Students to benefit from CC grants 

(From left) Dr. Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education, Congresswoman Andrea Salinas (OR-6) and Chemeketa Community College president Dr. Jessica Howard pose with a Chemeketa EMS training vehicle. Photo by QUINN STODDARD of Keizertimes 

Congresswoman Andrea Salinas (OR-6), Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education (CTE) Dr. Amy Loyd and a group of school presidents, superintendents and principals came together on April 23 at the Chemeketa Community College Brooks campus to discuss the Career Connected High School Grant, awarded to both Chemeketa as well as Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) this past January. 

The first year of the grant will provide $1,421,219 for various education program tracks, according to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) website and was made possible by the joint efforts of Rep. Salinas, Loyd as well as the colleges and high schools. 

The day began with a roundtable discussion and tour of the facility led by Jordan Bermingham, dean of the Chemeketa Brooks campus to view students learning as well as equipment purchased through the grant, such as the $70,000 Anatomage table used in various health care classes. 

This was followed by a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the Kubota Tech Program, another grant awarded to Chemeketa that will help prospective students develop skills geared towards diesel engine vehicles and their maintenance. 

According to Loyd, the Department of Education received 161 applications in total from 43 states with requests for aid totaling over $860 million. 

Of these, 19 grantees were selected with 11 serving rural communities and eight serving non-rural communities. 

Chemeketa was chosen based on the amount of rural students in the district as well as the three critical industries; healthcare, agriculture and aquaculture that are prominent in Oregon, according to Loyd. 

Assistance for grantees began January 31 of this year. More information about each grantee, including project abstracts, can be found at

The funding provided through the grant program will be used to expand the opportunities for rural and underserved high school students through earning college credit and skills training in various career paths in health care, agriculture and other STEM fields. 

According to the application for the grant, both Chemeketa and OCCC, alongside 33 rural and schools such as Gervais and Woodburn High Schools, form the basis for the Pathways to Science project which focuses, on healthcare, aquaculture and agriculture and represents a regional project with the goal of providing students a path toward earning college credit, acquiring industry recognized credentials, and experiencing work-based learning during high school. 

The program has done well to inspire students already with CCC Brooks student Cesar Aquilera Felix describing how the entry process was not only simple but helped guide him towards a life-long passion. 

“One of the things that interested me was that [CCC Brooks College] is based around emergency services and ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to do that,” Aquilera Felix said. 

Aquilera Felix also spoke to the simplicity of enrolling stating how, “it eased things up because you don’t have to go through that process of applying for a loan or applying for scholarships, rather you just apply for the school itself.” 

The funds will help support career and technical education opportunities, provide students with educational and career planning, recruit more underrepresented students as well as give more supported workplace career exposure for 17,716 students attending partner high schools, according to the grant application. 

The list of attendees included: Rep. Andrea Salinas (OR- 06), Dr. Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Jessica Howard, President, Chemeketa Community College, Andres Oroz, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Dan Lara, Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness both from OCCC, Dandy Stevens, Superintendent, Gervais School District, Andrew Aman, Principal, Gervais School District, Bill Rhoades, Superintendent, North Marion School District, DeAnn Jennes, Principal, North Marion School District, Juan Larios, Superintendent, Woodburn School District as well as Dulce Nash, Principal, Woodburn School District. 

The grant appears a boon for these districts as it allows them to continually reach out to students and provide access to education pathways unhindered by budget cuts going on within the school district. 

“I think that when you look at the funding crisis that we’re having at all education levels and trying to maintain the integrity of programs that keep kids engaged, this is one of the most cost effective partnerships or ways to do that, DeAnn Jennes, principal of the North Marion School District said. 

“If I were trying to set up this program in my own high school, it would cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars and that would not be sustainable. I think that the model that we have here provides our kids with multiple opportunities in different areas of CTE that we couldn’t afford to do,” Jennes finished. 

Assistant Sec. Loy and Rep. Salinas listen on as a Chemeketa paramedic student gives a presentation on maintaining a patient’s airway
Police officer students as they practice hand-to-hand maneuvers and non-lethal suspect takedowns 
Chemeketa paramedic student and current EMT, Amber DeMaris 
A group of Chemeketa paramedic students handing out gift bags to event attendees 
(From left): Fire instructors Jorden Jacobucci from Woodburn Fire District and Dana Bui from the Marion County Fire District #1 
Chemeketa College Brooks’ campus dean, Jordan Bermingham as he guides Salinas and Loyd through the different student displays 
Event attendees as they use the $70,000 Anatomage healthcare education tool 
Two chemeketa emergency services students
High school students touring the Brooks campus facility and visiting one of the emergency service stations
Students inside a police vehicle ensuring the horn works. It did.
Names of the fire truck crew that works on the specific Chemeketa EMS vehicle.
A Brooks campus healthcare instructor demonstrating how an emergency oral airway device works

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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