WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
From Oregon Investment Guide 2024
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Oregon's Well-Rounded Workforce

WHAT IT TAKES TO BUILD THE TALENT OF TOMORROW

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Intel is industry’s first mover on High NA EUV, enabling continued process leadership beyond Intel 18A. Technology at this level requires a whole new skillset and training of workers.
Photo courtesy of Intel Corp.

by LINDSAY LOPP
E

merging industries are creating thousands of jobs across America, but there aren’t enough workers with the right skillsets to fill them. In Oregon alone, it is estimated that over 300,000 jobs that require post-secondary education or training will be created from 2020 to 2030. In preparation for this wave, the state has implemented a series of initiatives designed to address this issue head-on.

In 2022, the State of Oregon launched Future Ready Oregon, a $200 million investment package led by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to “meet the state’s economic need for an expanded and more diverse labor force.” To guarantee optimal use of the funds, eight programs were established to ensure success in communities and industries that need it more.

As outlined in the Future Ready Oregon Year Two Report, the programs include:

Prosperity 10,000 (P10K)
This $35 million investment allocates grants to Oregon’s local workforce development boards to fund community-based organizations (CBOs), schools, labor organizations and other workforce service providers to increase capacity and provide direct service to Oregonians in workforce development.

Postsecondary Career Pathways
Postsecondary Career Pathways are programs that link education and training with intentional student support to earn stackable credentials and employment in a specific occupation or industry sector. This $14.9 million investment provides grants to Oregon’s community colleges to broaden Postsecondary Career Pathways programs in innovative ways.

Registered Apprenticeships
This $20 million investment allocates funds to BOLI to award grants to develop and implement health care and manufacturing apprenticeships and to develop pre-apprenticeship training programs in health care, manufacturing and construction.

Youth Programs
The $10.5 million investment to the YDO provides funding for community-based initiatives that support youth who are disengaged from educational and employment opportunities.

Credit for Prior Learning
Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is the method of earning postsecondary credit for education and training gained outside of a traditional school. This $10 million investment awards grants to community colleges and public universities to develop and refine their methods of awarding and reporting CPL.

Workforce Ready Grants
This investment allocates $95 million in funding to the HECC to award grants for new and innovative education and training programs within the healthcare, manufacturing, and technology industry sectors. Funds support organizational capacity-building and provide direct services and benefits to Oregonians.

Industry Consortia
This $1 million investment funds the HECC to establish statewide Industry Consortia in health care, manufacturing and technology sectors. Each Consortium identifies workforce needs and credentials, develops effective recruitment and retention strategies, and fosters collaboration and coordination among industry, labor, education and training, and CBOs.

Workforce Benefits Navigators
Workforce Benefits Navigators (WBN) serve as a centralized point of contact to connect individuals to available resources and education and training opportunities related to the workforce. A $10 million investment allocates funds to the HECC to work with local workforce development boards to position WBNs throughout the state.

In the two years since this initiative’s inception, these projects have collectively served 9,441 participants, 92% of whom identify as members of a Priority Population, including women, persons of color, low-income communities, rural and frontier communities, veterans, persons with disabilities, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals, members of Oregon’s tribes, older adults and the LGBTQ+ community.

Preparing a Semiconductor Pipeline
To further prepare the state’s workforce for the onslaught of jobs anticipated with the growth of the state’s longstanding semiconductor industry, Oregon lawmakers passed House Bill 4154 in March, establishing the Semiconductor Talent Sustaining Fund. The HECC is set to add this initiative to the repertoire of programs it supports and will be in charge of allocating the funds to create semiconductor talent pathways throughout Oregon’s education system, including K-12, community colleges and universities.

Additionally, the passage of this bill requires that the HECC “establish a statewide semiconductor industry consortium for the purpose of developing a comprehensive statewide strategy to guide investments and build educational pathways and research capacity for the semiconductor industry.”

This announcement comes a year after legislators passed the bipartisan Oregon CHIPS Act (SB 4), resulting in state economists estimating that over 6,000 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs will be created within the next decade.

As opportunity becomes abundant, Oregon is ready to rise to the occasion. Rather than wait for jobs to become available, the state is taking a proactive approach to preparing its workforce for the potential tomorrow brings. 

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