Senators Wyden, Merkley Release Statement Re: $6M Grant

November 18th, 2016

Wyden, Merkley Announce $6 Million to Train Oregonians for Jobs in Growing Health Care Industry

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $6 million to help educate and train Oregonians for jobs in Oregon’s growing health care industry.

The grant, awarded to Worksystems Inc., is part of America’s Promise, which helps cover education and training costs for workers looking for middle- to high-skill jobs in high-demand industries, such as health care and information technology.

The funding will be used to launch NW Promise, a collaborative effort between Worksystems, Clackamas Workforce Partnership, Workforce Southwest Washington, the five biggest health care organizations in the Pacific Northwest and labor groups, to prepare local workers for health care jobs.

“Too many Oregonians are walking an economic tightrope,” Wyden said. “Through its innovative community partnerships, NW Promise is uniquely positioned to help workers build on their skills, advance their education, and connect Oregonians with opportunities to get good-paying jobs in our growing health care sector.”

“Nothing can substitute for the power of a good-paying, family wage job,” Merkley said. “Rebuilding our middle class must be our top priority, and training workers for jobs in well-paid, in-demand industries is a key part of that effort.”

The NW Promise partnership is designed to directly respond to the high demand for a diverse pool of health care workers and delivery of culturally competent care for patients in Oregon and southwest Washington. The funding will allow for health care career education and training for more than 800 people of color, immigrants and people with disabilities.

Andrew McGough, Executive Director of Worksystems Inc., said the grant award will help NW Promise open more opportunities to workers in Oregon.

“We’re thrilled to receive this award and look forward to working with our industry, workforce, education and community partners to achieve the goals of the grant,” McGough said. “This grant will help address some significant challenges faced by the regional healthcare industry and provide opportunities for hundreds of local people to enter great paying careers in this vital sector of our economy.”