WWP Set to Distribute Funds to Organizations

 Willamette Workforce Partnership (WWP) is pleased to announce that $812,000 in Future Ready Oregon Prosperity 10,000 grant funding has been recommended for disbursement to 4 community-based organizations to deliver training for the skills needed in occupations that earn $17.00/hour or more. This round of Future Ready Oregon funding is going toward projects that address occupational skills training in high-demand occupations. The funding will be distributed to entitles who serve Marion, Polk, Yamhill, and Linn counties, prioritizing expanding opportunities for members of underrepresented communities and rural communities, minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, or low-income individuals.

  • Chemeketa Community College was recommended for an award of $249,999 to train up to 36 individuals in Commercial Truck Driving.
  • De Muniz Resource Center was recommended for an award of $249,999 to train up to 45 formerly incarcerated individuals in Welding.
  • Medical Training Academy was recommended for an award of $246,562 to train up to 40 individuals as Certified Nursing Assistants.
  • Micronesian Islander Community was recommended for an award of $66,219 by Willamette Workforce Partnership to train up to 40 individuals as Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors.

The Future Ready Oregon, Prosperity 10,000 grant funding was a highly competitive process and had great participation. While WWP could not fund all grant applications, WWP staff, and application evaluators commend all applicants for their outstanding submissions and continued commitment to serve individuals in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Stay tuned for more information about WWP’s grant funding opportunities!

Making a Difference Across Generations

For every childcare slot in Oregon, there are three children to fill it. Lack of public funding and resources are a big reason why Oregon remains a childcare “desert,” according to Oregon State University. Childcare is a huge workforce issue and Dean Craig, Willamette Workforce Partnership’s (WWP’s) Business Services Director, connected with Tanya Schlosser to help address the childcare crisis in Oregon through WWP’s Youth Wage Grant Program. Tanya, who owns Kuebler Early Learning Center (KELC) and Ridge Child Development Center (RCDC) both located in Salem, applied for and received funds to employ eight young adults part time. Interestingly, some of these youth attended Kuebler when they were children.

“RCDC Lemonade Stand at Boone Ridge Retirement Community”

When they met, Dean immediately recognized that RCDC had a unique focus. Specifically that it is located within a Salem retirement community. Located in the Boone Ridge Retirement Community, RCDC opened earlier this year. It provides an opportunity for preschool age children to interact with older residents. The program has planned and spontaneous activities for children that take place throughout the week on the campus. When the kids and residents come together in a variety of planned activities such as music, dancing, art, lunch, storytelling or just visiting, the results are mutually beneficial. Since opening, the kids and residents interacted at a lemonade stand, an ice cream social, a pumpkin patch, and sharing blueberry muffins. Spontaneous interaction takes place when residents drop in and also when the kids are on the playground. Residents are fondly referred to as “grandmas” and “grandpas.”

Tanya has been in childcare for almost 25 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences and also holds childcare director credentials. While she doesn’t take credit for the idea of creating an intergenerational childcare program, she eagerly embraced the challenge when approached by Boone Ridge to partner to create the program. When she learned of the Youth Wage Grant that WWP offers, thanks to funding from the Marion County Board of Commissioners, she knew it was a great opportunity to support the work of the center!

Intergenerational programs bring purpose to the lives of young and old. The children receive so much more than an ordinary education and interacting with the kids stimulates and engages seniors and helps address the loneliness epidemic. This intentionally created environment is one where young and old can thrive together!

Join us in congratulating Tanya, Ridge Child Development Center and Boon Ridge Retirement Community for pioneering this program in our region. Shared sites in every community should not be a dream but rather a real-world, everyday option that creates better understanding between generations!