September 25, 2021

LTD and 4J help in housing crisis

4J is buying land to start a new career and technical education offering that also addresses a community issue.

4J is buying land to start a new career and technical education offering that also addresses a community issue.

This month, the 4J School District and LTD took action in the housing crisis. The 4J board voted to buy land for a new career education program.

Andrew Dey: [00:00:11] Hello, everybody. Andy Dey, Director of High Schools, Eugene School District 4J. The goal of the CTE programs that we have is to offer students a pathway to graduation that is particularly catered to their interests beyond high school. The idea is that we provide them with exposure to trades exposure to careers that are high-wage and high-demand, and that through their experiences with us, they achieve job readiness, certification, exposure to mentors and real life job training, on-the-job training. So what we’re proposing here is the Future Build project, which is really the culmination of work with a lot of community partners and over many years across Lane County.

We would like to have a capstone project in which students who are engaged in a construction technology program, have the benefit to be in from (no pun intended) the ground floor up. They’re involved in planning for the construction of the home, budgeting, the construction of a home design, the connstruction of a home in which they ultimately, with industry mentors on job, with a 4J teacher, actually construct the home.

They would have the benefit of going through construction safety and basic training. They would through the basics of home construction and job safety, they would be able to actually work on a job site that would be our classroom and work alongside trades folks in that area. At the end, when we have fully constructed a home, we would work with community partners who are there to then take over the home, work with families, and that home gets transferred to a family who has previously experienced housing insecurity or homelessness. The idea with this in terms of how we’ve set it up is that once we get this program started, it is then sustainable moving forward year after year, in which we would hope to build at least one home and do our part to solve not just the student’s need for real life experiences and job readiness certification, but to improve or to address issues that are in our community.

Tia Holliday: [00:02:17] we’ll be working on creating a really clear program of study that will align with a program at Lane Community College and make sure that when students leave this program, they have job ready skills and are ready to enter the Workforce In Construction program. And when we have conversations with the state and with the county workforce outlook folks, it’s really clear that construction is one of the areas where there is a high need, where students can immediately enter the workforce into high wage, high demand jobs.

So we’re going to make this program available to all students in the districts. They, students will leave the course of study with college credit, Construction 101 at LCC will be one of the primary components of their college component. We’ll be working to create a pre-apprenticeship in construction and students will leave, ready to start into construction jobs.

Additionally, and this is a very exciting aspect that we have not previously developed, is we’re going to be working to create opportunities for students to learn math and language arts credit that work in tandem with what they’re doing in construction. So that they’re integrated into, and kids are learning things that are relevant to, construction skills and into further technical skills that they will use in the future.

John Stapleton: [00:03:37] I can’t tell you how excited we are on this side, the industry folks, to see 4J stepping up to lead in this. This is the kind of programs we’ve been asking for the last 15 years, where students do work that looks like our work. We can’t assess a student in a classroom. We can assess a student at job sites. So kudos to you, 4J and your staff, for stepping up with this.

Let’s talk about partnerships. They’re rock solid. They’re all in place. We have folks whose sole missions in their organizational zone is to support programs in the way that we’re asking them to support this program. So we have Cornerstone Housing and Dev Northwest as our key partners to help us integrate and find a family that we can set up for success. Transitioning into home ownership is one of the key components to exiting poverty, breaking the cycle of poverty. So that piece of this program is just really great. The folks that we have lined up have all piloted this already. Agreements are more or less in place and understandings in place. And we weren’t asking for any one of our partners to do exceptional work outside of their core mission, which is one of the reasons I think this is going to be so successful.

Everybody that’s partnering with us is going to do what they do best, and we’re going to do what we do best, which is teach people how to build stuff. And you’re going to do what you do best, which is to instruct kids and keep them safe.

Andrew Dey: [00:05:06] It is absolutely true that this is going to stretch us to do things that we haven’t, that we’re not doing on a regular basis. Buying land to build a house is not something that we do on a daily basis, but like I said, it does happen in Salem-Keizer, North Santiam School District, Hermiston School District, Forest Grove School District. Hermiston is actually building a subdivision, multiple homes being built at the same time.

We really feel like this is an opportunity for us to have a capstone project that makes career and technical education tightly connected with industry and the needs of our community and to engage kids in a way that’s really going to excite them.

John Q : [00:05:47] The board voted to start the process.  LTD also voted to start a process:  The board approved talks with the City about using LTD surplus land for refugee camps.  Tiffany Edwards.

Tiffany Edwards: [00:06:01] Tiffany Edwards here. I’m your Intergovernmental Relations Manager for LTD.

The City of Eugene has been actively searching for properties that could be utilized to provide shelter and coordinated services for unhoused members of our communities. Two of those sites that have been identified narrow down to a few that are more feasible are both LTD, vacant properties. One is the site of the former River Road Station, which is no longer in service. And that’s at the corner, basically, Beltline and River Road. And then the other is adjacent to our RideSource offices at Garfield and Second. The properties are both currently vacant and they’re both intended to be surplused by the board at some point for a future sale.

Michelle Webber: [00:06:50] I move adoption of LTD resolution number 2021-06-16-034. It is hereby resolved that the LTD Board of Directors adopt a resolution, authorizing the General Manager to negotiate and execute a contract with the City of Eugene to lease LTD’s vacant properties located at 310 Garfield and 11 River Avenue.

John Q: [00:07:14] LTD board chair Caitlin Vargas, for the roll call vote.

Caitlin Vargas: [00:07:19] We’re going to start with Susan Cox.  yes (Enthusiastically yes). Thank you, Susan. Joshua Skov? (Aye.) Thanks Josh. Don Nordin. (Aye.) Thanks Don. Michelle Weber. (Aye.) And then let’s go with Steven Yett. (Enthusiastically, Yes!) Great. I’ll jump on that band bandwagon. I will do another Enthusiastically Yes. Passes with flying colors then I’ll say so once again, big thank you to Tiffany and Brooke for taking the time to be here tonight and any chamber employees and then city employees as well.

John Q: [00:07:53] LTD and the 4J School District—teaming up with other partners to address our growing refugee crisis.

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