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Jobs, education focus of Gov. Brown’s Prineville visit


Governor Kate Brown held a roundtable discussion on a variety of economic issues with Central Oregon leaders Thursday morning in Prineville.

The governor heard from community leaders who are asking for more job creation in Eastern Oregon, as well as education leaders asking for more funding on continuing the expansion of OSU-Cascades in Bend.

Crook County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, at more than 6 percent.

Brown later toured the Facebook Data Center, which has created over 200 jobs in Prineville.

“It was really interesting to hear this morning on my tour of Facebook that a lot of folks that are working at Facebook today came out of the natural resource-based economy, and through training at Central Oregon Community College they have been able to essentially reinvent themselves,” Brown said.

Oregon’s timber jobs have vanished throughout the years, but Brown told NewsChannel 21 they are coming back.

In Douglas County, Oregon CLT produces cross-laminated timbers — a first in the nation.

Brown said that with federal public partnerships, the state can put people to work on clearing the forest and making it more resilient to help the challenging fire seasons.

The governor also said the state needs to invest in rural Oregon with road and bridges improvements, creating affordable housing and access to water and low cost power.

Brown later toured the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program east of Bend, which helps at-risk youths get their lives back on track. Watch Mike Allen’s report First at Ten on Fox.

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