A primary role of NOW is Investor. We focus on data to prioritize our investments, optimize the return on investment through sound resource management, and aggressively pursue opportunities to increase resources for workforce development in the local area.
NOW has led the development of the first apprenticeship-based behavioral health career pathway in Oregon. The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) was formed in 2021 with funds from a Healthy Oregon Workforce Training Opportunity (HOWTO) Grant from the Oregon Health Authority. NOW implemented the program to address the workforce shortages in allied and behavioral health in the Northwest Oregon workforce area, while concurrently promoting increased equity and diversity in the healthcare workforce by recruiting and training members of the Latinx and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communties.
The behavioral health apprenticeship program is comprised of three levels. The first level results in: certified Mental Health Counselors, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselors I (CADC I), Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHA), Peer Support Specialists (PSS), Community Health Workers (CHW). The second encompasses mid-level positions requiring Associates or Bachelors degrees such as: Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs), mental health Case Managers, and other Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHAs). The program also includes scholarships for a third level of training to clinicians completing Masters-level credentials as: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs).
In September 2021, NOW and its regional partner Willamette Workforce Partnership (serving Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties), were awarded a State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation (SAEEI) Grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to expand the geographic scope of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC, formed in April 2021, to include the counties served by WWP (Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill) and increase the number of employers to be served/apprentices enrolled in Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln and Tillamook counties as part of the Oregon Behavioral Health JATC.
For more information on the Behavioral Health Apprenticeship Program contact Adrienne Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workforce services in the Northwest Oregon workforce area are primarily funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The work authorized under this federal legislation provides support for workforce development activities in the local area, which are supplemented and aligned with other funding sources. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission – Office of Workforce Investments (HECC-OWI) oversee this funding. As defined by the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Section 678.620, the One-Stop Operator’s role at a minimum is to coordinate the service delivery of required one-stop centers, branded in Oregon as WorkSource, partners and service providers. As the selected entity, OMEP has demonstrated effectiveness and experience in providing services in Oregon and is able perform the duties of the One-Stop Operator without any conflicts of interests.
Effective July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022, with the option to renew for up to four additional years; the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership was selected as the One-Stop Operator through a formal competitive procurement process conducted through a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP was issued May 7, 2021 and sought proposals from entities with the capacity and demonstrated ability to coordinate staff and operate as the One-Stop Operator, under the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Entities interested in applying had to have the ability and capacity to work in coordination and collaboration with multiple entities serving within a complex and matrixed environment.
In Oregon, the Eligible Training Provider List for local areas is managed by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and can be found at this link.