Morning Roundup

Lattice sale moves forward, Portland considers split with Wells Fargo and Oregon’s transportation crisis is at a tipping point.

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Board approves Lattice Semiconductor sale

Board approval of the controversial sale to Chinese investors moves the process forward, but investors are still skeptical the deal will succeed, the Oregonian reports. Canyon Bridge Capital Partners intends to purchase Lattice for $1.3 billion, with backing from the Chinese government. The deal still needs approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment and a signature from the President. 

Portland might part ways with Wells Fargo

Mayor Ted Wheeler announced on Twitter he’s asked the Office of Management and Finance to solicit banking service proposals for the city, the Portland Business Journal reports. Portland currently contracts with Wells Fargo.

Portland isn’t the first to consider ending its agreement with Wells Fargo. Seattle made a similar decision recently citing Wells Fargo’s customer account fraud scandal and its financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline as cause.

OB Original Blog: Oregon’s transportation crisis ‘at a tipping point’

The state’s underinvestment in transportation is at a crisis point that will force the hand of the public and private sector to consider alternative funding sources, said panelists at an Oregon Business Hot Topics, Cool Talks discussion yesterday.

With that tipping point in mind, Rep. Rich Vial, R-Scholls, has introduced a bill with the ultimate goal of constructing a new highway crossing the Columbia River, the Oregonian reports. Vial is calling his project the Northwest Passage. If approved, the bill would allow cities and counties state-wide to contract and operate limited-access highways, funded by tolls, bonds or local taxes. Vial’s bill wouldn’t immediately provide the framework for a Columbia River crossing, but allow local government officials to take action.

Oregon unemployment rate drops again

The rate, 4.3%, is now the lowest it’s been since record-keeping began in 1976, OPB reports. The construction industry added more than 11% to its workforce, about 10,000 jobs. Only three industries faced cuts in January: manufacturing, mining and logging.

OB Guest Blog: Freedom to Farm 

Regulations hinder hiring of young workers.

The University of Oregon is making staffing cuts

UO will layoff 75 nontenured faculty to cut costs, the Register Guard reports. More cuts could be on the way, according to UO’s labor union. The university is facing a $8.8 million budget deficit. Tuition is also expected to increase 10.6% for students.

Meanwhile, University of Portland is expanding

UP is planning a new academic center, just months after it opened a new residential hall, the Portland Business Journal reports. The center is largely funded by a $15 million pledge from Board of Regents member Amy Dundon-Berchtold and alumnus Jim Berchtold.

ROSE Community Development Corporation, APANO partner on mixed-use development

The partnership will work to develop 48 units of affordable housing coupled with a community center in East Portland. The $16.5 million development will “serve as a bulwark against gentrification and a mission-driven space for communities of color, immigrants and refugees,” according to a press release. APANO was fundraising separately to build the community center before partnering with ROSE to build the mixed-use space.