VF Foundation awards second grant to Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy


The VF Foundation awarded a second $150,000 grant to Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE). With a total of $300,000 in grant aid awarded, the VF Foundation is CORE’s largest funder to date.

These grants are intended to support CORE’s ongoing research and the growth of a national consortium of institutions aiming to offer or expand outdoor industry programming.



“We have already seen great interest and early participation from prospective consortium members,” reports Erin Gaines, CORE’s Industry and Government Relations Strategist.

“By bringing together voices from post-secondary institutions across the country via both virtual and in-person events, we will be able to collaborate more effectively and efficiently than if we were all trying to develop these programs independently.”

The consortium will achieve its goals through a number of activities including:

  • Connecting college and university faculty delivering or interested in building programming related to the outdoors
  • Building and strengthening partnerships among college and university faculty, outdoor recreation industry employers, government agencies, and relevant nonprofits
  • Collaborating on research to clarify the outdoor industry’s sectors, define desirable and required skills, and match training priorities to industry needs
  • Establishing national outdoor industry workforce standards, trainings, and curriculum
  • Providing a platform for employers to connect with enthusiastic, qualified candidates
  • Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices throughout the outdoor industry

“Put simply, we couldn’t do this work without funding from organizations like the VF Foundation,” Erin says. “Receiving this funding is a strong endorsement of the important work we’re doing. We have the opportunity to team up and build a more informed, more diverse, and better prepared outdoor recreation economy workforce.”

In addition to developing the consortium, the VF Foundation grant will help support CORE’s work on the Outdoor Industry Workforce Assessment Survey, which launched in 2021.

Ben Peterson

Written by Ben Peterson

Ben is a writer and communications strategist focused on higher education.

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