As one of Oregon’s nine workforce development boards Clackamas Workforce Partnership (CWP) is responsible for not just investing existing state and federal dollars into the local workforce system but seeking funds for new and expanded services for Clackamas County jobseekers and employers. CWP has pursued funding for several new and innovative initiatives over the last few months.
Oregon Youth Employment Program (OYEP) – In March 2022, CWP was awarded $400,699.00 to engage youth in Clackamas County in education, training, and employment readiness services. This opportunity was made available to all workforce boards in the State of Oregon from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. These funds will be used to engage youth from historically marginalized communities, with an emphasis on youth in rural communities; Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Color; youth experiencing generational poverty; and youth from other populations facing historic barriers to employment, such as youth with disabilities or LGBTQ+ identified youth. OYEP funds will support and prepare youth participants for employment in one of the following sectors: healthcare; manufacturing; early childhood education; and the public/nonprofit sector. Participants will received comprehensive education and employment readiness services prior to a paid work experience in the sector of their choice, including internships; pre-apprenticeships; and occupational skills development activities.
HOWTO Round 4: In March 2022, CWP applied for $250,000 in funding to hire a Behavioral Health Strategy Manager to establish and oversee a Behavioral Health Consortium in Clackamas County (BHCC). (Note: This grant award is still pending.) This is the first behavioral health consortium in Clackamas County and will incorporate best practices from consortium models with demonstrated success in other industries. This funding will also be used to compensation consortium members for their participation. The supporting partners of the consortium include behavioral health professionals and service providers, educational institutions, community-based organizations and service providers, public sector entities, employment service providers, and economic/workforce development organizations. Letters of commitment were provided to CWP from Parrot Creek Child and Family Services; Clackamas Community College; Northwest Family Services; Cascadia Behavior Health; CODA; LifeWorks NW; Lutheran Community Services Network; Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon; National Alliance on Mental Illness; Oregon Council for Behavioral Health; Providence Willamette Falls; Portland State University School of Social Work; Department of Human Services – Vocational Rehabilitation; and Willamette Workforce Partnership.
This proposal provides an opportunity to convene key stakeholders to identify and address critical challenges impacting the behavioral health industry through multi-system, multi-sector collaboration. The consortium will help to streamline and develop training resources and career pathways for the existing and emerging behavioral health workforce.
The objective of the consortium is to:
- Diversify behavioral health workforce by addressing disparities in access to education, employment
- Address disparities in access to behavioral health services among marginalized groups
- Increase access to training opportunities for the emerging workforce and promote completion.
- Expand business access to essential supports, such as employee reimbursement training programs
- Enhance job quality for behavioral health workers in a variety of roles
- Use Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to support existing and new trainings.
Roundhouse Foundation – In March 2022, CWP applied for $2,5000 to expand legal record analysis and expungement services to residents in rural Clackamas County communities, including Canby, Sandy, Estacada, Mollala, and Gladstone. These funds will enable CWP to offer expungement services in rural geographic locations, which will increase access for people experiencing transportation barriers, childcare barriers, and more. People with legal records often face barriers to finding and maintaining employment that meets their needs and provides economic stability. Additionally, individuals with legal records also face issues in accessing supports for housing, food security, educational assistance, and more. These barriers – and the social stigma that comes with prior experience with the criminal legal system – impact individuals, families, and communities long after people have been incarcerated or on parole. This increases the likelihood of recidivism and create social and economic burdens that span generations. This grant award is still pending.
Harvard Business School Association of Oregon Consulting Project – In April 2022, CWP applied for a pro bono consulting service from the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, which is comprised of Oregonians who graduated from the Harvard Business School. Each year, they invite nonprofits in the state to apply for this opportunity. If a project interests alums, they vote to work on it (or decline it if it is not of interest). The opportunity may be a stand-alone session (one afternoon) or longer duration (spanning 4 – 6 weeks, as needed). CWP applied and has been invited to advance in the round of applicants. CWP will present to the full alumni group on April 20th. The project proposal will help CWP and local workforce system partners address one or more of the following: better understanding the customer experience within the public workforce system; developing shared communication and public engagement strategies among workforce system partners; developing equity-focused decision making processes for workforce system partners; and mapping existing resources and funds available to all workforce system partners.