The Back to Work Oregon Program is an innovative approach that integrates workforce development with job creation. It was proposed to Candidate John Kitzhaber by the Oregon Workforce Partnership and became the basis for one of his Transition Task-forces upon election. Agnes Balassa, OWP’s Executive Director, staffed the task force that developed a formal proposal for a $3.4 million investment into the program to be matched by OWP’s members.
Back to Work Oregon will put 1,325 Oregonians back to work by June 30, 2012. Oregon’s investment of $3.4 million will account for half of these placements. OWP members will provide the rest.
The program integrates and expands two existing programs recognized for their effectiveness: 1. the Oregon On-The-Job Training program (OJT) and 2. Oregon’s National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Both programs, administered at the state level by the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) and operated locally by Oregon’s Local Workforce Investment Boards have been well received by Oregon’s job seekers and employers.
The Employer Workforce Training Fund. One of the most cost effective ways to keep businesses competitive and people employed is to invest in current worker training . Oregon’s small and mid-sized businesses know that they need to help employees build the skills they need to success, but many lack the expertise or staffing to provide effective training to their workers.
The Oregon Employer Workforce Training Fund uses public resources and the expertise of Local Workforce Investment Boards to match company resources to fill this gap. Through this program OWP members convened industry groups to aggregate training needs and find cost effective solutions, further leveraging these resources.
The Oregon legislature recently passed a law formally creating this program, but did not fund it. Oregon is among the 1/3 of states that do not provide public investments for current worker training. A modest state investment could make hundreds of companies and thousands of workers each year more competitive. CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL EWTF RESOURCES, INCLUDING REPORTS AND VIDEOS…