OYA Training Camp Florence Youth; Summer Jobs for Teens; Special Olympics Fundraiser; COVID-19 Update

OYA Training Camp Florence Youth

It may look as though some preliminary construction is beginning on the property across from the Florence Events Center on Quince street, but what is actually happening, according to assistant City Manager Megan Messmer, is some advanced training for youth at Camp Florence.  Camp Director Pete Roberts says the young men are training for careers operating heavy equipment.

“They spend two weeks in a simulator and they have a mobile trailer that has four simulators inside and they rotate through the stations and they basically learn how to operate those equipment sitting at the simulator– that is very real feeling and has the shake and rumble just like the real machine would have.”

Roberts says once participants finish the three-week program they are job eligible.

 “They earn their level one certification and they could show up to any job site and apply for work in heavy equipment…

In this, the final week, Camp Florence trainees are doing their actual on-site heavy equipment operation. The program is run in conjunction with the Multnomah School District’s vocational program. Camp Florence is a youth transitional facility for young men typically between the ages 17-24.

Summer Jobs for Teens

Applying for a summer job just got easier.  Mapleton and Siuslaw High School students can now fill out a common application for summer jobs around the Florence area. Schools will maintain a list of businesses that will use the common app.  Students interested in summer employment can find the application on the City’s website at ci.florence.or.us.  Applications will be reviewed by school staff or staff from Connected Lane County.  Businesses interested in participating can apply on the City’s website.  The application is the product of a partnership between The City of Florence, Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, Lane Workforce Partnership, Connected Lane County, the Siuslaw School District and area businesses.

Special Olympics Fundraiser

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a lot of businesses and it has also severely impacted many of the non-profits.  Last year the special Olympics of Oregon cancelled all of their activities and are currently on hiatus until at least july 31st of this year.  Officials say that there is a possibility of a return to activity, but that date is not currently known.  With event cancellations, and financial concerns impacting the Special Olympics organizers have set up a fundraiser that will take place tomorrow at the Florence Safeway store from 10-3.  The Knights of Columbus will be collecting loose change from anyone wishing to donate.

COVID-19 Update

Lane County has had a three month low report of new cases.  Yesterday there were only 17 new cases reported across the county and the case count for Florence remains at 246.  Hospital cases have also dropped by 7 with 14 individuals admitted, but half of them are in the ICU.  Cases across the state are still showing an up and down pattern with 433 new cases in the Oregon Health Authority report yesterday.  There was also an alarming 21 new deaths reported and while that number is significant it is a culmination of several days of reporting and are not typically indicative of a one day total.  Vaccination rates continue to be slow as well with Lane County at 62.1 percent.  That rate, according to LCPH Liaison Jason Davis does not include veteran vaccinations or tribal members which would bring the county to over 63 percent, but currently the OHA is not recognizing those numbers in their count.  Davis says it is not likely that Lane County will meet the 65% goal today.  Vaccination clinics continue to be ongoing across the county and it is a wait and see for the time being.