Merkley, Wyden Announce $4.8 Million for Health Care Job Training Through Portland Community College

– Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that Portland Community College will receive $4.8 million to train over 800 Oregonians for jobs in high-demand health care fields.  The Healthcare Oregon Pathways to Employment (HOPE) program focuses on training for unemployed, dislocated, and incumbent workers and addresses Oregon’s urgent need to put people to work.

“Our community colleges fulfill an essential role in our current economy by providing the training and skills to assist Oregonians in need of a good-paying job,” Merkley said.  “It’s a smart investment to prepare people for careers in the high-demand health care sector.”

“Growth in the health care sector means more and more opportunities for highly skilled health care professionals,” Wyden said. “This grant for the HOPE program at PCC is going to create more opportunities for Oregonians to gain the skills necessary to fill those jobs.”

The job training will be provided through a community college consortium serving Benton, Clackamas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

According to the Department of Labor, forty-one community colleges and organizations around the country will be awarded a total of $125 million to create opportunities for working Americans to train for high-demand occupations with the help of our national community college system.

“The $125 million awarded today will create opportunities for working Americans to train for high-demand occupations with the help of our nationwide community college system,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “Our goal is to help workers across the country prepare for and secure good jobs, and with support from these colleges and other critical stakeholders, we’ll ensure we reach a broad base of individuals in need.”

Community-Based Job Training Grants improve the ability of community colleges to train and prepare workers for employment in high growth and other emerging industries. This round of competitive awards will primarily focus on providing services to workers who are unemployed (this can include the long-term unemployed, such as individuals who have been unemployed for six months or more), dislocated, and incumbent workers.