News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Youth Wage Grant program open

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker have again unanimously approved the annual First-Time Youth Wage Grant program for its 18th year.

Linn County uses economic development funds generated by the Video Lottery to subsidize $3 per hour of wages for first-time teen employees, 14 to 19 years of age.

The program has been highly successful, with dozens of teenagers employed each summer. Last year, 21 employers hired 46 young people who worked almost 10,800 hours.

To qualify, businesses must hire eligible employees between May 1 and Sept. 30. The employee must be legal to work in the United States and a resident of Linn County.

Qualifying businesses must employ 35 or fewer employees and the young people must be first-time employees, who have not previously worked for the individual business. 

An employer can hire up to three youth at any given time and receive a maximum of $1,500 per new hire, or $4,500 total. 

Employers have until Nov. 15, 2024 to submit a request for reimbursement.

For more information, call Courtney Leland at the Linn County Board of Commissioners office at 541-967-3825, extension 2129, or visit

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