Having exposed Pendleton High School students to local career fields, the Schools to Careers program is ready to put them to work.
A partnership between Eastern Oregon Business Source, Umatilla County, the Pendleton School District and other organizations, Schools to Careers gathered about 30 people from several employers at Pendleton City Hall Monday to introduce them to the Employee Pipeline Project. Attendees included representatives from Interpath Laboratory, RDO Equipment Co. and Pepsi.
Susan Bower, Eastern Oregon Business Source’s director of learning and performance, said the pipeline program was the “next step” beyond Schools to Careers.
Eastern Oregon Business Source hired Bonnie Day, a former outreach coordinator for the Pendleton Center for the Arts, to become the Employee Pipeline Project coordinator.
Day explained to the audience how Employee Pipeline would work with Schools to Careers.
“The whole idea is to keep local people in local jobs,” she said. Schools to Careers would continue to coordinate the programming and activities it established last school year with local businesses and organizations, including internships, job shadows, work site tours and a career fair. Simultaneously, the Employee Pipeline is identifying high school seniors interested in a career-track job and will try to match them to a prospective employer with a job opening.
The project’s goal is to have students matched and interviewed in May. Day said the goal of Employee Pipeline is to match five seniors with jobs by the end of the school year.
Jayne Clarke of Pioneer Asphalt asked if the Employee Pipeline Project would continue to support businesses and employees after the match was made. Since the project is still new, Bower said it will have to work with businesses to continue to nail down the details, but assured the audience that the Employee Pipeline wanted to be a resource.
“We’re committed and dedicated and we’re not running from this at all,” Bower said.