Future Ready Oregon is Here!

The Time for Action on Workforce Training and Re-Employment is Now.

OREGON’S WORKFORCE CRISIS

Oregon entered the decade with a declared need of 300,000 additional postsecondary credentials to prepare adult workers for a future of increasingly complex work. The disruption created by the pandemic has exacerbated the workforce crisis, as well as highlighted significant disparities in how our workforce system serves Oregon’s communities of color. As in prior recessions, Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, and other people of color (BIPOC), people with low incomes, and rural Oregonians were hit hardest. Barriers to job readiness and career advancement persist, which is made more difficult by a workforce system that is often siloed, inefficient, and difficult to navigate. Now is the time for Oregon to invest in a workforce system that is collaborative, meets people where they are, and customizes solutions to meet the unique needs of individuals by building on existing program successes while advancing transformational change.

INVESTING IN OREGONIANS – ADVANCING A DIVERSE WORKFORCE

Aimed at realizing the full potential of Oregon’s workforce and meeting the needs of Oregon’s employers today and into the future, Future Ready Oregon 2022 advances Oregon’s economic competitiveness and ensures equitable opportunities for a diverse workforce. In particular, Future Ready Oregon 2022 will advance opportunities for historically underserved communities, including adult learners, dislocated workers, and disconnected youth. Investments emphasize recruitment, retention, and career advancement opportunities, while prioritizing key populations, including people of color, women, people with low incomes, rural communities, veterans, and Oregonians who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. Investments will focus on three key sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, and construction. With increased investments in infrastructure and housing, an aging workforce, and record retirements, workforce needs in these skilled trades sectors are projected to grow. These key sectors provide short-term pathways to meaningful employment, higher earning potential, and opportunities for economic mobility. Using a multifaceted approach through inclusive, culturally specific, and linguistically appropriate careerconnected learning, employment services, and related initiatives, Future Ready Oregon 2022 will create equitable prosperity.

PROPOSED INVESTMENTS

Future Ready Oregon 2022 proposes a $200M investment in Oregon’s workforce system that utilizes existing infrastructure to expedite short-term solutions, while making investments that aim to address inequities in the workforce system. It prioritizes key populations and advances collaboration and partnerships with diverse community-based organizations and workforce education and training providers through the following investments: • Leveraging Existing Successes ($92.5M) — Expanding investments in programs that are successfully providing career-connected learning opportunities for historically underserved communities, including local workforce boards ($35M), community college career pathways programs ($17M), registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs ($20M), credit for prior learning ($10M), and youth workforce readiness and reengagement initiatives ($10.5M). • Competitive Workforce Readiness Grants ($95M) — Providing individuals, organizations, and service providers resources and supports to remove barriers and improve access to the workforce system, and connecting key populations to job training, employment, and career advancement opportunities through: o Direct financial benefits to individuals, including stipends for earn-and-learn models and funds to pay for education, training, and wraparound services (e.g., tuition, fees, supplies, transportation, housing, and childcare); o Resources for workforce service providers to develop education and training Pathways, including culturally and linguistically appropriate credential pathways, career-connected learning opportunities, physical infrastructure, supplies, and technology; and o Opportunities to build organizational capacity, including investing in staffing, organizational and structural processes, planning, and other administrative expenses. • Benefits Navigators Pilot Program ($10M) — Providing local workforce boards with the opportunity to apply for Benefits Navigators, to be located at one-stop WorkSource Centers or community-based organizations. • Industry Consortia Pilots ($1M) — Investing in consortia for key industry sectors (construction, healthcare, and manufacturing), which will be co-led by a representative from the business community and a relevant community-based organization, and that will make investment recommendations to policy makers. • Assessment, Accountability, and Continuous Improvement ($1.5M) — An investment to ensure that the criteria for funding all activities serve the priority populations identified in the Future Ready Oregon proposal.

IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE

Future Ready Oregon 2022 combines General Fund and ARPA funding to facilitate immediate outcomes in the 2021-23 biennium and maximize extended opportunities through ARPA-funded investments. Services to participants, students, apprentices, community organizations, education and training providers are expected to be available for initial implementation in the 2022-23 academic year.

FUNDING CRITERIA AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Assessment and evaluation of investments will include both qualitative and quantitative data and a commitment to continuous improvement, ensuring that the following minimum data will be collected by priority population served and further disaggregated by race, identifying disparities, and informing strategies to address inequities: • Number of Oregonians entering and completing high-value credential pathways, including registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. • Job placement rates and earnings for education/training participants. • High-value credential pathways developed, including new registered apprenticeship and preapprenticeship programs. • Types and amounts of benefits provided for wraparound services and supports (e.g., tuition, fees, supplies, transportation, housing, and childcare). • Additional data may include high school graduation rates, community college enrollment, retention, and graduation rates, and recidivism rates.

Businesses in Support

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