Mission: East Cascades Works supports the talent needs of employers and maximizes and aligns investments in the career goals of individuals to fuel a thriving economy.
Vision: We envision an East Cascades region with thriving communities, where residents have access to education and training which leads to living wage jobs, and businesses find the qualified talent they need to succeed.
Values: We are all East Cascades Works Ambassadors. We embrace equity and inclusion. We are trusted experts in workforce development and rigorous stewards of public funds. We are collaborative neutral conveners. We inspire a call to action. We are results-driven. We are innovative problem solvers.
East Cascades Region: The East Cascades workforce region includes ten counties in rural Oregon: Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Jefferson, Wheeler, Deschutes, Crook, Klamath and Lake. This region has three very distinct labor sheds: Columbia Gorge, Central Oregon, and Klamath Basin; home to over 300,000 people and spanning 30,000 square miles.
EC Works Organizational Description:
East Cascades Works (EC Works) is a non-profit organization that focuses efforts and investments in the talent needs of employers and in providing equitable access to workforce services and training programs for youth and adults throughout three unique rural labor sheds: Columbia Gorge, Central Oregon, and the Klamath Basin; and includes both Warm Springs and Klamath Tribal communities.
EC Works is primarily funded by the US Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as such the core function of our organization is to oversee the public workforce system, locally branded as WorkSource, throughout the 10-county region we serve. This work focuses on funding career services and ensuring equitable access to secondary and post-secondary education completion, work-readiness training, and career placement for youth and jobseekers in our community. As the public’s workforce system, our providers work with job seekers who are unemployed or underemployed and we prioritize services to veterans, emergent workforce, individuals who are deficient in math and reading, those living in poverty, justice system involved, English language learners, and those experiencing disabilities. We make additional investments, both monetarily and by staff commitment to work alongside members of these populations to understand and assess key issues and areas of inequity and access to education and career services. We advocate with and/or on behalf of our core partners; Oregon Employment Department, Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, Oregon Commission for the Blind, Central Oregon Community College, Columbia Gorge Community College, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, and Klamath Community College, at a state and local level to implement programs and solutions that ultimately improves education and career outcomes. In doing this, we’re simultaneously supporting the local economy, by expanding the labor pool to include often untapped talent.
Much like the priority populations that our board recognized, they have identified four high demand industries that offer living wage occupations. Those sectors are Health Care, Technology, Construction and Manufacturing. Our business support partners include the Oregon Employment Department, Youth Career Connect, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, industry associations, and business organizations that work in the four targeted sectors mentioned above.
EC Works takes pride in developing innovative best practices, being good stewards of public funding focusing on sustainability, strategic planning, budget management, fiscal and program compliance with rigorous management of complex funding streams.