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County OKs stipend increase for youth wage program


April 27, 2022

Linn County and the Willamette Workforce Partnership will partner to increase the hourly stipend, from $2 to $5 per hour, to local employers who hire young people for their first jobs this summer as part of the Linn County First Time Youth Wage Grant Program, now in its 16th year.

Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker approved the change Tuesday, April 19. 

The program will continue to operate through the Linn County Board of Commissioner’s office. The county will be reimbursed by the Willamette Workforce Partnership for 50% of expended funding, which comes from the federal workforce program, at the end of the summer season. 

This year’s program will be for young people ages 14 to 19 years of age. Employers can hire up to four youths and have a maximum reimbursement of $6,000.

In 2021, the program temporarily increased the hourly stipend to $4 per hour and reimbursed $70,770 to 28 companies that employed 61 young people, who logged almost 18,000 hours. Participants received a broad range of work experiences, from restaurants to farming.

For more information,, contact Administrative Assistant Heather Gravelle at (541) 967-3825. 

In other business:

-- Administrative Officer Darrin Lane told commissioners that contracts have been approved with the Linn County Juvenile Detention Workers Association and the Linn County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Lane said the contracts share much common language, which has been a goal in recent years. The deputy’s bargaining agreement’s major components include a 5% cost-of-living and 3% market adjustments in year one. Years two and three include a 2 to 3% COLA based on the Consumer Price Index. The JDWA contract’s major components include a 5% COLA in year one; years two and three include a 2 to 4% COLA based on CPI. A third longevity step of 2.5% will be added at 20 years of service.

-- Linn County Expo Center Director Randy Porter said that the addition of new fiber optics at the facility is nearly done and he’s seeking bids for a Wi-Fi provider. He added that events were picking up and ticket sales for mainstage acts at the county fair in July are strong. 

-- Commissioners approved an agreement with William and Mary Brock to purchase rock from the Brock Quarry near Scio. The agreement is for six years with an additional six-year extension with sufficient aggregate. 

-- Commissioners approved a Declaration of Necessity as a prerequisite to developing a right-of-way for the Seven Mile Lane Selmet Entrance Improvement Project funded by the Oregon Business Development Program. The project will include widening, the addition of a center turn lane and realignment of a driveway access to address safety concerns. 

-- Commissioners approved purchasing a self-propelled sweeper from Pape’ Machinery for the Road Department for $87,439.

-- The following actions were approved within the Linn County Department of Health Services: The Department of Corrections to provide a half-time probation officer liaison, transitional housing, transportation assistance, DMV ID assistance and shelter services noted to exceed $385,907; a student affiliation agreement between Linn County and Samford University College of Health Sciences to provide unpaid internships to students in the master’s degree-level mental health programs; and a personal services agreement with Casa Latinos Unidos for $110,000 to provide a bilingual/bicultural staff member for outreach and service coordination to the county’s Latinx community. The commissioners also appointed Kami Beard and Emma Deane to the Linn County Mental Health Advisory Board.

-- Former County Commissioner Cliff Wooten asked if the refuse transfer station near Lebanon will reopen. The commissioners said that the Solid Waste Advisory Committee has discussed the issue, but no movement has yet been made. 

– Alex Paul, Linn County Communications Officer


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