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Gov. Brown proposing $200 million workforce development plan

Gov. Kate Brown's office

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is proposing a a $200 million legislative package to bolster the state’s workforce during the pandemic.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the program, titled “Future Ready Oregon,” aims to prioritize key populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and existing disparities. They include Oregonians of color, women, low-income individuals, rural communities, veterans and those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.

Lawmakers will consider the plan when the Legislature convenes Feb. 1.

Three specific sectors would benefit from the program: Health care, manufacturing and construction.

Members of Brown’s Racial Justice Council, business groups and labor policy experts developed the program in late 2021, with the central theme of “meeting people where they are.”

That means investing approximately $82 million in existing programs that have shown results in putting people to work. Those include programs administered by the state’s nine regional workforce development boards, community colleges and career-specific apprenticeship programs.

The governor also wants to help especially hard-hit Oregonians by spending $95 million to solve problems that keep people out of the workforce. That includes covering the cost of tuition and fees for school and training programs, transportation, housing, food and child care costs.

The $12.5 million remaining would help launch initiatives to support those engaged in the program by helping them navigate the benefits available to them and connecting the business community to consortiums set up for each of the three sectors involved.

The total $200 million would be composed of both state general fund monies made up of personal and corporate income taxes, as well as American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Council, called the program a “game-changing and exciting” proposal.

“We have immediate needs. Employers need talent right now, and there are a lot of Oregonians who are looking for new careers as they’ve gone through the pandemic,” he said. “(This program) really is trying to reimagine how we provide education and training services to adults.”

KTVZ news sources

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tell Gov Brown that there are plenty of unemployed on Hummel rd,second street both in Bend and China hat road in the Deschutes NF. Maybe she should have a job fair at those locations?

  2. More handouts for the unwilling to work. How about taking a lot of this money and bringing back the tech programs to train auto repair people, HVAC people, well drillers, timber jobs, equipment opt training, truck drivers, and a pile of other blue-collar working jobs instead of the service sector jobs that feed on tourism. Health care already has enough money, St Chucks charged me $2200 an hour just a couple of weeks ago, not a nice surprise chuck.

  3. “Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the program, titled “Future Ready Oregon,” aims to prioritize key populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and existing disparities. They include Oregonians of color, women, low-income individuals, rural communities, veterans and those who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.”

    Classic Kate Brown. Everything is broken down through the lens of color, sex, income, etc…Side note, I don’t think Covid gives a crap what color you are. This woman is a gargantuan moron.

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