By Laura Waddick, Community Engagement Manager, Our 42nd Avenue
It was an exciting year in 2015 for the economic development agency —Our 42nd Avenue. Small business activity by our clients and community partners was significant, with Morel Ink opening its first retail quick-printing and mailing services shop and Red Sauce Pizza launching in what was formerly Bob’s Rocket Pizza. Also, Cat Six Cycles, which sells and repairs bicycles, celebrated its second year in business!
New late last year is GO42, Our 42nd Avenue’s space for small business start-ups on the corner of 42nd and Sumner. Kristen Dilley brings Nightingale Acupuncture to the neighborhood; Inger McDowell brings With Love, From PDX; Vida Djorgee opened Essential Quality Care, and Rachel Hestmark brings Hestmark Designs. Rachel also runs a youth entrepreneurship program to teach kids concepts such as product development and marketing. Contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
In other business-related news, Our 42nd Avenue hosted business breakfasts featuring Mayor Charlie Hales and PDC Chair Tom Kelly, and 180 community members were able to connect with employers through the twice-annual Fresh Chance Career Fair, in partnership with Straight Path, Inc. Additionally, the Cully Farmers Market closed out its 4th successful season with new-neighborhood serving programs including senior volunteer vouchers, neighbor vouchers, double-matching SNAP benefits, and a pop-up library.
Early last year Our 42nd Avenue launched the Read Ahead Literacy Initiative in partnership with Rigler School, which trained and deployed 32 reading tutors across the community.
Plans for 2016 include the groundbreaking of 42nd Avenue’s first community plaza in February, a process that began in 2015 with the gathering of community input.
Also, Mulu Terefe, the neighborhood’s employment and training advisor, will be hosting job clubs and employment related workshops throughout 2016! Job seekers should contact Mulu by calling (971)722-2140.
Our 42nd Avenue is a community-driven program that ushers equitable and inclusive economic opportunities to community members, including many of the people who live in the community around 42nd Avenue. We organize activities and resources related to employment, business development, land development, and community engagement. Visit 42ave.org to learn more.