Over the summer, the Albany Chamber of Commerce’s Pipeline to Jobs program merged with the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub. We know it’s a bit of a word salad, but what exactly does that mean? Let’s first take a look at how Pipeline started.

How was the Pipeline to Jobs program started?

The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce began the Pipeline to Jobs initiative in 2014 by convening the Workforce Development Taskforce. During the process of defining the needs of local business and industry, the committee developed a plan to combine its efforts with local educators to provide more comprehensive training options for local students. Pipeline was developed to provide a single source for students, educators, parents, and industry to access information and opportunity.

What did Pipeline do?

The primary goal of the Pipeline program is to introduce students to career opportunities with local manufacturers in our community. Pipeline works with their education and industry partners by bringing workers into classrooms for presentations. Pipeline works in conjunction with LBCC to set up opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in their programs of interest. Outside of our schedule, we can also help set up school visits to LBCC’s campus or to visit and tour the facility of our industry partners.

Core programming during the school year:

  • Classroom presentations
  • Industry tours (OFD, ATI, Viper Northwest, and other local manufacturers)
  • Events at LBCC (Explore Machine Tool, CADD, Mechatronics, Welding, Non-Destructive Testing)
  • Summer programming:
    • iINVENT camps (partnership with OSU Pre-College programs)
    • Central Electrical Training Center camp (high school and middle school girls)
    • Pathways Program (partnership with Linn County Juvenile Probation — CTE Camp)

How did Pipeline merge with the STEM-CTE Hub?

The Mid‐Valley STEM‐CTE Hub’s industry partnership strategy is based upon the pre-existing Pipeline Program, to expand and build upon the model. As outlined above, Pipeline is a combination of partners including the Albany Chamber of Commerce, business, and industry in the manufacturing and health care sectors, school districts, LBCC, OSU, and CBOs. The formation, staffing, and sourcing of funding were done through these partners with industry/business leaders as the main drivers. The main emphasis is economic vitality for Linn and Benton Counties through workforce skill attainment, awareness of local sectors, and a concentrated cohesive effort that brought the partners together, not to complain but to find solutions and produce results – all partners moving on the same path and in the same direction to produce an educated and skilled community. Pipeline listens to industry and communicates to communities the need for a skilled CTE/STEM workforce, career and wages for particular sectors, skill set needed, and how to acquire those skills through education and out‐of‐school programs like camps, tours of industry, speakers, etc.

The involvement of all the partners in these endeavors offers a robust team approach that includes educators, businesses, and the community. The Hub’s efforts to produce strong Industry partnerships in CTE/STEM include a collaborative approach to curriculum development that puts business partners at the table to formulate and implement the program, courses, outcomes and help to provide the equipment, materials, and supplies for the instruction.

This newly formed collaborative between the STEM-CTE Hub and Pipeline expands the Pipeline, which through collaboration with OSU and LBCC, provides a bridge from K-12 to post-secondary education and careers in CTE-STEM, to rural and underserved populations in Linn and Benton counties. The partnership will allow the career connected learning activities that have thus far focused mostly on Albany schools and industries truly to expand to include all industries and school districts in the two-county region. This new collaboration will create a truly regional, sustainable career-connected-learning effort to address inequities and enhance the economic vitality of the region.

Learn more about our plans here.

Visit our Pipeline page here.