The Vale Youth Entrepreneurs Program is launching on Monday, with a kickoff session at 3:30 p.m. in the Vale High School Library.

Any Vale area youth interested in starting and/or owning a business as a career is invited to participate.

“It will be youth driven, youth designed,” said Barbara Brody, lead instructor of the program.

The main focus of the program is to give basic skills to youth thinking about business as a career and is open to 15 students selected from application process conducted in December.

“There is a time commitment,” Brody said, like there would be with a business, as youth will be meeting once a week. Participants will learn how to prepare a budget, build a resume and develop a business plan. Students will also have an opportunity to start a business.

The program is an outgrowth of work done by the Vale HomeTown Competitiveness group. HomeTown Competitiveness is a “come back-give back” approach for creating rural economic vitality and was brought to the local area last year by Rural Development Initiatives and The Heartland Center for Leadership Development. Four Rivers Healthy Community, a local not-for-profit organization, serves as the local HomeTown Competitiveness steering committee, supporting ongoing work and projects in the areas of building local leadership, expanding community philanthropy, energizing entrepreneurship and engaging youth and young adults.

The Youth Entrepreneurs Program is the “pillar” developed by the Vale HomeTown Competitiveness group to train and encourage young people wanting to develop businesses.

The Malheur Education Service District received a $5,000 grant per year for two years from The Ford Family Foundation based in Roseburg for the program.

Brody, an Oregon State University Extension agent, will receive staff support from the Education Service District, the Department of Human Services, as well as Vale High School.

Larry Meyer is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4813 or by emailing To comment on this story, go to

What you can do

Mentors and task force members are being sought to assist with the program and work with the youth.

For more information, contact Brody at (541) 207-8078.

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