Merkley and Wyden Announce $8.4 Million to help Oregonians Get Back to Work

Merkley and Wyden Announce $8.4 Million to help Oregonians Get Back to Work

Washington DC - Today, Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Oregon $8.4 million to help get unemployed Oregonians back to work. The grant awarded to Worksystems Inc. is part of the Ready to Work Partnership and will help recruit, train, support and place individuals who have been struggling with long-term unemployment.

“Getting Oregonians to work is my number one priority and this money does exactly that,” said Senator Merkley. “Too many individuals in Oregon are out of work and anything we can do to help those families get back on track is a step in the right direction.”

“This is an important boost for veterans and other workers who have been struggling to find work,” Senator Wyden said. “The economic recovery has been an uneven one, and that is particularly true when it comes to veterans and the long-term unemployed. With its innovative strategies and partners, Reboot Northwest will now be able to provide a crucial pathway to secure jobs in IT and advanced manufacturing careers for Oregonians who simply want a chance to work.”

The grant to Worksystems, Inc. will be used to launch Reboot Northwest which will provide services and help find jobs for 1,000 long-term unemployed job seekers and veterans by forming a partnership with three Local Workforce Investment Boards, 39 businesses, four industry associations and 15 organizations that provide job training. A special emphasis will be providing the training and skills in advanced manufacturing and information technology that are needed by local businesses.

With those new skills, Reboot participants will expand their expertise further through paid work experiences and on-the-job training.

The grant announced today will provide three primary functions:

1.      Outreach and Recruitment

Worksystems Inc. will work with the state unemployment insurance program to identity and recruit participants in need of training and supportive services.

2.      Training and Support Services

Participants in programs funded by these grants will receive job training and support services for occupations in information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care and other high-demand industries. Participants will receive a comprehensive, up-front assessment of their needs and skills.

3.      Placement Strategies

All projects incorporate strong placement strategies to support long-term unemployed workers in finding rapid employment in middle- and high- skilled jobs. These projects will include a designated career coach to guide long-term unemployed individuals from the assessment period all the way to job placement.