BAKER CITY — The Oregon Department of Human Services has awarded Baker Technical Institute a contract to provide workforce development training and support services to individuals who are recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The goal of the program overall, and specifically the trainings provided by BTI, will be to increase the number of SNAP recipients who are able to obtain and retain employment.

Breaking down barriers and increasing access to training, which leads to certificates and credentials, will increase the level of employability of program participants, leading them into new job situations, and providing them with training components for employment retention. Current partnerships with industry and agencies will be expanded while new partnerships are being developed regionally. BTI’s contract covers residents in three DHS regions, including Baker, Union, Wallowa, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Jefferson, Crook and Deschutes counties.

“BTI has built a reputation for developing new and innovative ways of moving the dial on workforce development. This program is a great opportunity for us to do just that, and to give back to the community by helping people become employable, that will allow businesses to grow all at the same time,” said Tonia Springer, program coordinator.

Upon entering the program, participants will work with BTI career coaches to build a personalized employability plan. The plan will lay out program components to be developed based on the needs of the individual participant and their goals. The training components being offered by BTI will include job search assistance and training, job retention skill building, work experience, educational foundational skills instruction, career and technical vocational training, short-term career skills training, English language acquisition, and work readiness training.

The career and technical education courses that will be available to individuals who qualify will include certified nursing assistant, heavy equipment operator training, truck driving and logistics, and professional welding. Short-term trainings include industry-specific production and manufacturing skills and culinary courses.

“Expanding training opportunities for low-income people in Oregon, especially in non-urban areas, is vital and we are very excited to have BTI join our STEP Provider Network,” said Department of Human Services spokesman Greg Ivers.

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