Together we have the power to transform Portland.

About us

Portland Means Progress is a city-wide initiative that began with early adopter businesses in March 2019, providing connections for businesses to hire local underrepresented students, purchase from businesses owned by people of color and create diverse and vibrant workforce and company cultures. The goal is to connect businesses to existing programming that supports social impact, creating a pipeline for private-sector engagement.

The initial early adopter phase started with a small group of businesses as thought partners to build out the initiative before it launches to the larger business community in 2020. During the Early Adopter Phase, we will implement a Community Vetting Process to inform the initiative’s development and center the input of communities advising the initiative’s development.

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Portland Means Progress Early Adopter event, March 2019


Partners behind Portland Means Progress

The Mayor’s Council of Economic Advisors identified the initial actions of Portland Means Progress. The Project Sponsors of Portland Means Progress are the City of Portland, Prosper Portland, and Worksystems. The Project Partners shown below are integral to the program success, supporting the development of Portland Means Progress, recruiting businesses, and providing support to the infrastructure behind the initiative.


Project Partners

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce

The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) cultivates and promotes cultural and business relationships among Asian Pacific American chamber members, local businesses, non-profit organizations, government, media, and the general public in Oregon and SW Washington.

Black American Chamber of Commerce

The Black American Chamber of Commerce focuses on helping its business community with growth and equity through networking, education and collaboration, and promotes future leader development through student scholarships & business community involvement.

Business for a Better Portland

Business for a Better Portland (BBPDX) forges collaborative relationships with the business community, non-profit organizations, and government. Rather than prescribe our own solutions, we listen to community leaders to determine where our business voices can be most helpful to their essential work.

Greater Portland Inc.

Greater Portland Inc (GPI) provides support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, a region that spans two states and seven counties. A true public-private partnership model, GPI is supported by more than 70 public-sector partners and private investors who are committed to advancing regional economic development through job growth and investment. GPI and our partners are shaping the region’s economic future and marketing Greater Portland to the world. 

Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber

The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (HMC) exists to create opportunities and grow the Latino community’s wealth and assets by investing in its community’s entrepreneurial spirit; supporting its future generations’ access to higher education; and preparing its emerging leaders to succeed in their careers and in the communities at large.

Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs

The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) is a non-profit, tax exempt membership organization with a mission to promote and develop entrepreneurship and economic development for ethnic minorities in the State of Oregon & SW Washington.

The Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler - City of Portland

Mayor Ted Wheeler convened the Council of Economic Advisors beginning in 2017 to advise the Mayor’s Office, Prosper Portland, and WorkSystems, Inc. on collective economic development and workforce development priorities. Portland Means Progress was identified as a key initiative of the Council of Economic Advisors.


Oregon Native American Chamber

The Oregon Native American Chamber (ONAC) is dedicated to working with all members of the community to advance the educational and economic opportunities for Native Americans in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon

The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon (PACCO) creates a positive impact on Filipino businesses and the Oregon Economy.  We do this through our active, engaged and diverse members and board leaders.  We are proud of our thriving membership that reflects our entire state and honors the growing and diverse Filipino community. 

Portland Business Alliance

The Portland Business Alliance (PBA) promotes and fosters an environment in the Portland region that attracts, supports and retains private-sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and enables quality educational opportunities for the region’s residents. The Alliance is the leading voice of business for the Portland-metro region. 

Prosper Portland

Prosper Portland is the economic and urban development agency for the city of Portland. We focus on building an equitable economy by carrying out a comprehensive range of economic development programs that support small business, improve access to workforce training, and create jobs for Portland residents.

Technology Association of Oregon

The Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) is the force behind the regional tech industry - supporting entrepreneurs, connecting peers and decision makers, and helping establish the Northwest as a global hub for innovation.

Travel Portland

Travel Portland generates travel demand that drives economic impact for Portland. As a private non-profit destination marketing organization with more than 750 partner businesses, Travel Portland operates a busy visitor information center, supports a climate of year-round hospitality, and helps our city, state and region reap the rewards of a thriving visitor industry. 


Worksystems is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that pursues and invests resources to improve the quality of the workforce in the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington Counties. We develop policies and design workforce development programs and services delivered through a network of local partners to help people get the skills, training and education they need to go to work or to advance in their careers.

ELI Program interns


Early Adopters

In March 2019, Portland Means Progress began with a core group of businesses as early adopters to build out the initiative thoughtfully before it launches to the larger business community. The Early Adopter Businesses represent both large and small businesses from a variety of industries.


Early Adopter businesses



have fewer than 3,000 employees


total employees represented


identify as minority-owned businesses


identify as women-owned businesses