Updates From Important Transportation Meetings

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Representative Susan McLain
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well and that you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and were able to spend time with loved ones. I feel grateful that I could step away from Legislative work for a day and spend Thanksgiving with a full house of loved ones and a new great grandbaby! It was a nice reminder of what is truly important and what makes this time of year so special. 

This past Monday, the Bi-State Legislative Committee tasked with replacing the I-5 Bridge held a meeting to review progress. It was an excellent and informative meeting between Oregon and Washington Legislators and the administrators of the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program team. We had a great dialogue on the opportunities and challenges we face, and I recommend reading more about it in this newsletter's "I-5 Bridge Replacement Updates" section.  

As a Co-Chair of the Joint Transportation Committee, I had the opportunity on Wednesday to join Co-Chair Gorsek and Vice-Chairs Boquist and Boshart-Davis in briefing the Oregon Business and Industries' Transportation Committee on the important work we are doing leading up to the 2024 and 2025 Legislative Sessions. Also related to my work on Transportation policy, I will be traveling to Austin, Texas next week to participate in a national panel discussion on how to fund future transportation needs fairly and equitably. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and what I learn from the meeting next week when I return. 

These recent and upcoming Transportation meetings relate directly to the work that the Transportation Committee is doing in 2024 and 2025 to support Oregon's immediate and long-term infrastructure needs. We are examining a variety of funding tools that are diverse, stable, and fair. The meeting with Oregon Business and Industries allowed us to hear from the business community on what they feel is critical for ensuring a system focused on safety, functionality, and resiliency that provides connections between modes of transportation and communities. In Austin, I look forward to hearing how funding models work in other states and what the latest research suggests are effective tools and strategies for ensuring stable, equitable, and sufficient funding to meet modern transportation system needs. 

In this newsletter, you will also find:

  • A Legislative update on FutureReady Oregon Grants 

  • A review of the Bi-State Bridge Committee meeting

  • Upcoming events in Washington County and a call for toys this holiday season

  • Important information on how to access Mental Health resources


Thanksgiving Family Photos
SECTION HEADER: Legislative Updates




The Workforce Ready grants are part of the $200 million Future Ready Oregon investment package approved by the Legislature in 2022

Oregon is sending a total of $35 million in grant funding to 30 projects across the state designed to support workforce training in high-demand industries.

It’s the largest round of funding awarded so far under the Future Ready Oregon plan approved by state lawmakers in 2022. The legislation overall steers $200 million from the state’s general fund and federal pandemic relief aid to education and training for Oregonians.

The plan focuses on historically underserved communities, such as people of color, veterans and people living in rural areas. Future Ready Oregon’s director, Jennifer Purcell, says the program targets workforce training in three industries key to the state’s economy: health care, manufacturing and technology.

To be considered for a Workforce Ready grant from the program, Purcell said projects had to originate from community-based organizations, such as a community college.

“We really prioritized equity and innovation and partnerships,” she said. “Projects that really consider the whole person, the individual’s needs, and meeting people where they’re at, connecting them to the resources that they need to be successful, both in education and employment.”

Purcell says the chosen projects demonstrated partnerships among organizations that not only provide job training, but are also able to help people dealing with things like housing or food insecurity.

The state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission is administering the package of investments included in the Future Ready Oregon legislation. The commission reported that more than 150 projects applied for the grant funding.

Projects at seven community colleges were among those to receive funding in this round of grants. For example, Mt. Hood Community College in east Multnomah County is creating a mobile training lab for advanced manufacturing careers with a focus on the semiconductor industry.

Other recipients include organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and tribal communities. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is on the list for its project partnering with industry and Pendleton-based Blue Mountain Community College to provide training and credentialing in unmanned aircraft systems.

Purcell says another round of grant funding is expected early next year.

Article from Oregon Public Broadcasting


Future Ready Funding Graphic
SECTION HEADER: I-5 Bridge Updates




Rep. McLain at Bi-State Bridge Meeting

I always enjoy our Bi-State Legislative Committee meetings on the I-5 Bridge, but this past Monday was particularly engaging and informative. We learned more about the ongoing federal grant process, about how a new bridge will impact local communities, and about the very impressive public engagement effort that is under way. Click on the image to the right to hear comments I made during the meeting about the important work we are doing. Because of the way the meeting was recorded, you'll hear my comments but the screen remains on the presentation slide.

You can watch the entire meeting here and access the meeting slides here. 

I have included some of the key information shared by the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program team below:

River Crossing Visualizations 

See the visualizations showing potential bridge types that have been released. The visuals are not a final design and don’t reflect property impacts. Click here for more information and to see the visualizations


Video of Proposed Investments

The program is developing a series of videos to walk people through the investments being proposed. These videos are intended to help people understand how the proposed investments will change the way travelers use the transportation system compared to what exists today - 

Oregon Existing Conditions & Proposed IBR Investments 

Washington Existing Conditions & Proposed IBR Investments 

Additional videos are planned to cover active transportation and transit and will be available on the program's YouTube page


Current Timeline

Link to a larger image and more detail on the next steps here

IBR Program Schedule


Join the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Team for a public briefing:

Learn about the program, what they are studying, and how you can participate in the environmental review process.

December 7 | 6:00PM - 7:30PM 

Event and registration details

IBR Virtual Public Briefing Banner


IBR Office Hours

Do you have questions and want to speak to a real person? We answer questions on a range of topics, including design, equity, Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprise opportunities, community engagement, financial plans, and much more! Join us for IBR office hours, virtually, and get your questions answered!

Visit: SignUpGenius
Email: info@interstatebridge.org 
Call: 888-503-673

Check out the Meeting & Events CalendarOpens in new window for more opportunities to stay engaged.

SECTION HEADER: Around Western Washington County




If you would like to donate items to the local Forest Grove Fire & Rescue Toy Drive,  please drop off your unwrapped donations to the Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, 1919 Ash Street, until December 18. Items for teens are especially needed.

Toy Drive Flyer




Mark your calendars for an afternoon of tunes and literary magic! Join the community this Friday (12/01) at 3pm and immerse yourself in enchanting melodies as Pacific University's Flute Choir performs in the Rogers Room. Bring your friends and family and experience the library in a whole new way! See you there!

Forest Grove Library Concert Flyer




Registration for winter computer classes through Adelante Mujeres is now open! Register today: https://www.tfaforms.com/4975598

For more information: Maria Luisa Piñon Glez Tel: 503-523-7906 | mpinon@adelantemujeres.org

Adelante Computer Class Flier




The City of Cornelius will hold its Eleventh Annual Holiday Tree Lighting event on Friday, December 1, at Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 6:00 PM. Veterans Memorial Park is located at 1251 Baseline Street between 12th and 13th Street.

Santa Claus and Mayor Jef Dalin will kick off the holiday season by lighting the Holiday Tree at 6:05 PM. They will lead everyone to Cornelius Elementary School for singing performed by the local school Choirs. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies!

Cornelius Tree Lighting




The winter months can be hard to navigate. If you’re experiencing stress, grief, or loneliness, you are not alone. While it is normal to struggle this time of year, there are lots of resources out there that can help.

Check out OHA's blog for a diverse list of mental health resources: https://ow.ly/gHMS50QavrA

OHA Flyer on getting help




The Hawthorn Walk-in Center for mental health and addictions care (5240 NE Elam Young Parkway) is expanding their walk-in hours. Hours are now Sundays from 12-4 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Even during these times, you are encouraged to first call the crisis line at 503-291-9111. This number is answered 24/7 by trained professionals who can help decide the best option for care. This may include helping you over the phone, referring you to other services, arranging a mobile team crisis response, or referring you to Hawthorn.


WashCo Crisis Line

SECTION HEADER: Important Resources

My office has compiled a list of resources for our community. You can click on the images below to open a document with the relevant links. If you know of a resource that should be included here, or you need a resource and are having trouble finding the information you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov.


Education-related resources


Click here, or on the image to the right for a list of Education-related resources. This includes links to the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts, the Oregon and US Departments of Education, information on how to pay for college, student lunch programs, and much more!


Wildfire Prevention Logo


Click hereor on the image to the right for important resources related to wildfire prevention and recovery. This list includes links to current fire restrictions and recreation site status maps, the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire prevention tip page, and important resources for wildfire victims. 


Resources for Veterans


Click here, or on the image to the right for a list of important resources for Veterans, including links and phone numbers to the various divisions of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, local Washington County assistance, supportive and community-based groups like the American Legion, and mental health resources.  


State and Local Government Links


Click here, or on the image to the right for links to important local and state government pages, including the Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius city government pages. You can also access the Oregon Legislature's page, and other important state agency sites, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Unemployment Department, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Important Resources



My favorite place! I hope to get over there soon. 

Oregon Coast


Yours truly,

McLain signature

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-493, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain