La PINE, Ore. - In order to improve access to higher education in the rural areas of Central Oregon, The Partnership to End Poverty has awarded the La Pine Parks and Recreation Foundation a $25,000 grant. The funds will be used to hire a part-time educational coordinator and work closely with Central Oregon Community College to develop credit and noncredit courses.
The Parks Foundation is partnering with the Greater La Pine Adult Education Committee to help support the effort.
A number of classes such as Excel, Quick Books Pro, Intro to Business Administration and financial courses are already underway. Classes will be held at the new La Pine Community Center which offer classrooms and a computer lab. The new SHARC facility in Sunriver is also providing classroom space
"Like many of Central Oregon's rural communities, La Pine's poverty and unemployment rates are higher than we would like to see. The Partnership is dedicated to building infrastructure that provides resources to help low-income residents gain self-sufficiency. Providing educational opportunities is an important asset in reaching that goal," explained Partnership Executive Director Jason Carr.
Asset and workforce development are top priorities within The Partnership's mission. The organization has made similar investments in Prineville and Madras to support the Open Campus facilities, along with funding a newly-developed entrepreneurial business program specifically designed for veterans through the Small Business Development Center at COCC. The evidence is clear that every additional level of education achieved helps to prevent poverty and increase lifetime earnings.
"As we continue to grow as a district, we want to ensure access for everyone who wants to learn, play, and give back to the community." said La Pine Parks and Recreation Director Bob Schulz. "The dollars provided in this grant will help us facilitate Adult Education classes which otherwise could not have taken place."
"This grant allows us to continue to build and strengthen our foundation for economic vitality by helping our citizens who wish to develop their personal educational and employment goals," explained Kathy DeBone, member of the Greater La Pine Adult Education Committee