentional about how each person is supported and learns.

I believe it is important to blend into the expanse of supporting and helping people develop with social-determinants of health. According to Wikipedia (proud contributor here!), the social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions that influence individual and group differences in health status. And health is everything. We are reminded that this past year. Have you ever tried to work or finish a project when your nose is running, you cannot stop coughing, or are in pain? Not fun stuff. So if we are talking about what influences individual (person) and group (community), this list is exponential. Where you live, the people you spend time with, what you eat, how much money your family makes – these all have impacts on lifelong development. Social determinants of health impact a person’s ability to work and learn.

It would be an understatement to say there is a lot that needs fixing. Education. Roads and infrastructure. Healthcare. Housing. And every decision and policy will probably impact a person’s access to health, development, and opportunity – in some way. This leads me to a closing thought.

We can acknowledge the pain and trauma being experienced by individuals, workers, families, small businesses, AND plan for the future each of us deserves. One where we learn from the mistakes of the past and apologize for generations of gaslighting every, single marginalized population, while simultaneously co-creating a more inclusive, dynamic community where everyone gets to participate and strive for the first words of the Constitution – Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.


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