May 31, 2009

Bumper crop could bolster the Beaver State

Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:56 pm

cherryPredictions are good for this year’s Cherry crop in Oregon (apparently there are experts who can predict this kind of thing based on everything from the weather to pollination patterns).  While this has ice cream sundae fans jazzed, it should also strike a chord with everyone else in Oregon (even if you prefer your dessert sans-fruit).

Lot’s of cherries means farmers will make more money and give a boost to that entire industry.  BUT, it will also mean those farms have to hire more people to get the fruit from the trees to your tummy.  That means lots of new jobs for local people.

May 29, 2009

An open-house on a city-wide level

Category: Community, Government — admin @ 1:31 am

Happy Valley, OR

Happy Valley, OR

The City of Happy Valley has a rather unique approach to the housing crunch.  Instead of waiting for a stimulus plan or for the market to simply rebound, they’re holding an Open City.  Well, they call it the City of Dreams event according to Steve Campbell with Happy Valley.  He tells GNPDX it’s kind of like an Open House but on a super sized scale.

While 150+ homes open their doors to prospective buyers this weekend in a massive tour-de-house, there’ll be an expo at city hall of all the municipal services (e.g., libraries, schools, police, fire department).  In short, potential new residents can check out more than their new digs, they can really connect to the community from the get go.

Campbell says they’ve never seen an event like this before and expect it will draw some great attention to the area (especially with temps in the 80’s to draw out the crowds).  For more info, click here.

May 27, 2009

Tomorrow’s gadgets TODAY

Category: innovation — admin @ 1:00 am

When I say “Science Fair” what image comes to mind?  A baking soda volcano?  Some diagrams of a frog’s insides?  Those tornadoes you create by attaching two 2-liter bottles with some water and then shake them up?idea

How about a bike that can be ridden by someone in a wheelchair?

That last one will be on display Saturday at the World Trade Center.  So will countless other gizmos, widgets and doo-dads, dreamed up by people right here in the Beaver State. 

It’s all part of the Micro-Enterprise Inventor’s Program of Oregon annual show case.  Four categories of whatchamacallits ranging from life-changing transport options for people with disabilities to technologies designed to make nursing easier for new moms will compete for top honors. 

And the winner doesn’t just walk away with a fancy ribbon.  They’ll get a full-scale marketing campaign AND the opportunity to meet with distributors in the hopes of launching their doo-dad to the public.

Space is still available.  For sign up or attendance info click here.

May 25, 2009

Flying for a good cause

Category: Charity — admin @ 1:01 am

Make A Wish

Make A Wish

Want to go the “extra mile” for a local charity?  Want to get more “mileage” out of your donations this year?  (Sorry, couldn’t resist the puns) well you might consider donating Flier Miles to Make A Wish.

According to Andrew Asato, Oregon’s executive director, the main cost with most wishes is the airfare.  BUT, you can donate frequent flier miles directly to the charity for use right away (he says Alaska Air miles are their favorite because they come with zero blackout dates and can be used immediately).

The cool part?  People are already doing this.  Even though cash donations are down thanks to the economy, they’ve received 8 million miles this year. 

To donate go here.

May 22, 2009


Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:00 am



OHSU is making life easier for patients.  They’re also making things easier for doctors and hospitals.  Oh, and they’re creating a bunch of new jobs, too.

Cool, huh?

It’s all thanks to Informatics (fancy word for “new way to share information through new technology” … we’ll try to explain it as best we can but might be best to visit the link down below for a more indepth look).  OHSU is pioneering the study and implementation of Informatics, which positions the place on the hill at the front of this booming field.

With federal stim money targeted for Informatics technology, we’re going to see a bunch of new jobs both in the manufacture of the new tech and people to operate it.  Plus, patients can expect smoother medical appointments as it gets easier to share info between offices.

Click here for more info.

May 20, 2009

Plant a row

Category: Community, Fundraiser — admin @ 1:00 am

The Food Bank hopes Gardeners keep them in mind

The Food Bank hopes Gardeners keep them in mind

What’s the number one rule when it comes to donating stuff to a food drive?  NON PERISHABLE.  Right?  Not this time.  The Oregon Food Bank is opening the door for perishable donations . . . the only catch is you have to grow the stuff yourself. 

It’s actually a really cool idea.  Through the Plant a Row program, gardeners simply dedicate one row of their garden to the Food Bank (it can be all one row of zucchini, a mix of rutabaga and carrots, whatever you like), then in the fall, you harvest and bring it to one of their distribution agencies. 

To sign up go here.

May 18, 2009

Denim Swap

Category: Charity — admin @ 1:00 am



There are a lot of local kids who don’t have a single pair of jeans in their closet.  Some may have a pair or two, but they are not in the best shape.  A  local boutique is going to change that.

For the past three years, Nolita has been hosting an annual denim swap.  Customers bring in their gently worn jeans (Nolita tends to attract a lot of designer donations but any brand works) and in exchange, customers get 20% off a brand new pair from the famed Nolita denim bar. (For those who don’t know, Nolita features one of the best jeans-buying experiences in town including a wide selection of brands you can’t find anywhere else and knowledgeable staff who can custom tailor in house).

The donations go to Big Brothers Big Sisters and to date, they’ve brought in around 500 pair.  The goal this year is an even 250.

For more info, and details about the big wrap party click here.

May 15, 2009

Making friends when mom or dad is overseas

Category: Community — admin @ 1:00 am

Oregon National Guard

Oregon National Guard

Let’s be honest, being a kid is tough.  Being a child with a mom or dad who has been deployed overseas can be downright unbearable.  What can make things even worse is not knowing anyone who understands what it feels like.

A Salem family is hoping to fix that.

In the wake of the massive deployment of National Guard soldiers last weekend, Laura Conley and her husband State Sergeant Major Brunk Conley created the Homefront Heroes in Oregon program. 

Dozens of military families will gather at North Salem High on Saturday where the kids can just hang out.  Activities are booked for every age group and Conley says the kids are usually surprised to see friends that go to their own school show up.

Incidentally, the program came from the Conley’s own experience with their five kids when Sergeant Major Conley was deployed.  Conley says she wants to make sure no family has to go through the struggles her kids did.

For more info, click here.

May 13, 2009

Another reason why Goodwill is amazing

Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:00 am

Travis Wolfe - Courtesy Camas Washougal Post-Record

Travis Wolfe - Courtesy Camas Washougal Post-Record

The story of Travis Wolfe is all too common.  Nice guy, hard worker, loses his business when the economy turns and then struggles for months to find a new job.

But Wolfe’s saga takes an interesting turn.  He tells GNPDX that after months of searching on his own, he went to the Goodwill Job Connection Center for help.  You see, while Goodwill offers training and jobs through their stores, they also have career specialists to help place people in jobs outside the Goodwill World.

Wolfe sat down with Steve Milford, one of their career experts, and they started talking.  While Milford offered tips on jazzing up his resume (putting certain words in bold, highlighting skill sets over titles), he also got a chance to learn about Wolfe’s passions.

Turns out, Wolfe just kind of fell into the mortgage industry and had a real passion for flying.  So now, instead of looking for a gig in mortgages, they started looking for something that would allow Wolfe to go back to school and learn more about aviation.

Thanks to Milford’s tips, Wolfe’s resume got to the top of a stack of 1,000 (yes, one-thousand) resumes and land the job as a property manger.  He lives onsite, makes a full salary and is only “on-call” until noon . . . leaving plenty of time for a full day of school in the afternoon and evening.

Think this is an awesome story?  Think it’s the only one of its kind?


6,400+ people were also placed in jobs by Goodwill last year.  20,000 got help in their search.

More than 22,000 people have been placed since 2005.

Oh, and all of those stats . . . their local to Portland Metro.

If you would like to find a new job or replace your current one . . . why not give it a try?  Click here.

May 11, 2009

A Mother’s Day Suprise in Tanasbourne

Category: Community — admin @ 1:41 am

They’ve spent the last month hauling boxes, resettling furniture, meeting new neighbors and adjusting to a new lifestyle.  For the new residents of the Springs at Tanasbourne, it’s easy to see how certain traditions could get lost in the shuffle.

But staff were not about to let something as important as Mother’s Day go by without at least a LITTLE something special.

Team members at the new Beaverton retirement community partnered with a couple local businesses (a flower shop and a spa) and assembled a menu of gift packages.  Then, they sent off letters to the families of all the new residents so all they had to do was call in an order.  Dozens of flowers and gift certificates were waiting outside doors Sunday morning.

One of the Springs’ concierge’s confides in GNPDX that more than a few families admitted that the holiday completely slipped their minds until they got the reminder letter in the mail.  Proof that the slogan “Everything’s better at the Springs” really holds water.