In March of this year, WWP applied for and received an Oregon Youth Employment Program (OYEP) grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. This grant will fund WWP’s Y-CAN (Youth Career Achievement Network) program that aims to prepare and place hard-to-reach youth in jobs.

The Y-CAN program consists of three phases.

  1. Phase 1 involves contracting with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to recruit youth to participate in Y-CAN.
  2. In Phase 2, the CBOs refer participants to WWP’s youth providers who will facilitate Rethinking Careers, an essential skills training program. The CBOs will provide coaching and support to youth during this phase.
  3. During Phase 3, WWP coordinates and places youth in paid work experiences.

Phase one has been completed and WWP is pleased to announce that seven CBOs from Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties have been selected and will begin recruiting youth in September, 2022. These organizations include:

  • Capital Field House/Keizer Salem Youth Basketball Association (Marion County);
  • Casa Latinos Unidos (Linn County);
  • Crossroads Communities (Linn County);
  • Salvation Army – Kroc Center (Marion County);
  • Unidos Bridging Community (Yamhill County);
  • United Way of the Mid-Valley (Marion and Polk Counties);
  • YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties (Marion and Polk Counties).

The CBOs will be paid $2,000 per each enrolled participant plus an additional $500 per participant for supportive services. WWP has contracts with these organizations totaling $250,000.

Congratulations to these participating community-based organizations! WWP will send frequent updates about this exciting program.

Coach Dan’s Coffee Stand Hires and Inspires Youth!

Dan Guajardo has been involved in coaching soccer for many years. After moving to Salem in 2018, he joined the Capital Football Club (CFC) where he now is a volunteer on staff.

When he first started coaching at CFC there was a small coffee cart that served coffee to parents and others during the games. This cart closed due to the pandemic and CFC looked for a new coffee vendor. Dan and his wife Marta stepped up and bought an 18-foot food trailer they outfitted for coffee service. Once the trailer was in place it was time to hire staff.

He recruited nine adult aged individuals and only three showed up for interviews. Those who showed up were late and inappropriately dressed. That is when he thought of recruiting youth. After researching labor laws, he conducted interviews consisting of standard questions and ethical scenarios. He hired six employees – four are fourteen years old and two are fifteen.

Dan discovered WWP’s Youth Wage Grant Program through a post on

Aumsville Community Connect, applied for and was selected to participate in the program. The $5 per hour wage subsidy for up to four employees helped defray start-up costs and keep wages competitive.

Coach Dan’s Coffee Stand opened in June of this year and all original employees are still working. He said they are “on time, accountable and problem solvers,” skills sought after by employers. He trains his employees on proper food handling and makes sure they have their food handler’s cards. More importantly, he emphasizes soft skills – especially communication. Dan’s goal for the youth he employees is for them to provide an “Exceptional Customer Experience.”

Dan believes in youth and wants to provide opportunities for them to “get their feet wet” in the working world. His commitment to youth, coaching, and coffee are commendable. Stop by CFC and Coach Dan’s Coffee Stand at 5201 State Street, Salem, and grab a cup!