ROSEBURG, Oregon – Umpqua Community College has received a $200,000 Workforce Readiness grant from the Oregon Department of Education, Youth Development Division (YDD). The grant will provide services and strategies to help adolescents and young adults (aged 14-24) develop knowledge, skills and abilities required to engage and succeed in trade professions.
The funds will primarily support the efforts of Bright Futures Umpqua, an initiative of Douglas County Partners for Student Success, which provides career-connected learning for youth in the county. Specifically, the YDD Workforce Readiness grant will support the following:
Hire a Career Connected Learning facilitator to support a new UCC pre-apprenticeship option for high school youth and young adults in Douglas County, and Expanding Horizons career exploration camps and events with a focus on rural communities.
Provide one Talent Advisor to local schools through a partnership with the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Board (SOWIB) to develop workforce readiness by utilizing Recruit Hippo to connect High School students to job shadow and intern opportunities.
Cover costs for supplies and fees to support students pursuing pre-apprenticeship and consumables for Expanding Horizons career exploration camps and events.
UCC is pleased to partner in expanding career awareness and workplace skills. These programs will give youth in our area a look at the trades and aid in the application process for local apprenticeships, says Robin VanWinkle, Dean of Community Education and Partnerships.
Garrett Mattox, a first-year, Apprenticeship program student, is focused on industrial automation and has worked at Orenco Systems, Inc. for the past six months. “The best part of the program is that it’s on-the-job training. We are getting paid while we are going to school. The new pre-apprenticeship program will help high schoolers get a head start. If you know what every piece of material is before you start work, this puts you ahead of the game and on the path to excel.”
Thomas Goddard, a first-year Apprenticeship student, is an aspiring electrician who wants to eventually own his own business. “It’s exciting in that no day is ever the same. I get to see something new every day throughout Douglas County, from older buildings that need repairs to newer construction.”
“The trades are underrated among people my age. No one thinks about going into the trades in high school, and they instead look toward getting a 4-year degree. This is actually a 4-year degree from my point of view,” says Goddard.
About the UCC Apprenticeship Program
UCC provides training for 150 local apprentices and supports the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) and Trade Apprenticeship Training Committee (TATC) for industrial trades, industrial electricians and inside electricians. In addition to earning a Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recognized Journey Level credential, students have the option to pursue a one-year Certificate and two-year Associate Degree.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.