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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Job Growers Incorporated

The BizConnect Project

Community Challenge/Problem

Area high schools are mandated to provide employment-related job experience and/or career exploration as a high school graduation requirement, but funding is sometimes lacking to implement a program, particularly in the rural areas of the workforce region.

Board Solution/Innovation

The BizConnect project, sponsored by Job Growers Incorporated, the local workforce investment board, built a data bank of area employers willing to sponsor job shadows and internships for local high school students in the most rural county in the workforce region, Yamhill County. The WIRED regional grant (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) provided the initial funds to connect employers to high school students. It was so successful there that it is being extended into the rural areas of Marion and Polk counties so that high school students can have that all-important connection to the world of work.

Outcomes & Results

BizConnect connected approximately 800 high school students in Yamhill County to 283 businesses. All seven of the high schools in the county participated. Businesses gained extra hands at a minimal cost to them, and youth were afforded valuable opportunities for work experience and exposure to professional and technical business environments.

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