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C.O. nonprofit no longer able to offer paid employment to people with disabilities

Opportunity Foundation says new state law would make it too costly

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In a letter to its workers and supporters, the Opportunity Foundation's executive director said the nonprofit will no longer be able to offer paid employment path services to people with disabilities.

Current COVID-19-related workplace restrictions and a new state wage law taking effect July 1 are the main reasons for the change.

In the letter, dated June 1 and shared with KTVZ by Opportunity Foundation Executive Director Seth Johnson, he wrote, "Beginning July 1, 2020 the Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon will no longer be a provider of paid Employment Path services at our thrift stores."

Later in the letter, Johnson added that wage law changes are also a reason why the non-profit will no longer be able offer paid employment path services.

"Another reason for this change is that we are being required by new state law to phase out the use of sub-minimum wage, which we also have used in our stores," Johnson wrote. "We simply cannot afford to pay the increased new minimum wage, which also goes up every year."

State Rep. Jeff Reardon, D-Happy Valley, who co-sponsored the bill, said nonprofits should be able to negotiate with the state to come up with a wage payment plan, making it more affordable for organizations like the Opportunity Foundation.

"Are we going to be actually putting people with disabilities out of work? I would say, 'No, I don't think so,'" Reardon told NewsChannel 21. "The reason for that is these quality rehabilitation facilities can contract with other state agencies, and this bill allows them to negotiate up to the minimum wage over a period of years."

The Opportunity Foundation said it will continue to pay its workers through the end of June and will offer unpaid employment path services when more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Opportunity Foundation representatives could not be reached for further comment.

Business / Central Oregon / Government-politics / News
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



  1. Good job Oregon Democratic government.
    I use to hire their people in my shop. They did cleaning, assembly work, and would scan and shred documents. I loved going to the pot luck lunches with the whole crew out in Redmond. So far… not a single regret moving my business from that state.

      1. His comment is clear, concise, and to the point – or is you issue because you don’t agree with it or don’t understand it because it is outside your bubble?

      2. Thank you Kate, Now these people will have nothing to do, The Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon, has been a wounder full and caring place for people with disabilities to go, and show the community they do have skills, have been, and could continue to be, valuable contributors to our community, and enhance all of our lives here in Central Oregon, and beyond.
        I myself was heart broken when they shut down the re-manufacturing lumber plant in Redmond, as I now see many of these wonderful people walking the streets of Redmond, with no place to go, now we will see more, this was also due to new rules meant to “help”. As we go forward, and keep seeing our society destroyed by these “Politically correct” Democrats, in the name of progressiveness, remember, you keep voting them in, and do not forget to wave, and smile, at these people as you drive by on your way to you’r job. On you’r day off take a drive into the BLM, or just the outskirts of town, and take a look, and have a talk with all of the homeless ask the if they have bee “helped by the Queen”, it should be obvious that Queen Kate, and her court are not doing their jobs, it is time to wake up folks, and fire them.

      3. anonymousktvz, Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
        Think about it, you may want to seek treatment.

  2. I wonder how many non-disabled are staying on payroll? Im glad we arent telling the disabled they are worth less anymore, its too bad some organizations cant get with the times!

    1. Actually it is not the times, it is about the money. The organization lives off donations – how much are you giving each month to them?

        1. Better to sit home and do nothing living off welfare in the midst of these progressive creeps. Their is an enormous sense of pride these OF folks had in their work. They loved being part of the team and earning a living the best they could. You know, this is heartbreaking for me. Since 2002 I worked with OF in one way or another. To KTVZ’s limited credit they followed up on Jessie who lost a big part of his life showing the human toll on these government rules.

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