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UCC, RPS Boards of Education partner to support local youth, industry

Written by on May 10, 2024

ROSEBURG, Ore., — The Umpqua Community College and Roseburg Public Schools Boards of Education met Wednesday to discuss joint efforts to guide students into high-wage, in-demand careers located in Douglas County. 

The joint meeting held at UCC marks the first time the two boards have teamed up on collective efforts to serve students, industry and the community. The meeting focused on the growing partnership between the college and school district, which are working together to streamline and increase the number of programs that lead students from Roseburg High School to UCC to local industry careers. Initial efforts are focused on health care and advanced manufacturing programs, with both fields facing a shortage of skilled labor as they expand locally. 

“We know that our local medical providers and manufacturers continue to seek skilled employees. We know that we want to ensure our youth have the opportunity to stay, work and thrive in our community,” said RPS Superintendent Jared Cordon. “UCC, the school district and our local industry leaders are working together to address these challenges and opportunities. Our schools are full of talented students who are ready to work hard and contribute to their community; they just need us to show them the way through visible pathways like those we’re creating. Together, we can all create a thriving community that is friendly for families and businesses.”

UCC and the district have a history of offering dual credits for students and currently offer a collaborative nursing assistant pathway. With an emphasis this school year on guiding students from preschool to career, the college and school district together hired a P-20 (preschool to college) Coordinator to work with industry leaders to grow and align course offerings at RHS and UCC. 

Thanks to this partnership, UCC and the district are introducing three new pathway programs, including phlebotomy, emergency medical technician and fire science. RHS students will have a choice next school year of over 67 college level courses offered with over 250 possible credits. Pathways in development include allied health and advanced manufacturing/mechatronics. With opportunities for dual credit, the goal is to give students the chance to graduate with certifications or degrees with little to no debt and directly step into meaningful, local careers. 

“We are in a new era where the workforce pipeline is set to meet the needs of the community — Students will train right here at UCC to fill high-wage and high-demand jobs in allied health, advanced manufacturing, and more,” said UCC President Dr. Rachel Pokrandt. 

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