Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Eleven Salem-Keizer elementary schools will see new principals in the fall

14 days ago

Oregon business groups call for incentives to bring laid-off workers back into the workforce

A 'now hiring' sign outside of a Burger King on Lancaster Drive in Salem on Friday, May 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Faced with an ongoing labor shortage, business groups in Oregon are calling on state lawmakers to create an incentive to lure unemployed Oregonians back into the workforce. 

The call came in a June 2 letter sent to Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Legislature that was signed by 30 local chambers of commerce (including Salem’s), as well as groups like Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and Oregon and Manufacturers and Commerce, the Oregon Health Care Association and others. 

The letter states that workplaces are safe with vaccines widely available and employers continuing to take steps to protect workers and customers. 

“We are ready to get back to work, but we are having a very hard time convincing employees to join us,” the letter said. 

According to the most recent jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Business, a record-high 48% of small business owners in May reported unfilled job openings. The state’s economic recovery could be stalled if the problem of finding workers isn’t resolved, the letter states.

The letter cited a recent survey by the National Governors Association that found three significant factors preventing qualified workers from returning to jobs: the extra $300 weekly payment tacked on to unemployment benefits, a lack of childcare and ongoing safety concerns. 

In addition to reopening schools and expanding childcare options, the groups called on using funds from the most recent stimulus measure to create an incentive program to encourage workers to take a job instead of continuing to collect unemployment benefits. 

"A modest return-to-work bonus may tip the balance for an out-of-work Oregonian deciding whether to stay home or move back to a job," the letter reads. "This can't wait." 

-Jake Thomas

14 days ago

Salem elementary schools announce new principals for 2021-22

Eleven local elementary schools will have new leaders when students resume full-time in-person classes in the fall.

The Salem-Keizer School District on Wednesday announced new principals for the 2021-22 school year. Several are being promoted or hired from other jobs, while others are switching schools within the district.

The new principals are listed below. More information is available on the district website.

Brush College Elementary

Jeannine Piscoran, a former teacher at Myers Elementary and current instructional mentor and behavior specialist at Lee Elementary.

Bush Elementary

Nubia Green, a former teacher at Highland Elementary and current instructional coach and mentor at César Chávez Elementary.

Candalaria Elementary

Jason Gundlach, a former Scott Elementary teacher and current teacher and instructional mentor at Stephens Middle School.

Chávez Elementary

Mónica Takata, current principal at Brush College Elementary.

Cummings Elementary

Andrew Kronser, a current administrator in the North Marion School District and a Sprague High School graduate.

Forest Ridge Elementary

Shamika Cleveland, a former teacher at McKinley Elementary and instructional coach at multiple district schools, and a current assistant principal in the district’s online Enhanced Digital and Guided Education program.

Hammond Elementary

Teresa Alfaro, a former bilingual teacher in Salem and current assistant principal who has served at Chávez Elementary, Swegle Elementary and the Enhanced Digital and Guided Education program.

Highland Elementary

Erin Rodriguez, a bilingual teacher and technology coach who taught English to elementary and middle school students in Japan for two years.

Lee Elementary

Erica Manzo, currently an assistant principal at Keizer and Scott elementary schools.

Morningside Elementary

Scott Stenlund, currently principal of Washington Elementary.

Scott Elementary

Sarah Grimmer, currently the Morningside Elementary School principal, will move into a co-principal job at Scott.

Washington Elementary

Magda Romero, currently principal for Cummings Elementary.

-Rachel Alexander

14 days ago

Salem wants to hear your thoughts on Union Street bikeway June 8

Cyclists cross the Union Street Railroad Bridge on Thursday, July 30. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Salem is holding a virtual open house where member of the public can comment on the Union Street Bikeway Project, which will add bike lanes to Union Street between Northeast Commercial and Summer streets.

The open house in on Tuesday, June 8 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Zoom link for virtual open house

Once complete the project will connect to Wallace Marine Park, Riverfront Park, Minto-Brown Island Park, and the Capitol Mall. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022.

-Saphara Harrell

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