Treasurer Ted Wheeler
is promoting his Opportunity Initiative
as an economic development
strategy. His idea, the subject of a November ballot measure, is that Oregon should borrow money to create an endowment for college scholarships and grants.
The investment gains from the money the state borrows would fund the scholarships and grants. (For every $100 million the state borrows, he says, about $5 million a year would be available.) The students who take advantage of the scholarships and grants would strengthen Oregon's workforce, which Wheeler says is currently under-educated and lacks job skills.
Wheeler, who would like to be governor
someday, said in a recent interview
that the state's current economic development strategy lacks the singular focus on education he'd like to see.
Here are his comments: