Youth CareerConnect Receives $30,500 in Funding from COAR, First Interstate Bank


Bend, Ore. (January 18, 2022)Youth CareerConnect (YCC), a region-wide internship program working to build the future workforce while simplifying the process of connecting local employers to students through internships, announced the receipt of two donations totaling $30,500 from Central Oregon Association of Realtors (COAR) and First Interstate Bank, to continue funding the program through the remainder of the year.

Since its inception in 2017, the program delivered by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), has successfully engaged with nearly 300 regional employers and placed 400 students into internships across a variety of industries throughout Central Oregon.

The Board of Directors for COAR approved a second straight year of funding at $20,000 in support of the YCC Regional Internship Program. These funds, in part, will help to further expose the real estate industry as a potential career path to the regional student population participating in the YCC program.

First Interstate Bank committed $10,500 to the region-wide program, continuing the effort to connect young adults with real-life work experiences.

Larry Holeman, YCC’s Regional Managing Director, said that “the investments from COAR and First Interstate Bank shows great local support and are a tremendous boost for the YCC Internship Program. The funds received will continue to sustain program staff in their efforts of working with local high school and college students, connecting them with Central Oregon businesses to gain career-path work experience.”

“The Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® is pleased to continue our support for EDCO’s Youth CareerConnect,“ says 2021 COAR President Louie Hoffman. “This program provides an amazing opportunity for businesses and youth in the region by connecting high school and college students with internships. This experience helps them gain real-world opportunities and better prepare for the workforce.”

Travis Browning, First Interstate Bank’s Market President in Redmond stated “At First Interstate, we know how important it is to support our communities through business development and philanthropy. That’s why we’re proud to support YCC and EDCO and the good work they do to make our communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

YCC connects high school, college and university students with employers across the region to create or continue internships that provide real work experience. YCC is supported by East Cascades Works, Redmond Executives Association (REA), EDCO, and is underwritten by the region’s school districts, private foundations, and public grants.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

Now in its 40th year, EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit

About Youth CareerConnect (YCC)
YCC provides internship opportunities for students from high school, college and alternative organizations, offering real-world work experience from local employers across the region. YCC’s mission is to achieve a work-ready labor force through the successful placement of young adults into internships. To register as a potential employer or intern, visit