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.

Connected Lane County History

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

May Young Adult Highlight: Meet Jaiden! 

May 17, 2024

Jaiden (she/her) has been an engaged Connected Lane County community member since joining the Navigate Program in July of 2022. Jaiden has faced challenges and barriers to employment and has demonstrated significant professional and personal growth throughout her time with us.  To learn more about her story, read her interview below!  What Connected Lane County…

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EWEB Industry Tour News Coverage

May 6, 2024

In March 2024, Connected Lane County coordinated a tour of EWEB’s facility. Dozens of youth from schools across Lane County came to EWEB to explore the Utility Service Industry. The high school youth learned about various high-wage, high-demand jobs and saw how a large utility company like EWEB operates. The youth visited various stations and…

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Meet Leo, our April youth highlight!

April 22, 2024

Meet Leo, our April Youth Highlight!  Leo (they/them) has been a Connected Lane County participant since the summer of 2023 when they were a Summer Intern! Leo was placed at Volunteers in Medicine and learned more about what a career in health care would look like.  This internship gave them insight into the mental health…

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Endless Mileage Project News Coverage

April 4, 2024

The Agency worked with Endless Mileage to create new tree tags that display athletes’ finishing times. The Endless Mileage is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering sustainable environments and programming that inspires the next generation of track and field athletes to break barriers. Read more!

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Meet Mars, our March Youth Highlight!

March 26, 2024

Mars’ pronouns: Any Meet our STEM Superstar, Mars! While enrolled in the Migrant Education Oregon program at Hamlin Middle School, Mars learned about Connected Lane County’s BIPOC STEM program, Invention Club. Mars participated in 2021, and using limited materials, her team created a catapult to launch an item into a target. Mars’ group won first…

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Youth Highlight: Elliott

February 21, 2024

Elliott has been an engaged member of the Connected Lane County community since August 2023. Elliott appreciates the inclusive and welcoming environment at Spark locations, where they can unwind, access support, and engage in various activities. To learn more about Elliott’s story, read their interview below! How did you find Connected Lane County, and what…

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marketingJAM makes waves in a three-day weekend competition

February 12, 2024

marketingJAM, the three-day marketing competition, wrapped up a successful showcase! We had 12 teams and saw competitors from Bethel, Creswell, Junction City, Siuslaw, Springfield, and 4J. Teams took on real-world challenges from local nonprofits, including Springfield Education Foundation, Lane Workforce Partnership, City Club of Eugene, and Positive Community Kitchen. Marmalade Marketeers from Creswell High School…

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Youth Highlight: Daniel

January 17, 2024

Meet Daniel, our monthly youth highlight! Daniel came to Connected Lane County through his school’s Career Center. He struggled to find employment and wanted to expand his skills. Our team placed Daniel in a paid summer internship with Bitforest based on his interests. Following his summer internship, he participated in codeORcreate, where his team won…

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December Youth Highlight: Minh & Thu

December 12, 2023

Introduction to SparkMinh and Thu bring so much creative energy to Spark programming. The twin sisters joined the after-school Invention Club at Spark on 7th in the fall of 2021, learning various machines and workflows and expanding their STEM skills. STEM InvolvementAt MESA Day, the end-of-year statewide STEM competition held at Portland State University, Minh…

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codeORcreate a Three-Day Youth Technology Competition Ends With a Weekend Showcase

December 12, 2023

codeORcreate is an annual three-day youth technology competition. Connected Lane County hosted 48 youth from 13 schools and 7 school districts. The youth had three days to create a tech-based solution to community problems and were paired with tech mentors. At the end of the weekend, youth got to present their projects to a panel…

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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!