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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Future Ready Oregon – Program Overview

The $200 million Future Ready Oregon investment package supports numerous workforce education and training programs and talent development strategies across the state. On this page, you can learn about the innovative grant-funded programs and strategic initiatives supported by this historic investment. 

Why Was Future Ready Oregon Started?

Future Ready Oregon represents a unique opportunity to expand the partners that comprise Oregon’s workforce system, engaging employer and industry partners, education and training providers, and community-based and culturally specific organizations in the cocreation of solutions to our most complex workforce and talent development challenges. Future Ready Oregon invests in existing successful programs and in innovative equity-focused solutions to bolster recruitment, retention, and career advancement opportunities for Priority Populations. Investments focus on key sectors with high workforce needs—healthcare, manufacturing, and technology—and on short-term pathways to meaningful employment, higher earning potential, and opportunities for economic mobility.  

    Priority Populations include communities of color, women, low-income communities, rural and frontier communities, veterans, persons with disabilities, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, members of Oregon’s tribes, older adults, and individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

​Future Ready Oregon, which launched with the passage of Senate Bill 1545​ in 2022, originated in the Racial Justice Council ​Workforce Workgroup in 2021. The investment package was led by then-Governor Kate Brown and championed by many partners before the Oregon Legislature’s approval in the 2022 Legislative Session. Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2026, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission is working to implement the vision of a more equitable workforce system and is committed to engaging diverse partners to shape the process and cocreate solutions.​

​Investments focus on key industry sectors with high workforce needs—healthcare, manufacturing, and technology—and on short-term pathways to meaningful employment, higher earning potential, and opportunities for economic mobility. Future Ready Oregon partners are working together to better understand and identify solutions to address Oregon’s most complex workforce and talent development challenges. Grant funding advances partnerships and innovation in workforce education and training programs. Statewide Industry Consortia inform sector-specific workforce and talent development strategies.​

Future Ready Oregon is investing in the full potential of Oregon’s workforce, advancing the state’s economic competitiveness and equitable prosperity by meeting the needs of Oregon’s employers and centering the needs of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission administers the majority of the Future Ready Oregon funds in partnership with Local Workforce Development Boards​, community-based and culturally specific organizations, education and training providers, employers, industry partners, workforce service providers, and communities.

Future Ready Oregon Programs and Strategic Initiatives

Future Ready Oregon consists of funds administered by three Oregon agencies, including the following.

HECC-Administered Programs

Grant-funded Programs

Competitive grants support workforce service providers and community-based organizations in administering workforce programs in healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

The Requests for Applications (RFAs)​​ for the third round of Workforce Ready Grants are open May 31 – July 31, 2024. Visit the HECC Grant and Contract Opportunities page to view the RFAs, apply, and access resources for application support. 

Visit Grant and Contract Opportunities to see the Higher Education Coordinating Commission's current​​ Requests for Applications and Proposals​.

Visit Future Ready Oregon Grant Resources​ for more information for current and prospective grantees.

Grants provide Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) with funds to distribute to community-based organizations, postsecondary education providers, labor organizations, and other workforce service providers.​

​​Grants to Oregon’s 17 community colleges expand education and training programs and connected student supports that lead to jobs in high-wage, high-demand industries and occupations.

Grants to community colleges and public universities expand opportunities to receive academic credit for knowledge and skills gained through work, life, military, and formal and informal education experiences.

Strategic Initiatives

There are three statewide Industry Consortia–one each for the healthcare, manufacturing, and technology sectors. Each Consortium brings together education providers, employers, and community partners. Consortium members work to identify sector-specific workforce needs, desired skills, and career pathways. In addition, they set goals and promote activities to increase priority population workforce participation and advancement. These activities include identifying policy and funding barriers, strategies, and priorities.​

Grants to Local Workforce Development Boards​ establish a Workforce Benefits Navigator pilot program. This program works to connect job-seekers from Priority Populations to workforce programs. The program also helps training participants and job-seekers find services and supports for everyday needs such as transportation, food programs, and childcare—to name a few. 

  • More information coming soon​

Partner-Administered Programs

Competitive grants are awarded to community-based organizations, labor organizations, Local Workforce Development Boards, and other entities to develop apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training programs.

​​Grants are distributed to entities that provide youth and young adults from Priority Populations with increased access to youth workforce programs.