Want to join our team? Check out our current openings here.

Who We Are

Connected Lane County is a local coalition of school districts, institutions of public higher education, the local workforce board, industry innovators, and early childhood partners. Leaders first came together in Spring 2010 to share information, increase cooperation and support Lane County students in their education transitions.

Our Vision

We create opportunities to increase the relevance for each learner to connect to their lives beyond graduation, and intentionally connect partners to meet the needs of students in Lane County.

Our Team


Heidi Larwick

Executive Director


Lizzie Gray



Brianna Vincent



Justin Thibedeau

Project Coordinator

Olivia Goodheart

Olivia Goodheart

Youth EMPLOYMENT Facilitator


Jenna Ely

Youth Employment Facilitator


Jenna Mendenhall

Projects Assistant


Christian Chase


Michelle Martin

Michelle Martin



Becky-Jo Samples

Marketing Director

Matt Hayes

Matt Hayes


Our Impact

Starting in 2019, we partnered with Dialogues in Action to analyze our impact on the Lane County community, spending months compiling data and interviewing Elevate participants. It’s a comprehensive look at how Connected Lane County has influenced our community.

31% increase

in students saying they were “very confident” in their post-secondary options following participation in Elevate programs
“ 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 industry to participate because you can see measurable outcomes.”
— Ashley Espinoza, Lane Workforce Partnership
“ I think that it’s made me feel more successful, and more directed. I think that prior to the tour and definitely prior to the classes I’ve taken, this idea that one day the kind of carpet was just 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.”
— Skylar, Willamette High School

24% increase

in students saying they felt that classroom experiences would have “a lot” of impact on their lives after high school after participating in Elevate

17% increase

in educators saying they felt “a lot” of connection to their students after participating in Elevate
“And then coming out of those summer experiences, I could really directly talk to specific skills, which were really great. Not just about the tech experience or food and beverage manufacturing…but really talking about skill.”
— Amy Stranieri, Thurston High School



Innovation and Talent Champions for Youth Winner

Tech Association of Oregon, People’s Choice Finalist


OAESD New Ideas in Education Innovation and Talent Nominee

Tech Association of Oregon, People’s Choice Finalist