The Future Ready Oregon initiative, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2022, is a game-changing, once-in-a-generation investment in Oregon's workforce development system. It provides more than $200 million to help Oregonians access and receive the training, education, and support they need to transition into living-wage careers. And perhaps even more importantly, Future Ready Oregon (FRO) includes strategic and targeted investments designed to advance opportunities for people from historically underserved communities -- people of color, LGBTQIA+ Oregonians, and rural Oregonians.
Worksystems is the recipient of approximately $10.1 million in FRO funds, broken down as follows:
- "Prosperity 10,000" general funds: $4.6 million
- "Prosperity 10,000" pandemic recovery funds: $5.5 million
- $1 million to support Worksource Benefits Navigators (trained specialists who will help workers to connect with and maximize the impact of FRO training and education dollars)
Worksystems, along with our sister Workforce Development Boards across the state, received the first tranche of FRO funds in 2022. Worksystems is investing these dollars in providers and programs that we know well, and which have a proven record of success. By helping members of our aligned community partner network build their capacity in this way, we can help ensure that FRO funds are spent effectively and are helping more people to transition to living-wage jobs.
The second tranche of FRO funds arrived in early 2023. In addition to supporting and building capacity among our community partners, Worksystems is aligning this funding with other competitive FRO grants in order to increase their impact and, even more importantly, to make our community partners' increased capacity sustainable. We believe that it its critically important that we invest these funds in such a way that they are not only effective in the short term, but empower our community partners to serve more people into the future.