|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$120,885|
Klamath County, in south central Oregon, suffered from high unemployment and low income. A 2015 focus group with local businesses identified gaps in workforce skills, making it difficult to hire local applicants. The gap was largely due to rapid changes in technology and business environments, as well as a lack of qualified new graduates with computer skills in areas such as Computer Aided Drafting. The lack of a skilled workforce limited the growth of local businesses, and made it more difficult for local residents to find good jobs.
As part of the Department of Commerce’s “Skills for Business” agenda, EDA awarded $3 million to Klamath Community College in Klamath Falls to help build the Work Skills Technology Center on campus. The Center will include classroom and computer lab space for workforce skills training in targeted industry sectors such as aviation airframe, business technology, computer engineering technology, media marketing, manufacturing, and health information management. According to the grantee, the State of Oregon Employment Department projected that over 700 job openings is expected in high-skill fields over the next ten years. This EDA investment will enable local residents to take advantage of those job opportunities and create pathways for individuals to seek jobs with a higher wage potential. Once completed, the facility is expected to serve about 500 students per year.