Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The two organizations are teaming up to offer vocational grants of up to $3,000 to qualified applicants

A couple of local organizations are looking for people to give money to. The only catch is that the dollars go toward vocational education.

The Rotary Club of Canby and the First Step Foundation are teaming up to offer the First Step Vocational Grant program, providing grants up to $3,000 to qualified applicants to be used toward tuition payments or direct expenses related to short-term study.

The goal of the program, essentially, is to help people working minimum-wage jobs earn more money.

"One of the things, as a part of Rotary in Canby, that we do is scholarships for young people. You're probably familiar with that," said Ray Keen, Rotary board member and director at The Canby Center, to a group of business people at the chamber's monthly luncheon. "Young people coming out of high school, graduating and then going out into the world need some help to make that start.

"But, we have many people in our community who actually have been employed," he continued, "but they could really use some help taking that next step — taking a step toward maybe a certification or some sort of vocational training that would help them to earn a better living wage."

That's where the grant program comes in. With the help of a grant, individuals should expect to see a 50 percent increase in pay, according to information from the sponsoring organizations. For example, an individual currently earning $10 an hour, after training, should be able to apply for a job paying $15 an hour or more.

Of course, income results will vary depending on career field and training, but one of the goals of the program is for recipients to see that 50 percent increase in pay.

There are no age requirements or limits; the application is open to all. It is available online at and can be completed in just a few seconds.

Kristen Wohlers
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