Copy of Jobs


Salem’s economy should be a system that contributes to opportunity, a high quality of life, and a sense of community for the city’s residents, workforce, business owners, entrepreneurs, students, and visitors. The city recognizes its role in a regional labor market and business community, while asserting the primary importance of homegrown opportunities for the people of Salem.


Employment in Salem should provide living wages and opportunities for advancement.

No one should work full time and live in poverty. While acknowledging that small businesses must sometimes start with lean budgets and that some jobs are designed to begin a career path, jobs that do not provide a reasonable living wage are generally unacceptable. Furthermore, employment should provide formal and informal opportunities for training and advancement, either within that organization or otherwise.


Employment should be accessible for people of all education and skill levels.

Part of Salem’s charm is its diverse mix of people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, including education level. Salem should maintain opportunities for work that have low barriers to entry in terms of education, including opportunities for those with technical and vocational training.


Salem should bolster core industries, while increasing economic diversification and entrepreneurship.

Salem should support its core industries like health care, education, food, and retail. Building on these economic clusters will ensure Salem plays a critical role in the regional economy. That said, there should also be robust employment opportunities for people who do not work in those fields, and entrepreneurs should be supported. Economic diversification and entrepreneurship will also mitigate the risk of downturns.


Salem should maximize the opportunity to both live and work in the city.

Compared to the number of commuters coming into or leaving Salem for work, there are relatively few people who both work and live in Salem. Increasing the proportion of people who live and work in the city would reduce traffic congestion grow employee satisfaction, and grow community ties.


Employers should complement and contribute to the wider community.

Though many organizations rightly focus on their own internal needs and opportunities, Salem should encourage employers to foster relationships with their neighbors, either formally or informally. Reestablishing retail stores as sites of informal community and bonding between business owners, employees, and customers was a prominent part of many Imagine Salem discussions.

Imagine Salem Guiding Principles