Local businesses provide employment for area residents and products and services close to home. Mid-county Memo Business Memos celebrate news, advancements, promotions, retirements, expansions and other noteworthy events at these cornerstones of our community. To share news of your business with our readers, Business Memo submissions for the February issue are due by Sunday, Jan. 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com. You may also mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, dial 503-287-8904. The Mid-county Memo fax number is 503-249-7672.

Drinking Jet Black coffee
Gateway, meet your new neighbors: Travis Coe and Karla Nolt. The pair are opening Jet Black Coffee, a vegan coffee shop, in the old Rose City Urgent Care building at 11155 N.E. Halsey St. As of the time of this writing, the main signage has already been installed along Halsey Street, and most construction has been completed. The owners hoped for an opening in the last week of December, although last-minute odds and ends could push it back to the end of January.

The Memo sat down for a chat with the owners of the new shop, which is an underrepresented type of business in the neighborhood.

Nolt and Coe both hail from the East Coast, although they’ve been living in Portland for roughly the past decade. They are service industry veterans and first-time business owners.

The pair plans to implement a straightforward space with espresso and drip coffee. They’ll serve Water Avenue Coffee, a local roaster.

“We’re hoping it’s a very warm, inviting environment,” said Coe. “I’m somewhat of a plant addict, so we’re going to try to cover the place with as many plants as we can.”

The pair has also thought about the fit with the new neighborhood.

“One thing we wanna make very clear is we’re not trying to change the neighborhood by any means,” said Coe. “We’re just trying to bring the neighborhood more options. There are plenty enough hipster places in Portland; I like Gateway for what it is. I’d like to try to keep it that way.”

In fact, in the online announcements for the shop, one of the only criticized elements in a sea of praise was the pair’s decision for the shop to be completely vegan. Those who are used to the traditional half and half must try a new option. The pair has a solution to that, too.

“I am gonna be trying to do some—not just soy—I wanna do some mixes that will taste good to people who are used to dairy. I have some friends that are not vegan,” said Nolt. As of the time of writing, she was experimenting with different dairy-free options and taste-testing with friends to come up with the best creamer.

Nolt says there will be pastries along with savory options.

Finally, the pair say to look for a unique and interesting experience in the architecture of the building itself. During the construction process, a lot of natural wood was unearthed, along with drop ceilings.

“I personally spent three weeks sanding beams on ceilings to bring back the natural wood,” says Coe. “It’s such a neat building.”

MHCC alumni earnings highest in state
Mt. Hood Community College was named in a two-way tie as the top community college in the state of Oregon by salary potential in a recent study done by PayScale, an online salary, benefits and compensation information company (payscale.com).

Looking at the salaries of each school’s alumni, MHCC and Central Oregon Community College were tied as the top schools in Oregon in PayScale’s 2016–17 College Salary Report, with the average median salary for alumni with an associate’s degree and 10+ years of experience coming in at $56,200.

Overall the list ranks the top 400 schools out of the nearly 1,700 community colleges and trade schools nationwide. The company used data provided to them directly from employees who completed PayScale’s employee survey.

“Mt. Hood Community College is committed to providing relevant education designed to help our students learn the skills they need to graduate and quickly move into the workplace,” said Jarrod Hogue, MHCC’s associate vice president of workforce, innovation and partnerships. “We’re thrilled to see that those efforts have paid off and to be named as one the top colleges in the state.”

According to PayScale, the most popular industries in Oregon are advanced manufacturing, clean technology, forestry and wood products, high technology and outdoor gear and activewear.

For more information on PayScale’s report, visit payscale.com/college-salary-report/best-schools-by-state/2-year-colleges/Oregon.

Xao Xiong joins Safe Routes to School in David Douglas schools. COURTESY SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

Xao Xiong joins Safe Routes to School in David Douglas schools.

Safe Routes welcomes DDSD team member
The Safe Routes to School team recently added Xao Xiong to its staff. Her primary focus will be on schools in the David Douglas School District.

Xiong plans to emphasize equity in her Safe Routes planning by prioritizing schools that require the most assistance. She believes that will help create a better quality of life for those communities. She looks forward to meeting and collaborating with the communities and microcommunities within the school district. “East Portland is rich in its abundance of culture, and I am thrilled to be a part of it,” she said.

Contact Xiong at xao.xiong@portlandoregon.gov or 503-261-8392.