Prosperity 10,000 is the section of Future Ready Oregon that invests $35 million through Oregon’s 9 Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs). This funding was intended to support communities most impacted by COVID 19, including people of color, low-income individuals and families, women, disconnected youth, front-line workers, rural and frontier residents, and other historically underserved Oregonians. The initiative was designed to enhance the capacity to provide proven services like career coaching, earn-and-learn opportunities, and industry-specific training. Additionally, these funds enabled LWDBs to scale up vital wraparound services, including childcare, housing, transportation, and technology support.

The P10K strategy was to use the LWDB infrastructure to quickly deploy resources to respond to regional workforce challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. LWDBs used existing partner networks to leverage and distribute funds to a variety of organizations, including nonprofit community-based entities, educational institutions, labor organizations, and other workforce service providers. Additional investments were made to complement existing partnerships and expand community and service connections.

P10K was Initially conceived in 2016 as Prosperity 1,000 – a pilot program to support 1,000 Oregonians living in poverty in East Multnomah County. Despite widespread support for the concept, Prosperity 1,000 failed to pass out of the state Legislature.  In 2022, however, the disparate impact of COVID-19 on historically marginalized and vulnerable Oregonians made it clear that without timely and focused intervention these Oregonians were likely to fall further behind.

A striking statistic reveals that over 30% of Oregon families in poverty have at least one working member. Traditional job placement programs alone cannot eradicate poverty, which is why Prosperity 10,000 focuses on career coaching, occupational training for middle-income jobs, and essential support services like childcare and transportation to enable impoverished families to surmount the barriers that hinder their full participation.

P10K leverages LWDB expertise, relationships, and resources — including a broad array of federal, state, and local investments — and adopts a coordinated team approach to comprehensively address concentrated poverty. P10K strategically identifies in-demand job sectors and aligns resources with impoverished communities that need additional support. It coordinates services like childcare and transportation to meet people where they are and facilitate individual success. P10K addresses the significant shortage of skilled workers in Oregon, providing opportunities for individuals to escape poverty and ultimately reducing the state’s reliance on social welfare programs.

By design, Oregon’s LWDBs have taken varying approaches to investing P10K resources. The differences in implementation reflect the variability of the challenges, opportunities, economies, and cultures across the State. Regardless of the approach, each LWDB is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty, bridging local workforce gaps, and creating a more equitable and prosperous future for all Oregonians.