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PCC sponsors Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.; 2014 Career Fair scheduled May 8 – 10
Photos and Story by Karen Kane
May 7, 2014
By Karen Kane
When the Portland Community College Board of Directors decided to ask voters for a $374 million bond in 2008 to add classroom space, upgrade technology, increase academic programming and advance workforce training programs, they they knew the upside of a yes vote would extend beyond the campus itself. Passage of the bond also meant construction jobs would be created.
But PCC went one step further. The college’s Board of Directors thought to the future. Naturally, they wanted construction work to be distributed fairly and equitably among companies across the district, but they wanted to be sure that minority, women-owned, emerging and smaller business (MWESB) had a chance to get involved and to grow.
“It’s all about education for us, and we’re happy to introduce women and girls to the possibility of a future career in the trades.”
So as part of its commitment to provide opportunities for them to become involved in the capital construction program, PCC requires its major general contractors to aspire to a 20 percent target for awarding subcontracts to MWESBs across the region.
To support this commitment, PCC sponsors or takes part in a number programs and events to reach out to MWESBs. One of them is the annual Oregon Tradeswomen Career Fair, this year scheduled for May 8 to 10 at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center on NE Airport Way in Portland.
The fair is produced to introduce women and girls to the building, mechanical, electrical, utility and construction trades. Oregon Tradeswomen Inc. contends that women can help fill the upcoming gap in the labor force that will be created as skilled tradespeople retire. The group promotes success for women in the trades through education, leadership and mentoring.
“Sponsoring OTI and taking part in the annual fair is a highlight for PCC,” said Avelina Gulmatico, PCC Bond Procurement Coordinator. “It’s all about education for us, and we’re happy to introduce women and girls to the possibility of a career in the trades.”
Women-owned businesses have won a number of contracts, both large and smaller, in PCC’s $374 million capital construction program. Nancy Bebek’s Prestige Stone and Tile completed the tile work on Building 7 at the Rock Creek campus, which opened in March 2014. And at the Sylvania campus, Beko Mechanical Insulation, owned by Joan Smith, is installing insulation in several of the buildings.
PCC also reaches out to the MWESB community on a regular basis by hosting monthly meet-and-greets in its bond office, making presentations at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME), and taking part in the Oregon Governor’s Marketplace.
For more information on MWESB contracting through PCC’s bond program, visit our bond webpage.
PCC’S 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/about/bond/about