The Nestucca Valley School District, acting on behalf of the Tillamook Education Consortium (TEC), submitted a grant application to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) for a Future Ready Oregon Round Two Workforce Ready Grant. The district’s proposed project aims to benefit students throughout Tillamook County. The TEC represents a collaborative effort involving Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC), the three school districts in Tillamook County, and the Northwest Regional Education Services District.
The grant intends to enhance the TEC’s ongoing efforts to create a shared-resource Career Technical Education (CTE) program tailored for rural English language learners and low-income K-14 students. The overarching objective is to bolster students’ career readiness and facilitate smooth transitions into post-secondary education and apprenticeships, thereby enabling them to enter the workforce and secure sustainable family living wages.
Sherry Cook, TBCC’s Dean of CTE, expressed optimism about the transformative potential of this workforce readiness grant for Tillamook County’s education landscape. “By working together, we can build a strong training pipeline for our students from kindergarten through their first two years of college and apprenticeships. This funding will support us to work together to provide equity, access, inclusion, and innovation in high-quality CTE programming and career development using a sector-based strategy.”
The TEC’s mission revolves around collaborating with both public and private stakeholders to bring about systemic changes through Career and Technical Education for every student in Tillamook County. They have outlined a five-year Strategic Plan with a vision to enable students to learn with purpose, gain valuable experience, acquire meaningful skills, share essential knowledge, and contribute to the development of a thriving community.
Misty Wharton, the Superintendent of Nestucca Valley School District, articulated a vision where every student is provided a clear pathway through this initiative, “this will lead students to gain confidence, take risks in learning, and become lifelong learners earning a sustainable family wage while becoming vested stewards of our community.” The financial support from the state is considered a crucial enabler in achieving these goals.
This grant application was one of 165 submissions to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) in the current round of funding. The review and scoring of proposals focused on their direct impact on priority populations, as well as their potential to influence workforce development within the three designated industry sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. The Nestucca Valley School District was informed that their application was among the highest-scoring proposals, with a strong emphasis on equity, innovation, and partnerships.