Umpqua Community College received a $200,000 Workforce Readiness Grant to give additional services for teens and young adults pursuing careers in trade professions.

The grant comes from the Oregon Department of Education’s Youth Development Division and will offer support for Bright Futures Umpqua, an initiative of Douglas County Partners for Student Success that gives career-centered learning options for students in the county.

Through the funding, the college will be able to cover costs and supplies to support students for its Expanding Horizons career camps and events. In addition, this will open the door for the onboarding of a new facilitator for its pre-apprenticeship option for Douglas County youth and young adults. An advisor will also be hired to work with local schools to help students develop workplace readiness skills while also connecting them to internship opportunities.

“UCC is pleased to partner in expanding career awareness and workplace skills,” said Robin VanWinkle, dean of community education and partnerships. “These programs will give youth in our area a look at the trades and aid in the application process for local apprenticeships.”

For Thomas Goddard, a first-year apprenticeship student, these career-centered programs provide him the skills to pursue his dream of becoming an electrician and owning his own business.

“It’s exciting in that no day is ever the same. I get to see something new every day throughout Douglas County, from older buildings that need repairs to newer construction,” Goddard said.

For the last six months, Garrett Mattox, a first-year apprenticeship student with a focus on industrial automation, has been working at Orenco Systems, Inc. for the last six months.

“The best part of the program is that it’s on-the-job training. We are getting paid while we are going to school. The new pre-apprenticeship program will help high schoolers get a head start. If you know what every piece of material is before you start work, this puts you ahead of the game and on the path to excel,” Mattox said.

UCC provides training for 150 local apprentices and also supports the joint apprenticeship training committee and trade apprenticeship training committee for industrial trades, industrial electricians and inside electricians.

“The trades are underrated among people my age,” Goddard said. “No one thinks about going into the trades in high school, and they instead look toward getting a 4-year degree. This is actually a 4-year degree from my point of view.”

Madison Temmel is the education reporter at The News-Review. She can be reached at and 541-957-4217.

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Madison Temmel is the education reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at and 541-957-4217.

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And: 80% of the millions of new jobs that will be created by the Build Back Better Agenda are jobs that do not require a college education. As we build, we are going to need these young, smart, well-trained, skilled people!


The bill passed by the House this morning includes $40 billion for community colleges and workforce development. Thank you, Democrats. (And "thank"* you, in advance, Rs, who will oppose this, then crow and preen upon implementation, as if they had put up the sun.)

*or some other word. Bless your hearts.

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