Our Story

We're Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges

Connected Lane County was established in 2014 as Lane County’s regional achievement collaborative by early childhood partners, local school districts, institutions of higher education, the local workforce board, and industry innovators. Today, we are an independent nonprofit serving over 2000 youth each year.

History of Connected Lane County

Our Impact

During the 2022-2023 program year, our organization served youth throughout Lane County through our various programs and offerings. With the help of our dedicated staff, partners, and the community, we launched new initiatives and programs, built on existing programs, and paid out more youth wages than ever before in our history.

Browse our Annual Reports and Impact Analysis.

Youth Served
Youth Hours Spent in Programming
Wages Paid to Youth & Mentors

Words from Our Community

“I was like, okay, what I’m doing is helpful. I mean, you’re guiding these kids to their future, and so many of them, especially being down here, don’t even have a clear path of what they want to do. Those tours give me an opportunity to give them insight into things they might want to do for their life.”

Angela Dennis
Creswell School District

“The greatest thing ever. Efficiency- and action-based. We say we are going to do something and it happens. Once the group agrees on the actions, they do it. They do a great job setting expectations. It’s not just an idea floating in the area. You want to tell the industry to participate because you can see measurable outcomes.”

Ashley Espinoza
Lane Workforce Partnership

“I feel more successful and more directed. I had this idea that one day the carpet was going to get pulled and I’d be in the real world. Like I think part of the tour is like easing you into it and then part of the classes has really helped give me a staircase out into the real world instead of just a steep wall.”

Willamette High School

Youth Highlight: Parker

September 18, 2023

Parker’s Journey at Spark on 7th Meet Parker, a talented young entrepreneur! His journey from high school to the inception of his clothing line, Honyx LLC, is nothing short of inspiring. Parker’s introduction to the world of manufacturing technology came during his senior year at Willamette High School. It was then that he discovered the…

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Navigate Wonder Week 2023

August 17, 2023

In July, the Navigate program’s second Wonder Week unfolded seamlessly, inspiring and empowering young adults. This immersive event at Spark on 7th focused on job readiness and career exploration. Each day, Navigate youth gathered for dedicated learning, growth, and new opportunities.

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Invention Lab 2023

August 17, 2023

Our Invention Lab is more than a summer program – it’s a transformative experience that empowers high school youth to stretch the boundaries of technology and creativity.

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Elevate Summer Internships 2023

August 16, 2023

In the heart of Lane County, a wave of youthful energy and ambition swept through this summer, as 62 aspiring minds embarked on a transformative journey through the 2023 Elevate Summer Internships. Last week, we had the privilege of celebrating the remarkable achievements of these interns at our Summer Internship Celebration. This event served as a testament to the dedication and hard work of our 62 interns, all juniors and seniors, representing 15 school districts and 23 schools within Lane County.

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Youth Highlight: Maia

August 15, 2023

Maia’s Inspiring Journey with the Navigate Program At the heart of the Navigate program lies the belief that with the right support and guidance, every young individual can overcome adversity and reach their fullest potential. Maia’s story is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing the transformative power of the Navigate program in shaping young lives.…

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Youth Highlight: Bella

July 17, 2023

Bella’s Journey From New Mexico to the Art Institute of Chicago We are thrilled to present the inspiring story of Bella, a talented young artist who joined our community after moving from New Mexico to Eugene during her freshman year of high school. Bella’s transition to a new city was initially challenging. Yet she soon…

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In the News

Read all the great things being said about our people, our work, and the youth in our programs!