KeyBank Club
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

KeyBank invests $500,000 in Portland Boys & Girls Clubs teen workforce program; Portland Timbers set up as lead partner in Portland

Portland, Oregon – The Portland Timbers, KeyBank and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland (BGCP) have teamed up to create YouthForce, an innovative workforce development program for Portland-area teens. It will be funded by an unprecedented gift of $500,000 from the KeyBank Foundation. The Timbers are the first Portland-area business to provide the new program, which offers paid internships, training and other benefits.

In Portland, YouthForce will be administered by BGCP.  Key’s grant will fund programming, placement and internships that will benefit an expected 75 youth when fully deployed. The program will launch in early spring 2015 with trained YouthForce teens helping to deliver the Timbers’ quality fan experience at Providence Park.

The three-year grant will expand KeyBank’s support of the program launched in Seattle by the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. It is the largest single gift made by Key in the Northwest and among the largest ever invested outside Cleveland, its headquarters city.

Expansion of YouthForce to Portland marks a first for Boys & Girls Clubs and future expansion to other KeyBank markets may be possible.

YouthForce helps underserved teens prepare for college, careers and life by pairing job preparedness training with paid summer or year-long internships. In King County, where the program has been under way since 1998, approximately 220 youth ages 16 to 19 are enrolled each year. There is a waiting list of more than 800.

Key’s bankers in Portland will staff YouthForce University, a volunteer-taught basic money management curriculum developed by KeyBank.

YouthForce can introduce transformational change to Portland by putting at-risk kids to work,” said KeyBank Market President Dave Lofland, “and we can’t imagine better partners than the Timbers and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland to get that done.”

The Timbers expect to have approximately 10 trained YouthForce interns in place for the start of its 2015 season of events at Providence Park.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland and KeyBank on the launch of YouthForce,” said Mike Golub, president of business operations for the Timbers.We know that the youth who participate in the program will make a positive contribution to the Timbers, Thorns FC and Providence Park, and, at the same time, gain a very rewarding work experience.”

BGCP is currently seeking additional corporate partners to join the Timbers as employment providers for YouthForce teens.

“What an honor for us to receive this life-changing investment in our youth from KeyBank, and for the Timbers to immediately come on board as our lead partner,” said Erin Hubert, CEO of BGCP. “This collaboration speaks volumes to the commitment both these companies hold to creating economic advancement for all people.”

“King County YouthForce will help its peers in Portland get up and running,” said YouthForce Director Shawna Boggie, who welcomes the opportunity for both organizations to learn from each other.

About KeyBank Foundation: KeyBank Foundation supports nonprofit organizations operating in communities where KeyBank does business. The Foundation focuses on projects that support financial education, workforce development and diversity.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland has been serving youth since 1946. The clubs provide affordable, quality after-school and summer programs designed to help kids develop the qualities needed to achieve academic success, become responsible citizens and leaders, and live healthy lives. Today, the clubs have grown to operate six facilities located throughout the Metropolitan area, along with seven school-based programs in partnership with the Parkrose and Reynolds School Districts. To learn more visit: www.bgcportland.org.

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