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Wheeler wants 25,000 middle income jobs


State Treasurer Ted Wheeler announced a plan for creating more middle wage jobs in Portland as part of his campaign for mayor on Monday

Wheeler calls his plan the "25-25 Jobs Strategy" and says it will create 25,000 jobs that pay at least $25 an hour by 2025.

“Portland is finally beginning to shake off the effects of the Great Recession and new jobs are coming our way. But not all jobs are created equal. We need jobs that support middle class families, not just low-wage work,” Wheeler said in a morning press release.

According to the release, Wheeler strongly supports increasing the minimum wage, but the next mayor “needs to do more than the minimum.”

“The reality is that $15 an hour is not enough to support most workers much less their families. We need to do better, which is why we need to work to support the creation of even higher wage jobs,” Wheeler said.

The strategy relies heavily on education and job training programs to help Portlanders learn the skills necessary to obtain middle class jobs. It also calls for investing in the public technology infrastructure and helping start-ups secure funding, particularly those run by female and minority entrepreneurs.

“We're behind Ted Wheeler's strategy because we're excited to see someone in the Mayor's office who gets what it means to collaborate. This is the kind of collaboration we've been waiting for,” said Willy Myers, Executive Secretary Treasurer, Columbia Building Trades Council.

You can read Wheeler's release at www.tedwheeler.com/ted-wheeler-announces-25-25-jobs-strategy.

The other major candidate in the race, Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, dismissed the plan through a campaign spokesperson.

"As an economist Jules knows Portlanders need good jobs to afford rising housing costs now, not in 10 years. He isn’t going to make fluffy promises. He has a plan and you can read about it at [Bailey's campaign website]," said campaign consultant Stacey Dycus.

Bailey's website is at www.julesbailey.com/plan.

Wheeler's website is at www.tedwheeler.com.