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Business briefs for March 16

Chamber forum to discuss economic future

The Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its weekly Connect With Success AM meeting from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday, March 18, at the USS Ranger Foundation offices, Fairview City Hall, 1300 N.E. Village St.

The networking event is free.

The Government Affairs Council Lunch Forum will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, at Heidi's of Gresham, 1230 N.E. Cleveland Ave. Travis Stovall, executive director of East Metro Economic Alliance, will be speaking on the topic, 'Prosperity in East County: What Does it Take?'

Cost is $20 per person, which includes lunch. To register, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-665-1131.

New board member for KZME radio

MetroEast Community Media has appointed Brooklyn Baggett as a new member of the board of directors.

Baggett serves on the MetroEast board with the primary emphasis on MetroEast's proposed radio station, KZME

A local entertainment attorney with an emphasis in working with local musicians and artists, Baggett started working with MetroEast this past year, helping the radio station find local venues and bands during fundraising efforts.

Baggett has been involved in the arts communities of various cities for the past 10 years. During law school at Lewis and Clark College, Baggett began working in the local music community, both as a photographer and on the business side.

MetroEast holds a construction permit for KZME radio, dedicated to local music, local arts and culture and East County public affairs. It is currently broadcasting on 107.1 FM in a programming partnership with KMHD2 of Mt. Hood Community College.

Women's group to feature guest speaker

The American Association of University Women monthly membership meeting will feature Sunny Petit, associate director of the Center for Women, Politics and Policy, as the featured speaker for the March meeting from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 28, at Gresham Chapel and Evening Event Center, 257 S.E. Roberts Ave.

Petit is the associate director of the center, which promotes the education and empowerment of women and girls through civic leadership programs and research.

Founded in 1971, the Gresham branch of the American Association of University Women has more than 90 members.

For information, visit greshamaauw.org or call 503-341-2877.

Employment rate hovers near 10 percent

State employment rate hovers around 10 percent, construction sees boost

Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.2 percent in February, essentially unchanged from 10.4 percent in January, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Here are some other recent statistical tidbits from the department:

• The U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in February, essentially unchanged from 9.0 percent in January.

• In February, 217,789 Oregonians were unemployed.

• In February, Oregon's seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll employment rose by 9,800, following a revised gain of 6,700 in January.

• February marked Oregon's lowest unemployment rate in 25 months. Oregon's rate has not been lower since January 2009, when the rate was 9.9 percent.

• Construction added 1,200 jobs in February, when a loss of 800 is the normal seasonal movement. Most of the gains came from specialty trade contractors, which added 1,000.

• Retail trade bounced upward strongly a few months ago and has held that higher seasonally adjusted employment level. On an unadjusted basis, retail employed 182,300 in February, which was a gain of 5,000 from February 2010.

• Professional and business services added 3,300 jobs in February, when a gain of only 1,200 is the normal seasonal movement.

• Leisure and hospitality spiked upward for the second consecutive month in February. At 159,500 jobs, the industry is now 5,100 jobs above its February 2010 figure.