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Workforce Development Resources

  • Career Advancement Opportunities

  • Mt. Hood Community College Mechatronics/Metals Programs

    The mechatronics program at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) offers students and incumbent workers coursework in the growing field of industrial automation and maintenance.

    • Students in this program will receive industry-recognized credentials in robotics, programmable logic controllers and the skills required to enter the field of automation as a service technician.
    • The program is designed to allow students to both work and attend school.

    Engagement opportunities

    Support and encourage your employees to enroll in the MHCC mechatronics/certificate programs to build their skills in:

    • Pneumatics
    • Hydraulics
    • Welding
    • Industrial safety
    • Specific curriculums are offered for:
      • Certified maintenance technicians
      • Industrial automation

    Contact

    Todd Saunders, Faculty Advisor
    503-491-7034
    todd.saunders@mhcc.edu

    Website: mhcc.edu/mechatronics

    Other MHCC metals/welding certificate programs

    These MHCC certificate programs train students in highly specialized skills that prepare them to enter or advance in a variety of careers related to manufacturing, fabrication and repair of metal products.

    • Machinist
    • VESL accelerated welding technology
    • Gas metal and flux cored arc welder
    • Machine tool technology
    • Integrated metals
    • Shielded metal arc welder 

    Contact

    Industrial Technology Office
    503-491-7470

    Website: mhcc.edu/MachineToolTechnology

    Mt. Hood Community College Customized Training

    A business may need customized training to build specific skills for its workforce. Mt. Hood Community College’s customized training team can assess an employer’s needs and deliver innovative, on-site training solutions.

    Customized training examples

    • Workplace ESL to improve safety and workflow across 18 languages.
    • Blueprint reading to provide staff a basic understanding and create a path for advancement from assembly to machine operator positions.
    • Software training in Microsoft Excel and Outlook to improve communication and data sharing among teams.

    Engagement opportunities

    Work directly with a Workforce Training Coordinator to develop a customized training approach that meets the needs of your business.

    Contact

    Aaron Sorenson, Business and Industry Workforce Training Coordinator
    503-491-7496
    aaron.sorenson@mhcc.edu

    Website: mhcc.edu/WorkforceTraining

    Oregon Apprenticeship Program

    Registered apprenticeships, where employees train under the direction of experienced subject matter experts (called journey workers), are one way businesses can prepare for the shifting demographics of the workforce.

    • Apprenticeship programs foster loyalty, replenish your skilled workforce and can make your company more productive.
    • Apprenticeship is an effective solution in any occupation that involves a progressive attainment of skills and knowledge in order to meet an industry standard.

    Engagement opportunities

    • Design a customized apprenticeship program – steps to participate:
      1. Contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries – Apprenticeship and Training Division.
      2. Develop an apprenticeship program.
      3. Become approved to train apprentices.
      4. Grow your skilled workforce through apprenticeship.
    • Join an established apprenticeship program.

    If you are an employer in the information technology or manufacturing industry, there may be grant funds available to help cover tuition costs for your apprentices.

    Contact

    Shaun Engstrom, Apprenticeship Program Liaison
    503-931-5379
    shaun.c.engstrom@oregon.gov

    Website: oregonapprenticeship.org/business

    Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership - Smart Talent

    The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) works side-by-side with Oregon manufacturers to build successful businesses. OMEP’s team has significant depth and breadth of real-world manufacturing experience bringing a thoughtful problem-solving approach to eliminating obstacles companies face.

    Engagement opportunities

    • Addresses the workforce challenges of the manufacturing industry in Oregon by helping companies build systems to:
      1. Attract talent
      2. Engage employees
      3. Enhance training and development capabilities

      Contact

      Mike Vanier, Vice President of Client Engagement
      503-406-3774
      mvanier@omep.org

      Paola Castaldo, Managing Consultant
      503-313-9694
      pcastaldo@omep.org

      Website: omep.org/workforce-solutions

      Portland Community College Workforce Development

      Portland Community College (PCC) offers a wide variety of resources to employers to assist with training existing employees and building future workforce pipelines.

      Engagement opportunities

      Contact

      Jennifer Piper, Dean of Business, Community and Workforce Development Pathway, 971-722-6232

      jennifer.piper1@pcc.edu

      Website: pcc.edu/workforce-development/metro

    • Local Employment Opportunities

    • Abilities at Work

      Abilities at Work is a metro-area, nonprofit organization partnering with businesses to find sustainable and fulfilling employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

      Job coaches and vocational trainers provide free workforce assessments to employers to help identify suitable employment opportunities, then train and perform job tasks along with the client until the client is on-boarded.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Find candidates through job placement and job carving services.
        • Qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is 40% of the first $6,000 a candidate earns.
      • Provide mock interviews.

      Contact

      Aimee Sukol, Outreach Specialist
      757-277-6448
      aimees@abilitiesatwork.org

      Website: abilitiesatwork.org

      Community Works Project

      The Community Works Project is a collaborative effort between culturally specific community organizations to empower job seekers on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through skills development, resources and job leads.

      The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) leads the collaboration, which includes El Programa Hispano, Human Solutions, Native American Youth and Family Center, Self Enhancement Inc., and Urban League of Portland.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Post open positions.
      • Participate in hiring events.
      • Connect with volunteers and subsidized trainees.

      Contact

      James Frothingham, Employment & Engagement Supervisor
      971-331-5136
      jamesf@communityworksnw.org

      Website: communityworksnw.org/employers

      Goodwill Job Connections

      Goodwill Job Connections maintains a large employee database to match your needs to the goals and skill of individuals seeking employment.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Promote your business.
      • Find qualified candidates.
      • Review and assess candidate skills.
      • Host free job fairs and promote open positions with your company.
      • Veteran-focused programs.

      Contact

      Paul Langdon, Job Connections Senior Program Manager
      503-238-6175
      plangdon@gicw.org

      Website: goodwilljobconnection.org

      Human Solutions Employment Services

      Human Solutions Employment Services is a community partnership with WorkSystems, WorkSource Oregon and the City of Gresham. Services target transitioning young adults and adults in our communities seeking career training opportunities to meet the industry training and hiring needs of local business.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Pre-screening and matching applicants to your specifications, maximizing your recruiting efforts.
      • Working collaboratively with newly-hired workers and business to ensure workforce retention and employee success.
      • Providing financial assistance to help you off set your new hire training costs, allowing you to focus on your bottom line productivity.
      • Collaboratively creating a learning environment to bridge the gap between classroom and workplace.

      Contact

      Ricardo Lopez, Program Director – Employment and Economic Development
      503-907-2821
      rlopez@humansolutions.org

      Website: humansolutions.org

      Impact NW Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program

      Impact NW's Manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program is geared toward individuals age 18-26 with a vested interest in pursuing a manufacturing career.

      • Participants gain relevant, industry-specific technical knowledge with 3D printers, mini CNC machines, band saws, belt grinders, calipers, laser engravers, forklifts and drill presses.
      • Participants also gain employability skills in communication, punctuality, problem solving and collaboration.
      • Successful graduates will have an opportunity for a paid internship.

      Impact NW is invested in helping thriving students procure direct employment with a local manufacturing company to create a healthy, competitive regional workforce and connect proactive young men and women to living wage occupations.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Be a business partner.
      • Host an apprentice at your business.

      Contact

      Brandi Dancen
      541-390-9096
      bdancen@impactnw.org

      Website: impactnw.org/programs/youthfamily/urban-opportunities

      Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)

      The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization’s (IRCO’s) Workforce Development Department provides participants with on-ramps to career pathways through guided skills assessment, career planning and resource planning toward long-term career goals and short term paid youth internships or direct hire.

      As a community-based organization, IRCO empowers children, youth, families and elders from around the world to build new lives and become self-sufficient by providing more than 200 culturally and linguistically specific social services.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Post open positions.
      • Volunteer to tutor or assist participants with job readiness skills and activities.
      • Host a job shadow activity, internship placement for youth, or other employer event.
      • Join the We Hire Refugees business-led initiative to commit to providing employment opportunities to refugees and immigrants.

      Contact

      Youth internships, job shadows, volunteering or direct hire: 

      Heather Thompson 
      503-740-5006
      heathert@irco.org

      Posting open positions: employmentservices@irco.org

      Website: irco.org/what-we-do/employment

      Mt. Hood Community College Recruitment Services

      Mt. Hood Community College offers workforce recruitment services and resources including opportunities for employers to participate in career fairs throughout the year at their various locations.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Register or sponsor a career fair to recruit for part-time or full-time employees.
      • Post positions on job boards.
      • Schedule a recruitment session.

      Contact

      Jennifer McNeil, Coordinator
      jennifer.mcneil@mhcc.edu

      Website: mhcc.edu/employers

      Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTW)

      Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. (OTW) provides career education, apprenticeship readiness training for women and girls seeking career pathways in the skilled trades.

      • Founded in 1989, OTI strives to provide women with access, opportunities and equity in the construction, environmental remediation and transportation industries as these careers are high-wage, high-skilled pathways to prosperity.
      • OTI’s team provides supportive services, case management, job coaching and placement, and retention services to women who participate in the free, eight-week apprenticeship readiness Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class (TACC), offered quarterly.

      Engagement opportunities

      Contact

      Lisa Palermo, Development Director
      503-335-8200, ext. 138
      lisa@oregontradeswomen.net

      Website: tradeswomen.net

      Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) SOAR Program

      Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (POIC) is a nonprofit organization established in 1968 in North Portland, serving over 700 students and work trainees annually across three programs: Rosemary Anderson High School, Rosemary Anderson Transitions, and Work Opportunities Training.

      Through the SOAR program, employment specialists work with individuals ages 18-24 coming out of incarceration to find career development opportunities. SOAR is a Department of Labor grant supported program.

      Engagement opportunities

      Engage with SOAR employment specialists to provide career opportunities to justice-involved individuals and make a successful transition back to the community by helping them become productive, responsible and law-abiding citizens.

      Contact

      SOAR Program
      Yaisha Lavine, SOAR Program Manager
      971-940-0123
      soar@portlandoic.org

      Website: portlandoic.org

      Rosewood Initiative

      The Rosewood Initiative is a nonprofit community-based organization that has been implementing neighbor-led strategies since 2009. The Rosewood community center provides space for people to gather, connect to resources, celebrate and work on projects that improve their lives and the community.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Attend job fairs.
      • Engage with neighborhood navigator to connect employers with job seekers.

      Contact

      Sandra Siordia, Career Coach/Navigator
      WorksSource Portland Metro Gresham
      503-660-1459
      971-293-8570 (cell)
      sandra.siorda@mhcc.edu

      Website: rosewoodinitiative.org

      SE Works Prisoner Reentry Employment Program (PREP)

      The SE Work’s Prisoner Reentry Employment Program’s (PREP) objective is to assist formerly incarcerated individuals to gain and maintain long term employment utilizing a person first workforce development approach.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Career coaches work individually with participants to develop an individualized employment plan, provide job retention strategies and placement support to help maintain a long-term, career track employment partnership.
      • Career coaches conduct outreach to employers and provide job leads that lead to living wage employment.

      Contact

      Cindy Pollard, PREP Career Coach
      503-972-3247
      cpollard@seworks.org

      Website: seworks.org

      WorkSource Portland Metro Gresham

      WorkSource Portland Metro Gresham (WSPMG) serves East Multnomah County’s job seekers and employers. In addition to providing job seekers career coaching, training and job search assistance, WSPMG collaborates closely with employers and community-based organizations to align workforce services with business, industry, and community workforce needs.

      Engagement opportunities

      WSPMG is a one-stop resource for businesses to access qualified workers and valuable local workforce information. WSPMG provides many resources for businesses:

      • Hosts job fairs and industry specific events.
      • Hosts recruitment events.
      • Provides interview space for employers.
      • Makes qualified worker referrals.
      • Conducts “meet the employer” events.
      • Maintains expertise in job and industry growth patterns, economic information, wage information.

      Recruitment services

      Recruitment is the primary activity WorkSource Oregon staff use to identify and place qualified job seekers with employers.

      • Recruitment involves attracting, selecting, preparing and referring suitable candidates to one or more jobs specific to an employer’s needs.
      • WorkSource Oregon (WSO) staff conducting recruitment services work closely with WSPMG staff to provide skills validation, training, and career coaching to build the appropriate talent pool for the position(s) being recruited.

      Contact: 503-257-HIRE (4473)

      Regional Business Services (RBS)

      RBS representatives work with employers directly to assess their hiring and training needs to fill positions in their organizations. RBS staff develop comprehensive knowledge on regional industries and share labor needs and trends with employers in a given industry.

      Contact: Steve Strain, steven.d.strain@oregon.gov or 971-235-6289

      Job listings

      WorkSource Oregon posts vacant positions in the local labor exchange system for employers. Jobs may be entered via automated mechanisms, self-service features, or staff-assisted services.

      Contact: 503-257-HIRE (4473)

      Website: worksourceportlandmetro.org

    • Youth Engagement

    • All Hands Raised Industry for a Day

      Industry for a Day (IFAD) is a unique opportunity for educators and partners to immerse themselves in local construction and manufacturing industries. The goal of the event is to help those who mentor and guide youth to develop a deeper understanding of the opportunities that exist for young people in the trades.

      Engagement opportunity

      Host educators at your facility for an Industry for a Day event.

      Contact

      Jeanine Fukuda, Vice President, Impact & Improvement
      503-234-5404
      jeanine@allhandsraised.org

      Amber Klingner, Associate Director, Partnership & Data Management
      503-234-5404
      amber@allhandsraised.org

      Website: allhandsraised.org

      Center for Advanced Learning (CAL)

      The Center for Advanced Learning (CAL), a charter school in Gresham, provides opportunities for local industries to engage with student. Share industry specific expertise with CAL students, increase student exposure to work-based experiences and help shape the future of industry.

      Engagement opportunities

      Short term

      • Co-host a field trip at your business or at an industry facility.
      • Give a business presentation.
      • Become an advisor: project advisor, drop-in mentor.

      Long term

      • Curriculum development.
      • Work directly with teachers.
      • Develop and improve course material.
      • Recommend project learning experiences.
      • Worksite learning: host internships, externships, job shadows.

      Contact

      Jessica Gallagher, Director
      503-667-4978
      gallagher15@calcharter.org

      Website: calcharter.org

      Emerging Leaders PDX

      Emerging Leaders (EL) is dedicated to improving racial and cultural diversity at the leadership level in Portland-area companies by providing pathways to leadership for traditional and non-traditional students of color and aspiring professionals. EL connects the region's most talented students of color with paid internships at some of the Portland area's most exciting, innovative companies.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Host an intern.
      • Be a mentor.
        • Length: Most mentoring relationships last 6-12 months
        • Time commitment: 1-2 hours per month
        • Training: Mentors and mentees receive training before the mentoring relationship begins
        • Cost: No cost to participants (the program is sponsored by WorkSystems and Portland Leadership Foundation)

      Contact

      Website: emergingleaderspdx.org/companies

      Impact NW Pathways to Manufacturing

      Impact NW's Pathways to Manufacturing program works with Portland-area high schools and industry partners to create pathways to high wage careers in advanced manufacturing and skilled trades for high school students.

      • Students learn detailed information about apprenticeship, trades, Portland-area companies and community colleges.
      • Students also gain soft skills needed to help obtain and keep high wage positions on a career track.

      Engagement opportunities

      Sign up to be a business partner.

      Contact

      Brandi Jordan
      541-390-9096
      bdancen@impactnw.org

      Website: impactnw.org/programs/youthfamily/urban-opportunities/pathways-to-manufacturing

      In4All

      In4All programs bring educators and business professionals together to create learning experiences that impact students at critical times in their K-12 education. All programs are informed by research, tied to educational standards, and measured through formal evaluation to ensure the organization is making a difference for students who have been historically under-served in Oregon.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Become a business partner to have your employees volunteer in either a 4th, 5th or 8th grade
        classroom.
      • Provide work-based learning opportunities/experiences for high school aged student.
      • Participate in a team builder day.

      Contact

      Tavares Hubbard, East PDX Program Manager
      503-646-0242
      thubbard@in4all.org

      Website: in4all.org

      Gresham-Area K-12 School Districts

      There are a wide array of ways for employers to engage with Gresham-area K-12 school districts.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Guest speaker opportunities: one-off engagements with schools
      • Hosting: internships, pre-apprenticeships, job shadows, career linked learning events
      • Industry/educator exchange: co-facilitated learning opportunities, curriculum development
      • Industry mentors: one-on-one mentorships with students

      Contact

      Centennial School District
      Denise Wright, Director of Student Services, 503-762-3630
      denise_wright@csd28j.org

      Gresham Barlow School District
      Carla Gay, Executive Director of Innovation and Partnerships, 503-261-4551
      gay@gresham.k12.or.us

      Reynolds School District
      Stephanie Field, Director of Communications and Community Relations, 503-491-3428
      sfield@rsd7.net

      Mt. Hood Community College CTE Advisory Boards

      All Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in Oregon engage an advisory board to assist in structuring the programming for CTE classes to ensure curriculums will help to meet the future workforce needs of local employers and that programs are meeting industry standards.

      Engagement opportunities

      Participate on a CTE advisory board:

      • Contribute your industry knowledge to CTE programs.
      • Help with curriculum development at the K-12 level to ensure programs align with community college programs to create a pipeline of future skilled employees.
      • Provide internship or externships to students.

      Contact

      Kealani Balfour, Director High School Services
      503-491-6989
      kealani.balfour@mhcc.edu

      Website: mhcc.edu/employers

      Oregon Connections

      Oregon Connections is a web-based tool connecting educators to industry professionals who share their skills and bring real world learning opportunities to students. Through in-person matches and virtual real-time sessions, industry professionals connect with classrooms to inspire and expose students to real-world opportunities.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Share your skills with classrooms in your community.
      • Demonstrate leadership skills by mentoring student.
      • Develop a pipeline of students interested in your career field.
      • Boost your professional profile through education.
      • Create a culture of volunteering among your co-worker.
      • Connect with students for an interactive, fun, and rewarding experience.

      Contact

      Sign up for an Oregon Connections account.

      Portland Workforce Alliance

      The Portland Workforce Alliance (PWA) is an independent nonprofit that sees young people as the key to our region’s long-term economic prosperity and quality of life. PWA works with local employers to educate students about career opportunities as part of a strategy to boost Oregon’s graduation rate and build a resilient, prosperous and well-educated workforce.

      Engagement opportunities

      • Exhibit at the NW Youth Careers Expo.
      • Host a career day or facility tour.
      • Mentor through the ACE Mentor Program.
      • Offer customized job shadows.

      Contact

      Susan Nielsen, Executive Director
      503-577-6177
      susan@portlandworkforcealliance.org

      Website: portlandworkforcealliance.org

      POIC Pre-Apprenticeship Program

      Portland Opportunity Industrialization Center (POIC) offers a Construction Pre-Apprenticeship program to young adults ages 18-24.

      • The 12-week paid program is designed to prepare young adults for careers in construction and the trades.
      • This program exposes trainees to hands-on learning, classroom instruction, industry recognized certifications, career exploration and planning.
      • The POIC Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) certified course of study and the curriculum is recognized by the Oregon State Apprenticeship and Training Council (OSATC).

      Engagement opportunities

      • Partner with POIC to support their pre-apprenticeship program to help young adults explore careers in the construction industry and the trades.
      • Help to show young people how a multitude of trades can be applied to a wide range of industries and career opportunities.

      Contact

      Charles Manigo, Pre-Apprenticeship Program Coordinator
      971-940-6437
      construction@portlandoic.org

      Website: portlandoic.org

      Saturday Academy

      Saturday Academy strives to engage all motivated young people, including those from underrepresented communities, in hands-on, in-depth learning by connecting them to community experts as educators and mentors.

      Saturday Academy’s vision is that all interested, pre-college students in our region will have the opportunity to interact with community experts and experience professional environments in ways that assist them in developing intellectually and preparing for rewarding careers. 

      Engagement opportunities

      • Be a mentor.
      • Host an intern.
      • Teach a class or at a camp.
      • Participate in programs:
        • Apprenticeships in science and engineering
        • Girls engage technology
        • Classes and camps

      Contact

      Libby Van Vleet, ASE Program Director
      503-200-5860
      libby@saturdayacademy.org

      Website: saturdayacademy.org

      Springdale Job Corps

      Springdale Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16-24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training.  

      Training programs include

      • Office administration
      • Security
      • Programs focused on auto-related industries 

      Engagement opportunities 

      Connect youth to careers by hosting an intern at your business.

      Contact

      Tyna Moreschi, Center Director
      503-695-3101
      moreschi.tyna@jobcorps.org

      Website: springdale.jobcorps.gov

      WorkReady Program

      The WorkReady Program, coordinated by the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, connects schools, business, and community partners to expand career-related learning experience for students in the Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, and Reynolds school districts.

      Engagement opportunities

      Short term

      • Introduce students to you business or industry by hosting a field trip tour
      • Invest in the future workforce by participating in mock interviews
      • Visit a classroom to expose students to a wide-range of career options
      • Connect students to a real-world work environment by hosting a job shadow
      • Engage with students during a classroom project

      Long term

      • Influence K-12 curriculum development by adding business methods into course material
      • Create an opportunity for educators to keep their industry credentials and knowledge current
      • Host an internship, externship, or pre-apprenticeship opportunity

      Contact

      Vicki Moen
      503-894-1366
      vickim@greshamchamber.org

      Website: greshamchamber.org/workready/

      Worksystems Inc. SummerWorks

      SummerWorks is a locally funded public/private partnership that supports youth through their first work experience. The program is sponsored by Worksystems, City of Portland, Multnomah County, Washington County, City of Beaverton, TriMet, Portland Public Schools, Hillsboro School District, and private businesses that provides area youth ages 16-24 with enriching and constructive summer work experiences in the private, not-for-profit and government sectors.

      Engagement opportunities

      Host a SummerWorks intern 

      An employer sponsorship covers all the wages and other employment costs for a 180-hour work experience for a youth. Worksystems funds work readiness training for all youth participants and pays all the costs associated with screening and matching youth to job sites, job coaching throughout the work experience, and employer-of-record services. Youth show up ready to do real work. 

      Contact 

      August Dao, Project Manager, Business Development
      503-478-7347 
      adao@worksystems.org

      Website: worksystems.org/summerworks

    • Gresham Area Job Boards

    • Community Colleges

      Our three area community colleges offer web pages that provide directions for employers who want to post positions on job boards, register for or sponsor a career fair, schedule a recruitment session and more.

      Clackamas Community College Employer Services

      Mt. Hood Community College Employers  

      Portland Community College Hire a Partner

      Easterseals Oregon

      Easterseals Oregon provides services to ensure children and adults living with autism, other disabilities or special needs (and their families) have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.

      Engagement opportunities

      Post open positions through the Easterseals employment and training program.

      Contact

      503-228-5108

      El Programa Hispano Catolico

      El Program Hispano Catolico provides a wide range of services to Gresham area residents including employment placement services. The organization publishes a weekly job list with current job openings.

      Engagement opportunities

      Post entry-level job openings.

      Contact

      Dr. A Susan Abernethy, Director of Development
      503-328-2715
      communications@elprograma.org

      Urban League of Portland

      The Urban League of Portland’s workforce programs provide quality career training and employment opportunities for individuals to further professional, educational and personal development.

      Engagement opportunity 

      • Post open positions or sign up for a job fair through the Urban League of Portland.
      • Participate in the annual Career Connections job fair.

      Contact 

      503-280-2600, ext. 607 
      WorkforceDept@ulpdx.org

      Website: ulpdx.org/programs/workforce