LANE COUNTY TECH COLLABORATIVE
In 2015, the Lane County Sector Strategy Team brought the local technology industry together to discuss opportunities for expansion and to identify issues that inhibit the growth and/or stability of the industry in Lane County. As a result, Lane Workforce Partnership invested in the creation a local Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) chapter to represent the Southern Willamette Valley. TAO has been busy over the last two years tackling the issues brought to light at the initial industry convening. Their main initiatives include:
- Creating Business Driven Computer Science Curriculum in Local Colleges
- Improving Quality of K-12 Education (Lane ESD website)
- Increasing Internet Speed in Downtown Eugene (October 9, 2016 Register Guard Article)
- Improving Eugene/Springfield Downtown Image & Safety (Downtown Eugene Inc. website)
- Improving Air Travel Options In and Out of the Region (Eugene Airport website)
- Branding and Marketing Lane County (Travel Lane County website)
Why focus on Tech? Here’s why…
Lane County is home to over 400 tech companies, which employ 4,418 people, bringing over $329 million dollars in wages to the area. The industry’s local average annual wage is $71,620 – nearly double the average Lane County wage of $41,534. Employment growth is expected to be 28% over the next 10 years. This makes tech the highest paying and fastest growing industry in Eugene. In order for Lane County to keep pace with the industry’s demand for skilled workers, the workforce development and education community recognized that it would have to work together to strengthen the local talent pipeline. Workforce development, education and economic development also realized that supporting this vital industry overall was an opportunity to grow the local economy and the area’s high-wage jobs.
Apprenti™ Registered Tech Apprenticeship Program
Lane Workforce Partnership (LWP) and the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) have joined forces to bring a registered tech apprenticeship program to Lane County. The program, called Apprenti™, started last year in the state of Washington.
Once accepted into the Greater Eugene Area Apprenti program, apprentices receive between 14-20 weeks of certified technical training followed by one year of full-time, paid, on-the-job training with a local tech company. As a hybrid competency and time-based program, those with a strong determination to complete the rigorous training are encouraged to apply. To be considered for the program, applicants must be 18 or over, have a high school diploma or equivalent and be eligible to work in the U.S. Interested candidates can apply to become an apprentice by visiting https://apprenticareers.org. LWP and TAO plan to place 45 apprentices with local companies over the next three years. For more information, please visit https://apprenticareers.org/locations/greater-eugene/