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Manufacturing class a pathway to employment

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Portland Community College’s WorkSource Capital Career Center is recruiting students for its Manufacturing Foundations class. The program is hosting two orientations from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursdays, Jan. 10, and 17, in Room 1509 at WorkSource Capital Career Center, 18624 N.W. Walker Road, Beaverton. People interested should attend at least one of these orientations to be eligible for the next class, which runs for seven weeks from Monday, March 10 through Thursday, April 17.

Students learn about manufacturing concepts such as SPC, Quality Systems, Lean and communication principles, precision measurements and tools, job travelers, MRP systems, ISO 9000 and 13845, MSDS and blue print reading. Students are recruited and screened for the class and representatives from Tosoh Quartz, X-R-I Testing and Precision Wire Components interview the potential candidates and determine who is accepted into the class.

“The program does a great job of screening candidates and focuses on the issues that are important to our company,” said Trish McNamara, Human Resources Director with Precision Wire Components. “We know that the students who come out of this class are committed to working. Our president and senior management all want to continue our participation in the program.”

The program is a hit with those who go through it. Last fall, 13 students graduated and received an envelope with job offers from the participating companies whose wages ranged from $9 to $14 per hour. The 15 students in the first Manufacturing Foundations class which graduated in May 2007, also received job offers for every graduate.

“I highly recommend this class to anyone. There’s a lot of information about how to be successful in the workplace,” said Neil Boupha, a student who was hired at Precision Wire Components as a quality inspector. “I think the class was a good foundation for learning about manufacturing, especially the math.”

Each week students tour the companies that hire from the class. They get to see former graduates and see how they will apply what they learn in class.

“Machine shops are cleaner than I expected and there are a lot more skills that are needed for manufacturing now,” said Russell Wakefield, who stumbled onto an orientation session 10 minutes before it started and graduated from the program last fall. “This is a great place to start. The teacher is great. Now I have a better idea of what manufacturing is and I know that I have the skills to work in this field. I like going to see the companies that we will be working in and getting to know other people who want to work in this field. I feel more confident now.”

People who are interested can call Rachel Thompson at (503) 533-2747.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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