February 13, 2017

Local nonprofit works with kids, receives funds

From Heart of Oregon Corps, 

$250,000 in Grants Awarded to Local Youth Serving Agencies Providing GED Wraparound Services
Young people in Central Oregon often need more than classes to succeed in earning a GED certificate. The added barriers many of them face – poverty, homelessness, and/or court involvement to name a few – require wraparound services to ensure they are successful in earning a GED and moving on to a job or postsecondary education. 

To address this need, the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission awarded a total of $250,000 to two nonprofits in Central Oregon that provide GED wraparound services; the East Cascades Workforce Investment Board (ECWIB) received $150K for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council’s youth program, and Heart of Oregon Corps was granted nearly $100K for their YouthBuild program. 

 Two of just 16 total to receive this funding in the state, these organizations will impact young people across the tri-county region of Central Oregon by minimizing barriers many GED candidates face in their journey to achieving the goal of earning a GED certificate and taking their next steps in their careers.

"This is a great example of the value proposition partnership can bring in securing the resources our community needs to cultivate a homegrown talent pipeline." –Heather Ficht, Executive Director, ECWIB.

Support through this grant will allow COIC and Heart of Oregon YouthBuild (HOCYB) to continue as successful GED programs in Oregon, focused on improving GED attainment rates through increased outreach and community partnerships, as well as individualized curriculum and intensive case management.

"COIC is expecting to see 157 GED completions this year, representing a 10% increase over last year. While some will go on to complete college level classes, many will enter employment for the first time." –Kevin Bradley, Youth Program Manager, COIC

Both organizations offer a job skills training component; equipping each young person with the soft skills that ultimately lead to longer-term success and employability.

"I’ve built houses, made friends, and done things out of my comfort zone. I had failed every math class in high school, but (program teacher) Kelly taught me math and I was able to graduate." - Scott Powell, recent HOCYB Graduate, who earned a GED certificate on top of his diploma

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