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Oregon Higher Ed Commission offers 30 grants, including $870K to Warm Springs Community Action Team

Warm Springs Community Action Team

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Higher Education Coordinating Commission announced Monday that it has offered Future Ready Oregon Workforce Ready Grant awards to 30 community-based organizations and workforce service providers to advance innovative and collaborative workforce development programs and partnerships.

A combined total of approximately $35 million has been preliminarily awarded, making this the largest round of Future Ready Oregon grant funding to date. 

“Workforce Ready Grants, Round Two: Innovation in Workforce Programs” support education and training programs that center the needs of Oregon’s underserved and marginalized communities and connect individuals to the resources they need for good-paying jobs and meaningful careers in key sectors of Oregon’s economy—health care, manufacturing and technology.

That includes $870,056 for the Warm Springs Community Action Team, to provide and expand
career exploration, training, and work experience opportunities — including training in Information Technology (IT) and solar technology — to Warm Springs Community members.

The HECC said it prioritized equity, innovation, and statewide scope in these funding recommendations. Projects advance innovative approaches to education and training, with clearly-defined partnerships, culturally-relevant services, and wraparound supports for training participants and students.

Projects provide access to education and training opportunities in all parts of the state, serve all three industry sectors—healthcare, manufacturing, and technology—and provide culturally-specific training and wraparound supports for all priority populations* identified in the Future Ready Oregon legislation.

Ben Cannon, executive director of the HECC, says, “Congratulations to this second round of Future Ready Oregon grantees. We are so pleased to expand the collaborative partnerships that are essential to engaging a diverse workforce and equipping Oregonians with the skills and credentials needed to connect to meaningful careers. Thank you to all our community partners who have helped to make this process possible.”

The HECC received an overwhelming response to the competitive Request for Applications—165 applications requesting a total of more than $250 million. Far more highly qualified proposals were submitted than the HECC was able to fund in this round. The HECC engaged partners in a rigorous review and decision-making process, centering equity, innovation, and partnerships.

A list of preliminary awards is included at the end of this announcement and descriptions of the 30 projects that have been recommended for Round Two funding can be found here. These include the following.

  • Twelve projects that advance equitable education and training opportunities in health care careers, totaling $15.2 million—including career-connected credential pathways in surgical technology, phlebotomy technology, dental health, community health, behavioral health, and women’s health, as well as emergency medical services/emergency medical technician, certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, and medical assistant programs, such as:
    • Familias en Acción’s workforce development project will seek to provide linguistically- and culturally-specific Community Health Worker training, certification, continuing education opportunities, career services, and support to community-based organizations in rural Oregon;
    • Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board will create culturally-specific programming for American Indian and Alaskan Native students in Oregon to pursue careers as behavioral health aides, community health aides, and dental health aides; and
    • Willamette Health Council will launch the Traditional Health Worker Alliance, which aims to address healthcare workforce disparities and increase access to employment and career development opportunities for priority populations in the Mid-Valley region. Numerous partnerships with employers and culturally-specific community-based organizations will be key to the development and implementation of this program.
  • Nine projects that advance equitable education and training opportunities in manufacturing careers, totaling $9.5 million—including career-connected credential pathways in semiconductor, bioscience, and mass timber manufacturing, such as:
    • Golden Rule ReEntry is establishing a residentially-based reentry and workforce development program for formerly incarcerated persons, including life skills, essential employability skills, community volunteering, and job training; and
    • Mt. Hood Community College will create incumbent worker career pathways with industry partners, including a mobile training lab that will offer specialized training in advanced manufacturing with an emphasis on semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Three projects that advance equitable education and training opportunities in technology careers, totaling $3.5 million—including digital literacy and exploration; career-connected credential pathways in unmanned aircraft systems and solar technology; and advanced technology degrees, such as:
    • The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will partner with Cayuse Native Solutions, DelMar Aerospace, and Blue Mountain Community College to offer pathways for unmanned aircraft systems credentialing and wraparound services through their workforce development program; and
    • EncodeXP will build a robust new model for training in digital literacy and create career exploration opportunities and pathways to entrepreneurship and employment in the technology industry, partnering with youth-serving organizations in Southern Oregon.
  • Six projects that advance equitable education and training opportunities to recruit and retain a diverse workforce in multiple sectors of Oregon’s economy—healthcare, manufacturing, and/or technology—totaling $9.6 million—such as:
    • Chemeketa Community College’s Community Pathways to Careers will formalize relationships with culturally-specific community-based organizations and tribal governments that support participants in career exploration, early internships, short-term credentialing, and employment; and
    • Connected Lane County will provide accelerated workforce education and training in manufacturing, healthcare, and technology for youths ages 16-24, along with internship opportunities and comprehensive support services.

Workforce Ready Grants are the largest component of the $200 million Future Ready Oregon package of investments (Senate Bill 1545, 2022). The Future Ready Oregon investments work together to advance a more equitable workforce system and provide training and wraparound services to jobseekers from priority populations pursuing careers in high-demand fields. Workforce Ready Grants support efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce in key sectors of Oregon’s economy—healthcare, manufacturing, and technology—by investing in new and innovative education and training programs that center partnerships and collaboration.

Future Requests for Applications for Workforce Ready Grants will open in early 2024. Please see the HECC website for the most up-to-date information on Workforce Ready Grants and other Future Ready Oregon activities. 

Workforce Ready Grants, Round Two: Innovation in Workforce Programs

Grant Recipient:Proposed Award Amount:
Boys & Girls Club of Albany$397,632
Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington$1,350,169
Chemeketa Community College$2,790,578
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation$2,130,362
Connected Lane County$1,400,325
Daisy C.H.A.I.N.$500,000
Familias en Acción$528,000
Golden Rule ReEntry$500,000
Hacienda CDC$1,000,000
Impact NW$1,000,000
Klamath Community College$998,817
Lane Workforce Partnership$500,000
Mercy Flights, Inc.$3,000,000
Mt. Hood Community College$1,000,000
Nestucca Valley School District                       $1,000,000
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board$1,000,000
Oregon Bioscience Association$2,077,342
Oregon Solar Energy Education Fund$724,621
Oregon Workforce Partnership$1,000,000
Portland Community College$2,235,649
Rogue Community College$969,722
Treasure Valley Community College$575,000
Umpqua Community College$1,007,226
United We Heal Training Trust$3,000,000
University of Oregon Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact $1,039,835
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center$750,000
Warm Springs Community Action Team$870,056
Willamette Health Council$3,000,000
Worksystems, Inc.$1,000,000
Article Topic Follows: Warm Springs

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