Investing for Lane County Businesses

As a capacity builder/investor, Lane Workforce Partnership’s Board is committed to enhancing the region’s ability to meet the workforce needs of local employers through the utilization of federal and state funds.

Current investments include:

WorkSource Lane

The average annual $1.8 million dollar investment of federal, state, and foundation funds made by the Lane Workforce Partnership Board of Directors into WorkSource Lane provides for staffing, training scholarships, support services, On-the-Job training funds, internet access, computers, and testing programs to ensure that jobseekers have the skills to meet the needs of local employers.  WorkSource Lane meets the needs of local employers through a collaborative service delivery effort between the Lane Workforce Partnership and the Oregon Employment Department.

On-the-Job Training Program

Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 the Lane Workforce Partnership invested $479,383 in the On-the-Job Training (OJT) program.  The OJT program is administered through WorkSource Lane.  The OJT Program offers Lane County businesses  up to $3,500 for hiring an eligible job seeker or current employee who is almost perfect, but is lacking a skill, or set of skills, AND is willing to train them on the job.  Known as a “hire first” activity, it creates a win-win for employers and job seekers.  Reimbursements are calculated at 50% of the wages earned by the new hire during the training period.

OJT brochure

The Business Welcome Network

Lane County’s Trailing Spouse Program

                      ~~ Providing Opportunities – Creating Communities ~~

The Business Welcome Network is an initiative of the Lane Workforce Partnership Board of Directors.  Staff from Lane Workforce Partnership listened to several large employers in Lane County (University of Oregon, PeaceHealth, Symantec) and learned that it is often extremely difficult to recruit specialized talent from outside of the area, such as physicians and professors, due to a lack of support systems, networking opportunities, and a perception of low job opportunities for a trailing spouse. Upon hearing this, the staff from LWP met with leadership staff from WorkSource Lane and together the Business Welcome Network was created.

The Business Welcome Network is a network of businesses, industry, and community leaders who are committed to welcoming trailing spouses  into the area and networking these individuals into the community.  If you are a business that is in need of broadening your recruitment package to include a support system for trailing spouses, please join us in the Network.  To see how you or  your business can become part of the Network:  Call WorkSource Lane at 541-686-7601 and ask them how your business can get involved in The Business Welcome Network.

Regional Innovation Training Funds

Lane Workforce Partnership and Lane County’s Community & Economic Development Department are continuing to partner in the 2016/2017 program year to invest in the Regional Innovation Training Fund (RITF). The fund supports collective training projects in targeted industry sectors focused on meaningful post-secondary credentials; and result in growth and retention of innovation talent in Lane County.  In May, 2017, two businesses were awarded grants through this fund.

  • Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) – Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance.  $55,150.  OMEP was awarded funding to assist Lane County small businesses of 25 or fewer employers in obtaining the skills necessary to develop a Food Safety Plan to meet FSMA compliance.  The participants will receive certification in Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) which is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) training.
  • Food for Lane County – Food Warehousing Training.  $30,000.  Food for Lane County was awarded funding to train 12 people over the next year in the areas of: safe food handling, warehouse equipment, temperature control, safety skills, inventory, handling of food orders inventory record keeping, and work readiness skills.  Completers of the course will obtain a Food Handler’s Permit, Forklift Certification, and a Lane Community College noncredit certificate in Food Warehousing Training.

During the 2015/2016 program year, the RITF provided funding for the following programs:

  • Hop Skip Mobile – Online Data Science Training.  $40,000.  In 2016, 17 students completed the training.  42 students enrolled for 2017.
  • WS Acquisitions – Advanced Lean Manufacturing.  $4.550.  13 employees earned certifications in Fundamentals in Lean Manufacturing.
  • Sand & Gravel Consortium – Commercial Driver’s License (CDL/Heavy Equipment Operator Training.  $49,000.  A six week CDL program that included classroom learning and behind-the-wheel training for up to 45 people.
  • FertiLab Thinkubator – ID 8 Entrepreneurial Training.  $50,000.  This project trained 21 entrepreneurs and accelerated 14 technology start-up companies.

Regional Entrepreneurial Funds

Lane County Economic Development, Lane Workforce Partnership, and the Cities of Eugene and Springfield joined forces to create the Regional Entrepreneurial Training Fund (RETF).  The RETF was established to:

  • Enhance training availability for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Develop innovation skills needed to critically evaluate ideas.
  • Build essential skills to act upon innovative ideas.

During the 2016/2017 program year, the RETF provided funding for the following programs:

  • Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) – Youth Food Innovators.  $45,000.  The program, Youth Food Innovators, will expand options for youth, create better education outcomes, encourage future generations of business startup, improve workforce preparedness, and align with the economic development strategy for Lane County.  The Year-long curriculum will help students design, test, produce, package, market, and sell a food product.  The program will be based at NEDCO’s Sprout Regional Food Hub and aligned with existing CTE programs and local economic development strategies.
  • RAIN Eugene.  $193,360.  RAIN Eugene was awarded funding to offer activation, training, and certificates for individuals in Lane County for activation events, pipeline programs, workshops, and marketing and outreach.  The investment in entrepreneurial training through RAIN Eugene will help to increase the viability and economic stability of early start ups.

Other Investments

  • FertiLab Thinkubator – Cottage Grove Entrepreneurial Training.  $20,000.  More than 100 people attended Getting Ideas to Market session.  Eight people participated in the start-up clinic.  Three companies were referred to RAIN Eugene.

Work-Ready Lane County

CWRC_logo_cmyk_0422As an economic development strategy, Lane County achieved its goal of becoming a Certified Work Ready Community.  View up-to-date progress towards the goal for all counties within the State of Oregon.

The CWRC program works in concert with the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), and serves as a validating tool that a community has a skilled labor force for targeted industries.  The Governor has identified the National Career Readiness Certificate as one of the administration’s key workforce development strategies.

Lane County employers are encouraged to sign a Letter of Support to recognize the NCRC in their hiring.

“The program allows you to assess people ahead of time before they come in the door.  The National Career Readiness Certificate includes a rigorous testing system…  I’m noticing a significant quality difference in the applicant pool since we started using the NCRC.”  Wayne Skipper, President, Concentric Sky.  Concentric Sky is featured in a video to bring awareness to the value of the National Career Readiness Certificate.

NCRC recognized throughout the state:

View listing of employers in Lane County that recognize the NCRC in their hiring.

Code Oregon

By 2020, there will be one million more computer programming jobs in the U.S. than workers to fill them.  To close the skills gap and prepare area residents with the skills needed to land these jobs, Worksystems, Inc. (Portland area’s Local Workforce Board) has teamed up with Treehouse to build the region’s future technology workforce through Code Oregon.   Lane County residents are encouraged to participate in the program.