County is discussing ways to help BMCC

By on Friday, June 3rd, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners has begun a discussion that could provide financial relief for Blue Mountain Community College. The county was notified it was receiving about $15.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The first half of that funding was received on May 11, 2021. The second half was supposed to come one year to the day later.

The commissioners are not going to make definite plans for the funding until it’s in hand, but they are formulating what Chairman John Shafer refers to as a “wish list.” One of the areas the money is meant to be spent is workforce development.

“What better workforce-development driver is there in Umatilla County other than Blue Mountain Community College,” Shafer asked. “BMCC is in financial straits. They’re struggling right now and we know how important they are to our region.”

Shafer said the commissioners are in favor doing something to help the college, they just don’t know what that will look like.

“We wanted to memorialize that the commissioners do recognize the need for it,” he said. “All three of us are in 100 percent agreement. We want to be able to step up and kind of help out with some of those funding issues.”