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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez




    :: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 ::

    Goal to build bridges promises jobs for Oregon workers - By Diane Dietz, The Register-Guard, OR
    The plan calls for recruiting in both traditional and alternative high schools, reaching all the way down into Girl Scout troops to look for its future heavy equipment operators.

    Case managers will help candidates identify their goals and connect with training programs. They may provide support such as tutoring or child care. The plan calls for mentors to help new workers succeed.

    The plan requires contractors to boost the amount of apprentice labor they use to 20 percent of the work hours in specific crafts such as electrical work or carpentry, up from 5 percent now.

    'We don't want to have the contractors go looking to import a bunch of people,' Jones said. 'We want to give jobs to people right here in Oregon and help our economy.'

    The state set up the first of five regional labor pools for contractors. Hiring from the Portland pool begins in January, Jones said.

    Contractors must draw first from the Associated General Contractors or from their labor unions for apprentice candidates with state pools as a backup, Jones said.
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