KLAMATH FALLS – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown traveled to Klamath Falls to meet Tuesday with local education, business, and government leaders.
Klamath Community College President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez spoke with Brown about the College’s dedication to supporting community initiatives that “incubate” entrepreneurs and encourage multi-tiered economic growth.
Brown said she supports rural communities seeking solutions that best fit their communities because solutions should evolve from the ground up, not the top down.
“We are extremely thankful that Gov. Brown has chosen to show support for our growing economy in Klamath Falls,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez. “We advance by working together.”
Gutierrez was joined by OIT Interim President Dr. Jay Kenton and state dignitaries Sen. Dennis Linthicum and U.S. Rep. Werner Reschke. Local government leaders and representatives from several business advocacy organizations also attended.
The meeting was held in downtown Klamath Falls at the new Klamath IDEA Center for Entrepreneurship, which is expected to open before spring. The center will serve as a space for community members to obtain information and resources about entrepreneurship. It will be used as a business training classroom in the afternoons and evenings, and on weekends.
“The center’s partners hope to continue to grow meaningful and valuable networking and training opportunities for our entrepreneurial and small business communities,” said Kat Rutledge, who is director of the KCC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and chair of Klamath IDEA.
At the meeting with Brown, Gutierrez spoke about the nation’s shrinking middle class and the immediate need for colleges, including KCC, to develop programs that will grow a well-trained workforce.
“It’s imperative for the health of our community that more people are entering jobs that pay living wages,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said KCC is dedicated to creating opportunities that can seamlessly move high school students into college and the workforce.
Gutierrez and OIT Interim President Dr. Jay Kenton both agreed that keeping talent in Klamath Falls and the surrounding area is crucial for establishing a more balanced community and economy.
Klamath Community College is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.