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Connecting Youths to Portland's Economy

Excerpt from an article by Ben Waldron in Neighborhood Notes, July 11, 2011.

Giving Kids the Necessary Skills and Experience to Be Successful

On Wednesday, July 6, with three members present, the city council unanimously passed a measure, jointly proposed by Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Dan Saltzman, which will provide $500 tax credits for businesses that offer "career readiness" training for youths, and businesses that hire youths in foster care.

The tax credits, Adams says, will be an important addition to Summer Youth Connect, a four-year series of interventions for targeted high school students run by various public and nonprofit groups.

The first and arguably most critical part of Summer Youth Connect is Ninth Grade Counts, a program for incoming Multnomah County high school students who are considered more likely to drop out of school, as determined by both statistical academic measures and anecdotal evidence.

Nate Waas Shull, Director of Community Engagement for the Portland Schools Foundation (PSF), the nonprofit that coordinates Ninth Grade Counts, describes the program as a partnership between local community-based organizations (CBOs), schools, and businesses that come together to help youths prepare themselves for school and all that comes afterwards.

Many colleges support the program with classes and campus visits, including Marylhurst University, which partners with Ninth Grade Counts to provide teachers-in-training for academic programs over the summer.

Read the Full Article on NeighborhoodNotes.com

 

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