In January 2020, Julie Baker, administrative office manager and local liaison for the Oregon State University Extension office in Morrow County, learned at a Heppner Chamber of Commerce meeting that multiple businesses and agencies had hired employees who hadn’t been able to start work because they were waiting to receive their certification in CPR and first aid.
Despite being a community need, there wasn’t a local agency that offered regular certifications. In response, Baker began planning a CPR/first aid class at the Extension office in Heppner. Within a week, she lined up an instructor, scheduled a class and began advertising it to the community. The class quickly reached capacity, so a waiting list was created.
As a result, eight employees earned their CPR/first aid certification, and the economic impact was immediate. The employees were no longer delayed in their work start dates, and their employers weren’t required to pay travel expenses for out-of-town certifications. Another outcome of the class was the Extension office learning of and successfully applying for a grant from the Morrow County Health District to purchase an AED defibrillator for the Extension office.