Anticipated Jobless Recovery in High-Tech Economy Spurs Innovative New Educational Collaboration
07/11/03 Portland, Ore.
OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering teams up with the Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum (OEF) to offer courses
Many high-tech industry leaders believe the yet-to-happen economic recovery in their industry will be a mostly jobless one because larger businesses aren't expected to provide many new jobs when the economy turns around. So how will today's unemployed high-tech professionals find work in a jobless recovery?
"We think high-tech people who are currently unemployed will either create the jobs themselves by starting entrepreneurial ventures or go to work for such ventures," said Jim Huntzicker, Ph.D., associate dean of industry relations for Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science & Engineering, which is based in Hillsboro, Ore., the heart of the Silicon Forest. "OGI's Center for Technology Entrepreneurship is intended to support the entrepreneurial environment in the technology sector and, consequently, create a stimulus for job creation in the Portland area."
Because job creation at the startup level will be key, last month the OGI School of Science & Engineering kicked off a new initiative in entrepreneurship, leveraging its research, management of science and technology curriculum, and relationships with the technical community. As a first step, OGI will be collaborating with the Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum (OEF) to deliver entrepreneurial-focused seminars to the high-tech community, much of which is based in Washington County.
According to OEF director Linda Weston, "Westside technology startups will benefit from offering entrepreneurial sessions on the OGI school campus, given the graduate school's strong research and record of spinning off new venture companies and licensing agreements, plus the school's management in science and technology degree program geared toward working professionals."
The first OGI entrepreneurial event kick off in late June was extremely promising, noted Huntzicker. "There were 120 folks in attendance and about two-thirds of the audience identified themselves as entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs," he said. "This kind of interest in an evening seminar indicates that there is a real need for the kind of information OEF and OGI are trying to provide.
For information on upcoming OEF-sponsored seminars at the OGI School of Science & Engineering, visit www.oef.org and click on events. There is an "OEF Business Concept Workshop" scheduled for July 16 and an "OEF Business Plan Development Seminar" set for July 24. Registration is required and attendees will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. A monthly series of technology entrepreneur workshops featuring entrepreneurs who have "been-there-done-that" is slated to start this fall.
The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four schools of Oregon Health & Science University in 2001 (see www.cpd.ogi.edu for more information on public seminars related to high technology).
Founded in 1991, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum (OEF) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing opportunities for Oregon entrepreneurs and improving the business climate for emerging, growth-oriented companies statewide. Today, the organization has over 2,200 members through Oregon and southwest Washington. For more information about the OEF and its programs and services, vist www.oef.org.