Klamath Co. Chamber of Commerce
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Klamath IDEA to host open house at new Center for Entrepreneurship - 03/20/17

The Klamath IDEA (Inspire Development, Energize Acceleration) will host an open house to celebrate the opening of the Klamath IDEA Center for Entrepreneurship on April 11th from 4:00-7:00 pm. The Center is located at 803 Main Street, Suite 103 in downtown Klamath Falls, just inside the Washington Federal Bank Building.

"Weekday mornings from 9:30-12:00 the Center will be open to the public for those with questions about what support is available in the entrepreneurial ecosystem here. Then in the afternoons and evenings, the space will predominately function as a business training classroom for use by the resource partners," commented Kat Rutledge, Director of the KCC Small Business Development Center and leader of the Klamath IDEA.

The afternoon will commence at 4:00 pm with a ribbon cutting and light refreshments will be served.

Klamath IDEA is a community initiative dedicated to supporting the development of resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and encourage their use in the community. Resource Partners in the initiative include Klamath Community College, KCC Small Business Development Center, South Central Oregon Economic Development District, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Tech, Klamath County Economic Development Association, Oregon State University KBREC, and Business Oregon.

The classroom and Center were largely funded by a Rural Opportunity Grant from Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency. The new ROI Program is aimed at supporting capacity building in the rural regions of Oregon specifically around encouraging entrepreneurship.

STEM&M partnership signs 24 more students: Partnership between Mazama High School and Oregon Tech enters second year - 03/16/17

March 16, 2017, KLAMATH FALLS, OR. -- On Wednesday, 24 students signed on as the second group to join to the STEM&M program, a partnership between Mazama High School and Oregon Tech.

STEM&M is a unique program guiding Mazama High School students through pathways leading directly to academic programs at Oregon Tech. The collaboration focuses on dual credit courses that offer college credits, student and faculty visits, mentoring opportunities, and information sharing to benefit students.

Last year 66 students started in the new program which encourages closer institutional ties between the schools and develops beneficial scholarships for students. STEM&M focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with the added "M" for Medical pathways.

Of the 66 students who started in last year's group, only 6 are no longer participating due to factors such as family relocation. This year 48 students applied, and 24 of them qualified to join based on their student essay, teacher recommendation and GPA.

Laura Nickerson, science teacher and STEM&M director at Mazama, welcomed the students by sharing, "For you to be sitting in these seats, you have truly earned it."

"This is very special," Mazama Vice Principal Randy Rose told the students. "You guys are a select few. You guys are standouts."

At the official signing ceremony on Wednesday, the students put pen to paper on a contract to join STEM&M and donned Oregon Tech hats in front of parents, school officials, Oregon Tech representatives and media.

"It was fantastic," said Cooper Hamilton, 15. "It was a great feeling."

Students agreeing to participate in this opportunity are held to a high standard. They are committing to a GPA of 3.0 or better, taking streamlined electives, and engaging in extra-curricular activities that demonstrate the different pathways available to them, and engaging in volunteer work.

Mazama Principal Steve Morosin has been there the last two years to shake hands with the students and welcome them into STEM&M. "These students really take it seriously and are striving to do more," he said. "This program puts a focus on the next steps to take out of high school and allows them to see opportunities to do more with their future."

"It felt amazing," Grace Spoon, 14, said of the signing ceremony. "It was super cool and I'm super proud of myself and the work I've put in. It's really paid off."

Grace's mom, Rachael Spoon, said it was exciting to see her daughter sign. "Proud and excited," she said, describing her feelings. "To see her have such a good step up to achieving her dreams. It's a big deal."

Students participating in the program will also have preferential access to specific Oregon Tech programs and STEM&M graduates who choose Oregon Tech for their college will each receive scholarships:
* OWL scholarship: $1,500 freshmen year
* Oregon Tech's presidential scholarship: $2,000 renewable each year
These amounts total $9,500 in scholarships for attendance at Oregon Tech, helping with student and family affordability.

"The partnership with a regional college and how much they have been willing to support and put into this program has been amazing," said Jeff Bullock, secondary curriculum director for the Klamath County School District. "I think it's unique in our state. A four-year college saying we're going to support this program you've created with dual credit, with opportunities on our campus, with access to our labs, with access to guest speakers."

Both Grace and Cooper are interested in the medical field, and look to Oregon Tech to get them there. They anticipate earning the scholarships when they graduate from high school in 2020.

"I wanted to join because I think it's a really great opportunity," said Grace. "I think it's just too good of an opportunity to pass up - $9,000 is a lot of money. It'd be awesome."

"We need the money, and I've always been blessed academically," Cooper said of his reason to join STEM&M. "I wanted to join a program that would make me work harder and become a smarter, better person."

This year's group splits precisely in half with a diverse group of 12 females and 12 males. Of the students who signed up this year, 9 are interested in Technology/Engineering and 14 are interested in Medical pathways.

"The number of females interested in this opportunity is impressive," said Klamath County School District Superintendent Greg Thede. "There's been such an outreach for more females in STEM that it's great we have a half and half representation."

For more information, contact Marla Edge, Director of Academic Agreements, at 541.885.1034 or marla.edge@oit.edu.

About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic university the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering, technology health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on, applied learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, an Online campus, as well as other degree deliver sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council subcommittee to discuss wilderness character March 15 - 03/07/17

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Council (RAC) Lands With Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) Subcommittee will meet as indicated below.

DATES: The committee will meet via conference call from 1-3 p.m. PT, Wednesday, March 15, 2016. The telephone conference line number for the meeting is 1-866-524-6456, Participant Code: 608605. The agenda consists of a discussion of possible management approaches for areas identified by BLM as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics for a subsequent recommendation to the full RAC as part of the Vale and Lakeview districts' respective Resource Management Plan Amendment(s) process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larisa Bogardus, Public Affairs Specialist, Lakeview BLM, 1301 S. G St., Lakeview, OR 97630, (541) 947-6237, lbogardus@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1(800) 877-8339 to contact the above individuals during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Southeast Oregon RAC consists of 15 members chartered and appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to serve in an advisory capacity concerning the planning and management of the public land resources located within the BLM's Lakeview, Burns and Vale Districts. Their diverse perspectives are represented in commodity, conservation, and general interests. They provide advice to BLM and Forest Service resource managers regarding management plans and proposed resource actions on public land in southeast Oregon. This meeting is open to the public in its entirety. Information to be distributed to the Southeast Oregon RAC is requested prior to the start of each meeting.

All advisory committee meetings are open to the public. Persons wishing to make comments during the public comment period should register in person with the BLM, at the meeting location, proceeding that meeting day's comment period. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment, the length of comments may be limited. The public may send written comments to the RAC at the Vale District office, 100 Oregon Street, Vale OR 97918-9629. The BLM appreciates all comments.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America's public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Oregon Tech Trustees approve new BS degree in professional writing, discuss factors impacting tuition and budgets for fall 2017 - 03/01/17

KLAMATH FALLS, OR: March 1, 2017 -- The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) Board of Trustees met February 23 and 24 at its Klamath Falls Campus to review the tuition setting process and relationship to the state budget, approve a new degree program in professional writing to move forward to the next step, receive an update on the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) planned opening, and to re-elect Dr. Lisa Graham and Dr. Steve Sliwa as Board Chair and Vice-chair, respectively.

Tuition and Budget Vice President for Finance and Administration, Brian Fox, provided information on the factors impacting tuition setting, budget, and institutional priorities. Fox noted that the finance officers from Oregon's public universities are meeting with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and legislators on budget hydraulics and forecasts to help their Funding and Achievement Subcommittee understand the budget pressures affecting universities. These include continued increases in costs to fund biennial PERS costs, as well as healthcare increases in PEBB. Because of these costs that are not within the control of the public universities in Oregon, institutions are estimating tuition increases for fall 2017 that could exceed 10%, depending on the funding level provided by the state, which won't be known until late June. The current biennial budget for 2015-17 is at the funding levels that the universities received a decade ago (2007). Without adjusting for inflation, institutions are still catching up in rebuilding core areas that support students once they get onto campus. Fox said that Oregon Tech is in a relatively strong position because we continue to experience enrollment increases and strong student and market demand for hands-on, applied programs.

Fox noted that Oregon Tech's budget development process for 2017-18 is underway. This includes developing a revenue forecast, defining institutional needs, and establishing a baseline budget, with some assumptions about state funding and tuition levels, that can then be presented to the Board as a recommended budget. Some key ways that the university is increasing revenues to support students and operations is to strengthen growing in-demand programs while making investments focused on enrollment and on increasing completion rates. The balance between making key investments in a period with potentially lower state funding will likely bring about a deficit budget at Oregon Tech for a period of time until those investments come to fruition.

Regarding the tuition setting process at Oregon Tech, Fox noted that public forums are held on each campus in order to hear from stakeholders; and the Tuition Recommendation Committee -- which includes students, faculty and staff -- meets multiple times to determine a recommendation to the President. Oregon Tech's policy revolves around creating affordable access, bringing in a diverse group of students, being able to offer strong degree programs, supporting the long-term fiscal integrity of the university, and maintaining campus infrastructure.

New Program LeAnn Maupin, Interim Provost and Dean of the College of Health, Arts, and Sciences, presented follow up information on the proposed new degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing. Maupin summarized the program, which has a technical and scientific underpinning that matches Oregon Tech's specific mission. The program focuses on professional, technical, business, and scientific writing; and prepares individuals for academic positions or for professional careers as writers, editors, researchers, and related careers in business, government, nonprofit sector, and the professions. The new degree will include instruction in theories of rhetoric, writing, and digital literacy; document design, production, and management; visual rhetoric and multimedia composition; usability testing; web writing; and publishing in print and electronic media. After discussion by Board members, the program was approved unanimously, with a recommendation to forward to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) for the final approval step. Assuming that approval, the program is expected to launch in fall 2017.

OMIC Update Laura McKinney, Vice President for Oregon Tech's Wilsonville campus, provided an update on the progress of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center. She noted that once the Membership Agreements are completed and signed, that the OMIC will be able to move forward later this year and open its doors. Oregon Tech manages the landlord functions and is coordinating getting the site furnished and managing equipment donations with current partners; Boeing and others have identified equipment for placement in OMIC. To date, there are seven industry partners, as well as Oregon State University and Portland State University. Approvals for egress and ingress access into the site is underway with property owners.
McKinney noted that there is work underway to apply for a grant with the federal Economic Development Agency, which would fund infrastructure needs, including roads and building equipment; she noted that OMIC is working with the City of Scappoose and Oregon Business Development Department on the grant. Legislative engagement and support continues to be strong, with wonderful advocacy from Sen. Betsy Johnson, and support from Congresswoman Bonamici. The business plan is currently being developed, and will be reviewed by the OMIC Board. She said she is encouraged by the commitment of industry partners, including donations of equipment, and active engagement at board and technology road-mapping meetings. The Board commended the Oregon Tech OMIC team for all of their efforts to move this development forward quickly; and noting that it will have a profound affect in Scappoose.

About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic institution in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering, health technologies, management, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on, applied and relevant learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, an Online Campus, and sites in Salem and at Seattle-Boeing. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.