OREGON CITY -- Thanks to a federal grant, Clackamas Community College is paving the way to train youth and young adults for jobs in the tech industry.
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded CCC a $3.5 millipon H1-B TechHire Partnership grant to fund innovative training as a way to keep and create tech jobs in the local economy.
Across the country, $150 million in grants was awarded for 39 partnerships in 25 states. CCC, partnering with Clackamas Workforce Partnership and other organizations, is one of two entities in Oregon to receive the grant.
The CCC program, TechHire Clackamas, aims to prepare and place youth, young adults and low-wage workers into full-time positions in targeted advanced manufacturing occupations. New career pathways for Industrial Maintenance Technician and Electrical Engineering will be developed, as well as new courses in cybersecurity.
"This program is about getting people trained as quickly as possible and getting them into jobs," Cynthia Risan, CCC dean of Technology, Health Occupations/Workforce, said.
CCC will use funds to create "boot camp" style programs and online options to give people the skills they need for employment in three months to two years. Using grant funds, this fall, CCC is launching an Industrial Maintenance Technician certificate/degree program along with a Limited Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship.
Examples of H1-B occupations include machinist inspectors, electrical engineers, machinists, computer-controlled machine tool operators, electrical and electronics engineering technicians, industrial engineering technicians, health informatics specialists, computer user support specialists, software developers, computer programmers and security management specialists.
Grants funds will also be used in Workforce Development to assist people in gaining employment through networking, job searches, job development, transportation as well as mentor and financial counseling.
The final component of the grant will connect people who have been trained or already have the skills required for employment, but are being overlooked, to employer-paid internships or apprenticeships to get them work experience and prove themselves to hiring employers.
CCC has a database of employers seeking interns. The college's Connections with Business and Industry network has connections with business and industry and Workforce Development has the skilled staff who are experienced in reaching out to potential employers.
Areas to be served by this grant include Oregon City, Canby, Estacada, Molalla, Sandy, Boring, Wilsonville, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Damascus, Happy Valley, Gladstone, Milwaukie and Tualatin.
A multitude of partners have signed on to support the grant, including Clackamas Workforce Partnership, Oregon Employment Department, CCC-Workforce Development, regional and local chambers of commerce, C-TEC Youth Services (Clackamas Career and Technical Education Consortium), Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation-Youth Transition Program, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, Pacific Northwest Manufacturing Partnership -- Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, Clackamas Education Service District (C-ESD) and the city of Canby Economic Development.
"This grant represents just one of the many ways CCC is addressing workforce needs. We are providing opportunities for students as well as partnering with local businesses and organizations," Risan said.
All of these resources will be used to connect participants with employers. It is expected the project will serve more than 500 participants over the course of the next four years.