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Old 12-22-2013, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
17 posts, read 18,372 times
Reputation: 27

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My wife, two young daughters and I are going to be taking a trip to Oregon starting January 2nd for 7 days. We are planning to check out Vancouver WA area as well. We are starting a search for potential places to move to. My wife is a third grade teacher and I would be looking for work as a truck driver. We plan to find places we like first, and then start seeking employment.

A little background on our family. My wife and I are both 36 and live in a rural part of Fresno County, CA. We are a conservative family and our daughters attend a private christian school. We would like to move to a place that has decent rainfall, even on a drier year. Somewhere that stays green at least a majority of the year. We have experienced a major change in the climate here the last several years. We are in a severe drought and temperatures are much warmer than they used to be. Basically we don't get a fall/winter season anymore. It gets old with everything being dry, dusty and dead all the time. I have been self employed as a farmer for many years. With the drought and climate changes, that is rapidly coming to an end some time soon. But I have experience working as a Class A driver to fall back on when we make a change.

My question is what are some must see places in Oregon that can be done within a 7 day time frame? So far we are thinking Portland/Vancouver(Beaverton, Hillsboro, Camas), Salem, Eugene, Astoria and possibly the Bend area. I'm not sure if I will like the desert landscape of Bend, but I think it's worth looking into as I have seen many good things said about the area. We are leaning towards Vancouver Washington area a little, as it looks much easier for my wife to transfer her teaching credentials than Oregon. And with it's close proximity to Portland, it gives me more opportunities for finding work.

Any of your comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Winter nightime low 60,summer daytime high 85, sunny 300 days/year, no hablamos ingles aquí
700 posts, read 1,357,244 times
Reputation: 1130
See my answers, comments below:

Quote:
We would like to move to a place that has decent rainfall, even on a drier year. Somewhere that stays green at least a majority of the year.
All the places west of the Sierras and Cascades, are lush and green year-round. Once you cross the mountains to the east, you enter the high desert territory, like Bend. The climate will be different, too. The west side is rainy, with warm winters (little snow) and pleasantly warm summers, the east is dry, cold in winter and hot in the summer

Quote:
My wife is a third grade teacher and I would be looking for work as a truck driver. We plan to find places we like first, and then start seeking employment.
Eugene has weak job market, Portland so-so, and finally Seattle a strong one. I think you have the better chance to find work as truck driver. It looks like teaching jobs are few and far between, except perhaps in STEM fields. School districts are cutting funds and positions left and right.
Above all, once you decide on a place, do not move unless you secure a job there first.

Quote:
We are a conservative family and our daughters attend a private christian school
The major PNW cities (Eugene, Portland and Seattle) are strongly progressive. The suburbs of those cities are independent\swing areas. The small cities and countryside are strongly conservative.

Quote:
My question is what are some must see places in Oregon that can be done within a 7 day time frame? So far we are thinking Portland/Vancouver(Beaverton, Hillsboro, Camas), Salem, Eugene, Astoria and possibly the Bend area.
Drive north on I-5. Stop by along the way. Look for employment opportunities as you go. I'd not bother with Astoria or anywhere on the Oregon or Washington coast - those are economically depressed regions and finding work may be very difficult. You can go there as tourists though - you can get good deals on hotels in winter.

You have good instincts with Vancouver, WA. It is part of the large Portland metro area, with many opportunities. It also is more conservative than Portland. At the same time, the cost of living is lower than PDX. Just make sure you live and work in Vancouver - this way you will avoid steep OR income tax, and horrendous commute to Portland across the Columbia river.

Last edited by skiffrace; 12-22-2013 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
17 posts, read 18,372 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks skiffrace for your quick reply. I am in total agreement with you on the jobs issue. We would never actually move until my wife had a job offer. I know it will be much harder for her as a teacher to secure a job. I have been searching and it seems there are decent opportunities for a truck driver.

I also agree with you about the job prospects along the coast, especially for a teacher. I have seen some driving jobs, mostly to do with the logging industry, that would work for me. But we would like to see the coast since we are going to be so close anyways.

As far as our conservative background goes, I want to clear this up a little. The actual area we move to does not have to be overwhelmingly conservative. We are mainly just looking to get out of California. This state has crazy laws against everything. I know a lot of outsiders think that Fresno and the rest of the San Joaquin Valley are very conservative, but that is really not the case. Yes the rural areas are, but the actual cities are quite different. I don't mind living amongst people with different views than me, I just don't want the state government telling me what I can and can't do. California has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and things are only going to get worse.

We think our first step is to visit some of these areas to see if we even like them. Then if we do, start sending out resumes. After my wife secures a job, we would move and rent a house for at least a year to make sure we're happy in our new town before buying a house.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,931 posts, read 36,657,506 times
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I think you are looking for the Willamette Valley. Bend is gorgeous, but it is high desert so there is the dust factor there. It does get snow though. Farming isn't great there.

Farming in the valley is good. We have lots of smaller farms out here and it is kind of the essence of Oregon. If your wife is bi-lingual, has a special ed certificate or something she will be able to find a job. If she has nothing other than an ordinary teaching certificate, I doubt she will get hired anywhere. We've had budget cuts like CA and they tend to hire back the laid off teachers first.

Of those cities Salem is the most conservative, but it is still a blue voting area. Just more moderate. Oregon politics are weird. We have a large libertarian base here as well as a large liberal base so we can have an odd mix of laws, I think.

Vancouver and Salem are about the same size. I'd consider Vancouver or Keizer (just north of Salem) so that you can access jobs in Portland.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,000 posts, read 15,821,796 times
Reputation: 2813
All of it. In seven days you can see the whole state. As a truck driver you will have no trouble finding a job, but look for someplace where you can park your truck while at home. Many cities don't allow them to park more than a few hours. And don't expect a lot of teaching jobs here. Maybe if bilingual she can bump someone who doesn't speak Spanish.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:26 PM
 
442 posts, read 995,239 times
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Forget teaching in Oregon, period, regardless of specialty. There are experienced teachers who aren't young chicks who have been substituting for years and years and can't get a teaching position. Districts and ESDs typically overhire on subs, so try supporting yourself on THAT, despite the 160 a day pay (statewide pay) for all-day assignments? Many on the sub list shouldn't even be allowed to do it--they are retirees who are literally double-dipping into the public system, and in this economy it should be illegal given the huge sub pools. It is almost impossible to get a regular classified position, even, unless you are a substitute classified for several years; then a crossing guard part time, no benefits; then move into a classroom aide job, also part time with no benefits; and then maybe after four or five or six years, you get a regular position with benefits. For the ESD STEPS programs for sped aides, the time frame could be shorter, but that is one hell of a hard job you couldn't pay me enough money to do. The job market stinks that bad up here (I am in Medford-Ashland).

I had no choice but to move back to this sinkhole of a state when I got illegally kicked to the curb in Nevada six years ago, and there is NO way for me to get out of here until I take early Social Security in three years. I MIGHT be able to obtain substitute assignments in another state and be able to support myself and my small dogs in a travel trailer. I am certainly not holding my breath I will ever be able to resume any stable employment in education in this state. I am trying for K-8 certification now and am forced to take idiot tests despite having an M.Ed. and six years experience in Nevada because I don't have FIVE years in ONE subject area.

Last edited by tonysam; 01-08-2014 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,000 posts, read 15,821,796 times
Reputation: 2813
Ya gotta wonder if maybe it is you. My niece was hired right out of school. bilingual are in demand statewide.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
17 posts, read 18,372 times
Reputation: 27
We just got back from our trip a couple of days ago. We really enjoyed our time in Oregon. I could see us living just about anywhere in the Willamette valley or the coast. Portland was a little bit too big compared to what we are used to. In particular, we really liked Cottage Grove, Eugene, Corvallis, Dallas, McMinnville, Beaverton and Lake Oswego. So now we really need to start a job search.

I want to thank those of you that gave advice. It really helped to give us an idea of where to look.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:57 PM
 
3,939 posts, read 4,358,680 times
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Two things... Portland is very unchurched... to the point where even mention you go to Catholic Church in casual conversation makes the majority nervous. Happy Valley in Clackamas County has a large Christian population. Nice community to visit but I actually don't know anyone who lives there. Vancouver also seems to have a sizable Christian population. Renting a house in Vancouver seems like an affordable option for your family and once your wife gets her credential, she can look for a teaching job.

Last edited by Yankeemama; 01-12-2014 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
17 posts, read 18,372 times
Reputation: 27
I forgot to mention that we did like Vancouver/Camas as well. Right now my wife is working on getting certified to teach in both Oregon and Washington. She has been credentialed in CA for 13 years. Oregon currently is backlogged on processing applications by about 4 months. So this will take a little time.

Unfortunately we did not get to visit Happy Valley. Even with a weeks time, it was just impossible to visit every town. With 2 young kids along, you can only do so much driving in a day. But we definitely saw enough on our visit to know that we liked it there.
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