Lane County Sector Strategy Team

The Lane County Sector Strategy Team (LCSST) uses the nationally recognized model of Next Generation Sector Partnerships. This model brings together private business with partners from local government, education, organized labor, economic development, and community-based organizations.

Sector Strategies are business led partnerships primarily funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). These funds are workforce investments for talent development, job creation, and business competitiveness. We use local labor market data and analysis to inform our work and to identify the regional industries essential to our local economy and to respond to the ever-changing needs of industry and its workforce. In Lane County, our identified industry sectors are: Technology, Food and Beverage Manufacturing, Construction-Aggregate, and Wood Products.

Goals of the Lane County Sector Strategy Team:

  • Elevate Business Voice
  • Articulate Workforce Needs
  • Inform Investments
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Youth Support

Resources:


Why focus on Tech?  Here’s why…

Since 2015 we have focused on the Tech sector in Lane County.  The tech sector in Lane County includes roughly 616 firms in industries like software publishing, data processing services, and electronic manufacturing. Together, these firms employed 3,693 workers in 2021 and contributed over $312 million in total payroll. The industry’s local average annual wage is $84,534 compared to $52,596 for all industries in Lane County.  Employment growth at local tech companies is expected to be 22% between 2020 and 2030 compared to 15% for all industries. In addition, there are an expected 3,757 openings that will be created through replacement needs equaling 3,889 total openings or an average of 389 openings per year. In order for Lane County to keep pace with the industry’s demand for skilled workers, the workforce development and education community recognized that it would have to work together to strengthen the local talent pipeline.  Workforce development, education and economic development also realized that supporting this vital industry overall was an opportunity to grow the local economy and the area’s high-wage jobs.

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Talent Retention: Experience Oregon Tech
  • Tech Community Building
  • Advocacy
  • Events including the Big Mix, Hack for a Cause, and TAD Talks.

Want to learn more? 

Tech Sector Strategist: Sally Bell


Why focus on Food and Beverage?  Here’s why…

We have focused on Food and Beverage Manufacturing sector in Lane County Since 2017.  Lane County is home to over 163 food and beverage companies, which employs 4,027 people, bringing over $211M in wages to the area.  Going forward, the sector is expected to add 610 additional jobs by 2030 for a 16% growth rate, compared to 15% for all industries.  In addition, there are an expected 4,434 replacement openings equaling 5,044 total openings over the 10-year period.  In 2021, the Lane County average annual wage in the Food and Beverage Sector was $52,500 compared to $52,596 for all industries. Educational requirements for the Food and Beverage Sector are relatively low. Of the most common occupations, most require a high school diploma or less, yet employers in the industry report having difficulty hiring and keeping workers.

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Product and Value Promotion
  • Knowledge and Resource Share
  • Collaborative Development Projects
  • Events including Quarterly Food Business Unpacked, Eugene Food Startup Weekend, and Hiring/Job Fairs

Want to learn more? 

Food and Beverage Sector Strategist: Micah Elconin


Why focus on Construction-Aggregate?  Here’s why…

Since 2016 we have focused on the Construction-Aggregate sector.

The Construction-Aggregate sector includes roughly 1,186 companies. Together, these companies employed 8,212 workers in 2021 and contributed over $488M in total payroll. Construction-aggregate is expected to grow slower than the overall economy at 11 percent between 2020 and 2030 resulting in 904 new jobs, compared to 15 percent for all industries. In addition, there are 7,831 expected replacement openings for a total of 8,736 openings over the ten-year period. With above average growth, employment in the sector reaches pre-recession levels, which peaked in 2007 at 8,380, towards the end of the forecast period. Annual average wages in construction-aggregate are higher than the overall average for all industries at $59,429 compared to $52,596 in 2021.  Even though wages are higher on average than for all industries, most occupations in construction- aggregate require only a high school diploma or less for the typical entry level position, providing good paying jobs at lower educational levels.

Current Initiatives Include:

Want to learn more?

Construction-Aggregate Sector Strategist: Lyle Lang


Why focus on Wood Products?  Here’s why…

We have focused on Wood Products sector in Lane County since 2018. When we first launched, we focused narrowly on advanced wood products manufacturing.  After extension conversations with leaders in this sector, we pivoted to expand our definition to capture a broader list of activities that include logging and forestry companies and manufacturers of products that use wood as an input (paper, furniture, etc.).

The Wood Products sector includes roughly 219 companies. Together, these companies employed 6,037 workers in 2021 and contributed over $399M in total payroll. The industry’s annual average wage of $66,067 compared to the overall average of $52,596 for all industries. Wood products has played a key role in Lane County’s economy for generations, and through the application of innovative technologies, continues to be an important economic sector today. Forecasts show that the sector will increase by 2 percent between 2020 and 2030, gaining 102 jobs over the period. However, replacement needs, largely due to retirements are expected to create 5,883 replacement openings for 7,985 total openings over 10 years.  

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Industry Education; advanced technology, safe work environment, and job diversification
  • Community Pride and Awareness
  • Youth Education in Partnership with Forest Today and Forever
  • Advocacy for Policy and Licensing Alignment
  • Events Including Manufacturing Day, Oregon Logging Conference, and Hiring/Job Fairs

Want to learn more? 


Why focus on the Creatives?  Here’s why…

In 2019, modeled after the established identified industry sector initiatives of Technology, Food and Beverage Manufacturing, Wood Products, and Construction- Aggregate, an initiative was launched in partnership with Lane Arts Council and ArtCity focused on the Creative Sector here in Lane County. The creative sector is comprised of a variety of industries including those related to the production of apparel, art, publishing, and the performing arts. It also includes museums and historical sites. The sector is still recovering from the losses due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. Going forward, the creative sector should continue to rebound from losses incurred in 2020, especially in the performing arts. There were 565 establishments, employing 4,027 people, bringing over $171M in wages to the area in 2021. The average wage in the creative sector at $52,842 is slightly above the Lane County all industry average of $52,596. Creatives are essential to developing thriving town centers and supporting the growth of local commerce. Employers are seeking creative thinkers to think outside the box and build innovative solutions to address problems in our community and world. Creativity is one of the top skills that employers are looking for in 2020 (World Economic Forum, 2020). There are thousands of artist entrepreneurs in our county and hundreds of businesses that rely on creatives to support their business goals. Creativity is the seed of innovation and is essential to high wage and high demand industries that rely on creative thinkers to build solutions to business and community problems. Many industries including design, branding, media, city planning, manufacturing, and architecture, rely on the skills, knowledge, and innovative thinking of artists.

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Build a community and network of artists across creative disciplines
  • Raise up the perception and value of local arts in our community
  • Improve income and opportunities for local artists
  • Promote professional development for local artists and stronger arts businesses
  • Collect data on the arts sector
  • Events include: Artist Feedback Sessions, Arts Media Campaign

Lane County Artist Feedback Session and Survey Report

Want to learn more? 

Creative Sector Champions:

                                John Baumann                                                                           Mitra Gruwell


Why focus on the Transportation Sector?  Here’s why…

The Transportation Industry Sector Partnership was launched in 2021. The sector includes truck transportation, transit and ground passenger transportation, warehousing and storage, and related activities. Combined, these industries include 187 firms that produced annual average employment of 2,957 and $151 million in total payroll in 2021. Going forward, Oregon Employment Department forecasts show strong growth with the addition of 602 new jobs for a 21% growth rate between 2020 and 2030 compared to 15% for all industries.

Trade, transportation, and utilities is a large industry sector that is projected to grow by 3,200 jobs (11%) due to a recovery from the COVID-19 recession in retail trade and demand for transportation services as more people shop online and need products delivered.

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Regional CDL training through the Economic Development Association grant.
  • Future Ready Oregon Prosperity 10K Grant awarded to four Lane County transportation/aggregate companies to provide CDL training.
  • Promotion of new CDL training facility in Lane County.
  • Researching opportunities to provide CDL training to businesses in rural Lane County.
  • Ongoing new driver recruitment sessions are scheduled at WorkSource Lane.
  • Industry Champion – Tyree Oil

Want to learn more?


Why focus on the Child Care Sector?  Here’s why…

Child care is the work that makes most other work possible. Having high quality, affordable child care has been shown to improve employee productivity, attendance and retention. However, Lane County is considered a child care desert, meaning there is only 1 child care slot for every 4 children ages 0-5 years. There is only 1 slot for every 7 infants and toddlers in our community. These figures are taken from pre-pandemic data and we know have only worsened over the last several years. Locally, the average monthly cost of full-time child care is $886 per child. That’s 21% of the average median household income for a family with a child under 6 in Lane County. For families with income at the federal poverty level or below, childcare consumes 52% of their household income. And yet at the same time, child care providers struggle to cover their operational costs, wages are often relatively low with little or no benefits, and worker shortages impact day-to-day operations.

This position is funded by United Way of Lane County and was developed by Quality Care Connections at Lane Community College, Lane Workforce Partnership, the Early Childhood Hub of Lane County, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Onward Eugene, United Way and other key stakeholders.

Key strategic goals for the Child Care Sector in Lane County:

  • Support existing child care providers by addressing workforce recruitment and retention challenges;
  • Increase awareness of the importance of quality early childhood care and education, the role of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs), and career opportunities in the child care sector;
  • Build child care capacity by supporting quality local child care providers in scaling existing programs and helping those interested in starting a child care to build sustainable businesses;
  • Increase the cultural responsivity of child care by focusing on BIPOC providers, culturally specific organizations, and linguistically specific/diverse providers & organizations;
  • Strengthen employers’ understanding of child care benefits and support employer-based child care strategies;
  • Advocate for public policy and investments that support child care providers and families.

Want to learn more?

Child Care Sector Strategist: Holly Mar-Conte