State Capitol
Press Release
February 11, 2009
Governor Kulongoski Announces Creation of Public-Private Federal Recovery Plan Advisory Group
Advisory group will focus on leveraging competitive grant dollars to advance Oregon’s economic recovery efforts, particularly around green and sustainable investments
(Salem) – Today Governor Ted Kulongoski issued Executive Order 09-06 creating a new public-private advisory council to use Oregon’s green advantage to maximize potential grants from the federal economic recovery package to create jobs immediately and for the long term.
The advisory group – called The Oregon Way Advisory Group – will advise and assist state agencies seeking competitive federal stimulus grants by developing grant proposals that include innovative elements that promote sustainability, renewable energy, carbon reduction, energy efficiency and green development.
“I want to ensure Oregon is prepared to compete for – and win – as many of the $37 billion available in competitive grants to states,” the Governor said.  “That is why today I am announcing a new public-private advisory group to help use Oregon’s leadership and expertise in the green economy to capture as many of these competitive grants we can so that we can create jobs immediately and for the long term.”
The Oregon Way Advisory Group will be appointed by the Governor and will include representatives from the public and private sectors who can provide expertise and ideas for integrating innovation in developing Oregon Way project proposals around six key criteria:   Immediate job creation; Use of Oregon companies: Green job training opportunities; Advancing sustainability; Innovation; and Potential for future additional federal money through grants and other sources.
State agencies competing for a federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRP) will notify the Governor, who may advance the proposal to the Oregon Way Advisory Group for advice and assistance on developing the proposal around the six criteria. The Governor will then advance signature proposals to the appropriate federal agency for consideration.
The Group will also work to identify signature projects across the state that will showcase Oregon’s green expertise to the nation, which will help create jobs in the long term as others look to Oregon to tap this knowledge base.  Signature projects will be innovative, meet a real community need and create economic opportunity through both the supply side as well as job creation.
“Ultimately, we need to transform the way we approach public works projects so that we not only create immediate jobs in Oregon, but also continue to create jobs long after the construction of the project is complete,” the Governor said.  “We need to not only make needed infrastructure improvements, but do so while also reducing our carbon footprint, which will lead to annual savings for the life of the building and taxpayers – a win for our economy and our environment.”
An example the Governor cited for potential federal dollars is expanding the presence of solar highways in Oregon.  Oregon launched the nation’s first solar highway at the I-5/I-205 interchange last year, using Oregon manufacturers for the solar panels and inverters and emerging small Oregon businesses to install the solar system, supplying jobs and renewable energy today and into the future. 
“There are federal grants available in the bills moving in Congress that Oregon should compete for to help us expand solar highways to other parts of the state and perhaps even build the largest solar highway in the world,” the Governor said. “We can build on the past successes by creating economic opportunities here at home and increasingly export our knowledge to other states who want to follow in our footsteps.”
In addition to announcing a new advisory group focused on the competitive grants in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Governor underscored the state’s preparedness to put federal stimulus dollars to work immediately.
“There is still a great deal of uncertainty today about what federal assistance will look like,” the Governor said. “But Oregon stands ready to take any assistance and put it into action for schools, health care, and improvements to our public infrastructure, creating thousands of jobs across the state immediately.”
The Governor also reiterated the steps the state is taking to advance and accelerate an economic recovery, including the $175 million capital construction package the legislature passed last week, his $1 billion transportation proposal before the legislature, and investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
For the text of the executive order, click here.
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Jillian Schoene, 503-378-5040
Rem Nivens, 503-378-6496

Page updated: February 17, 2009

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