BEND, OR -- Governor Kate Brown was in Bend Wednesday to sign HB 5702, a $39 million statewide investment in a new academic building at OSU Cascades. University Vice President Becky Johnson say the process to get the funds was an arduous one, involving people not just from the college, but also legislators, community leaders, and business owners. Johnson told the crowd, "Many of those community members took the time to make their voices heard in Salem during the last few legislative sessions. I wouldn't be surprised if the Governor says she's tired of hearing from Central Oregonians." Amid laughter, Brown responded, Never!" The new building will be dedicated to STEAM studies: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) says the bill's approval was a long time coming, but says he knew it would happen once Brown threw in her support. "Many of you, like me, were disappointed at the outcome of the '17 session. But, I got a call from the Governor after that session, and she made a commitment that she would work with me and the Central Oregon delegation, to get to where we needed to be for the new academic building and for the bonds for OSU Cascades." State Representative (R-Powell Butte) and La Pine Mayor Dennis Scott also attended the bill signing.
Governor Brown says watching the school's expansion and knowing she has a part in it, makes her proud, "I'm just really excited to see OSU Cascades continue to flourish and support innovation in Central Oregon. The vitality of the Central Oregon economy is very much dependent on our students and making sure that they're prepared for the workforce of the future." She says the technology students can learn at OSU Cascades go hand-in-hand with her Future Ready Oregon program, which she says will bring more tech-related apprenticeships and jobs to Oregon. Earlier in the day, Brown met with the program's developers and potential participants at Five Talent
. "What I love about this place, is everybody is working together, rowing in the same direction," said Governor Brown, "Local leaders, legislators, and business are all at the table, working on a strategy focused on people, place, and prosperity for all."