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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Oregon Youth Works

Oregon Youth Works includes five workforce development grant programs that support paid work experiences for thousands of youth statewide. These programs support local organizations that provide paid work, workforce training, career exposure, academic support, and essential employability skills for youth ages 13-26.

Oregon Youth Works, part of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Office of Workforce Investments (OWI), funds local youth workforce providers throughout the state. We have two primary roles. We distribute funding—often through an open, competitive process—allowing for fiscal and programmatic oversight and accountability. We also provide policy direction and technical assistance.

Seeking Work Experiences?

If you are a young Oregonian seeking work experience provided by Oregon Youth Works, please contact one of our local programs.

Oregon Youth Works - Grantee Programs Across the State 

Seeking Funding to Provide Workforce Opportunities?

Organizations may find any open grant and contracting opportunities related to Oregon Youth Works programs on our website.

Grant and Contract Opportunities

Oregon Youth Works Programs

Oregon Conservation Corps

The Oregon Conservation Corps (OCC) Program provides grant funding to reduce the risk wildfires pose to communities and critical infrastructure, create fire-adapted communities, and engage youth and young adults in workforce training to develop the next generation of land managers. The program was established by Senate Bill 762 (2021). 

Learn more about the OCC in a video here.

Oregon Youth Corps

The Oregon Youth Corps (OYC) provides grant funding, training, and resources to youth-serving agencies across the state to create training and employment opportunities for Oregon youth. OYC delivers funds to community-based, stewardship-driven, and crew-focused youth workforce providers. Youth participants are typically ages 13-24.  The program was established by Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 418.650. Features of the program are noted below.

  • Community Stewardship Corps: This program centers on the delivery of workforce development experiences to enhance and complement educational attainment of program participants. 
  • Paid Work Experience: This program opens access to paid work experiences that provide a foundation of work readiness skills.  It strives to reach each of Oregon’s 36 counties.
  • Summer Conservation Corps (SCC): SCC is OYC’s largest state-funded program.
  • Tribal Youth Workforce Partnerships: These programs partner with each of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribal sovereign nations to provide stewardship-driven work experiences that benefit tribal communities and youth.
  • Partnership Opportunities: Oregon Youth Corps provides occasional funded experiences in collaboration and partnership with various state and federal land management agencies.  

Oregon Youth Employment Program

The Oregon Youth Employment Program (OYEP) provides meaningful paid work experiences – such as internships, apprenticeships, and summer jobs – and workforce preparation to youth and young adults ages 14-24. OYE Programs must combine paid work experience, work readiness instruction, academic support, and the development of individualized career and education goals.

OYEP is operated at the local level by Oregon’s nine local workforce development boards. This program was established by ORS 660.353.  House Bill 2092 (2021) complemented the funding and modernized the program requirements.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Youth Employment Program

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Youth Employment Program (YEP) is run year-round to create employment experiences for eligible youth in the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) Program. The focus is on TANF-eligible teen parents, non-parenting teens, young parents, and TANF-related youth in the Child Welfare Independent Living Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Program between the ages of 16 and 24.

This federal program is administered by the Department of Human Services in partnership with the HECC.  TANF is a federal program and was created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and related programs.

Oregon WIOA Youth Programs

The Oregon WIOA Youth Program provides workforce development training opportunities to young people ages 14-24 through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA is a federal program that was signed into law on July 22, 2014. Through WIOA, youth gain valuable work skills from a variety of job opportunities, such as job shadows, internships, and summer jobs.

Oregon’s workforce system pairs job-seekers with occupations to provide them with valuable work skills training and the necessary credentials. Participants can also receive financial literacy training, leadership development support, guidance and counseling, such as help getting reengaged in secondary or postsecondary education.

Oregonians and businesses interested in participating in this program may contact the local workforce development boards in their area. 

Stay Engaged – the Oregon Youth Works Advisory Board

The Oregon Youth Works Advisory Board is a public advisory board that provides advice on and oversees the implementation and alignment of youth workforce programs, effective January 1, 2024. All meetings of the Committee are public, and testimony is welcomed.