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PCC celebrates Workforce Development Month
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – PCC celebrates the month of September as Workforce Development Month, along with the state’s 16 other community colleges, to help highlight the importance of investing in education and training for workers and businesses.Gov. Ted Kulongoski issued a proclamation on Aug. 24 announcing September as Workforce Development Month and Oregon joins many other states in saluting the efforts that assist workers and businesses."PCC is committed to providing our region with a trained pool of workers to help make Oregon’s economy strong," said Preston Pulliams, district president of Portland Community College. "In fact, the college operates the largest workforce training system in the state and last year alone, helped thousands of people find work."Dislocated Worker ProgramPCC’s Dislocated Worker Program, which is funded by federal dollars, served more than 3,500 un- and underemployed people last year with an array of job-search services and training. The college provided recruitment, training, assessment and testing and placement services at four metro area locations. In addition, the Dislocated Workers Program provides an array of basic and intensive job-search services for job seekers. PCC was the recent recipient of a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The grant, "Dislocated Worker Employment and Training Services," which is administered by local non-profit agency Worksystems, Inc. will provide innovative services to employees and business during layoffs and closures. The grant is renewable for up to four 12-month extensions and will serve more than 1,800 people in Multnomah and Washington counties.One Stop CentersPCC is part of the federal One Stop system, operating two centers in the Portland area. The One Stops offer employment and training services set up under one roof to provide convenience and responsiveness for job seekers and employers. One Stops help people whether they are earning unemployment benefits or not. The program offers career exploration, resume writing and interview workshops. PCC’s services are provided at the Capital Career Center in Washington County, the Metropolitan Workforce Training Center in northeast Portland, and at Goalpost Center in north Portland.Rapid Response TeamPCC works with a team to provide layoff management services and served 40 companies and more than 1,500 workers last school year. Partners in the effort include Labors Community Service Agency, Oregon Employment Department and Mt. Hood Community College.Career Pathways and other servicesPCC and Mt. Hood also provide professional technical training through the specialized program called Career Pathways. This is a short-term training to prepare individuals for entry-level jobs as well as vocational training for non-native speakers. The Career Pathways program will also benefit from the $4.3 million federal grant "Dislocated Worker Employment and Training Services."In addition, the college provides a high-tech support group for employees with jobs in the high-tech industry and has a 95-percent success rate in getting the professionals placed with firms.Other services at PCC include Customized and Workplace Training’s WorkKeys project; professional skills training; Small Business Management and international trade classes; Steps to Success for people on welfare; and the Skill Center in northeast Portland.