Workforce Navigator will Help Latinos Advance Job Skills 


The Latino Community Association (LCA) has hired a Workforce Navigator to coach Latinos in Central Oregon to improve their skills so they can gain better-paying jobs. A $150,000 grant from the Northwest Area Foundation will enable LCA to help clients who desire a career change to set goals and define clear steps for advancement. 

Over the two-year span of the grant, LCA aims to equip up to 250 individuals with English classes, computer literacy and job search and interviewing skills that will help them increase their incomes and achieve their goals.

LCA primarily serves immigrant Latino family members, many with limited English proficiency, who work low-wage jobs to simply survive in an area with high rents and home prices. Of the 4,532 clients LCA served last year, 91 percent earned less than $30,000 annually and 72 percent earned less than $20,000, far below the median family income in our region. Only 17 percent used email.

“We want to encourage our clients to dream big and help them develop a plan to achieve those dreams. We want to be catalysts in their journey to improved self-confidence and self-determination,” LCA wrote in its grant application. “It is critical that our immigrant families are aware of and gain access to the many opportunities of the expanding knowledge economy.”

The Northwest Area Foundation aims to reduce poverty and build prosperity across the northern states from Washington and Oregon to Minnesota and Iowa. It funds Native-run and grassroots organizations that serve communities of color and rural areas. Its founder, Minnesota businessman and philanthropist Louis W. Hill, was the son of Great Northern Railway founder James J. Hill. The foundation serves the region that spans the railroad’s freight routes.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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