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News Releases
DaNene Dwyer & Kali Giaritta
DaNene Dwyer & Kali Giaritta
PCC's new On Ramps series provides pathways to industry careers (Photo) - 11/16/20

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – Portland Community College’s Community Workforce Development (CWD) office has developed a series of innovative preparatory services to connect students to career-technical education (CTE) careers.

The On-Ramps to Trades series -- industry-focused, skills-based courses -- is designed to expose would-be students to the career opportunities available to them through PCC’s CTE programs. On-Ramps is an outgrowth of a $2.25 million Title III grant to PCC’s Reimagining Integrated Support for Equitable Success (RISES) Project, intended to support the implementation of the college’s Guided Pathways initiative. The classes were conceived as a way to put the grant to work by helping students connect with a program that aligns with their interests and career aspirations.

In addition, On-Ramps offers the opportunity to provide access to underserved students identified through community and affordable housing partners, high schools and employers.

“The On-Ramps series provides a safe learning environment for participants to explore careers,” explained Kali Giaritta, a PCC employment specialist. “They will set educational goals and brush up on the basic math, reading and digital literacy skills they need to enter programs and practice fundamental education and workplace skills.”

So far, PCC has held two On-Ramps courses and are hosting "On-Ramp to Manufacturing” and “On-Ramp to Healthcare” classes this fall. Future offerings are under development and will be focused on the largest industry sectors that provide economically resilient and essential jobs like Information Technology. 

“CWD collaborates with many local non-profit agencies and government organizations, so it was a natural choice to look to us to provide this opportunity for people to experience a ‘soft launch’ into what they could expect in their chosen educational pathway,” said DaNene Dwyer, program manager. “The On-Ramps aim to reduce the opportunity gap in education and employment, so our outreach is focused on women, minorities and those whose financial status has historically precluded them from accessing higher education.”

An example of this collaboration is a recent grant from Washington County -- made possible  through the federal CARES Act -- that is creating a pipeline of potential new students in healthcare and manufacturing.

“At the Willow Creek Center, we're creating a variety of programming that prepares people for success at PCC and then connects them with family-wage, career-track employment,” said Giaritta.  “We're providing a range of career awareness and exploration activities, connecting people with the On-Ramp programs and collaborating with the PCC Recruitment Team to ensure a smooth transition into PCC.”

In the future, PCC’s Community Workforce Development is looking to offer On-Ramps that lead to all of the college’s CTE programs.

For more information, email: wccopportunities-group@pcc.edu or call (971) 722-2688.
 

About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 60,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

 

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: DaNene Dwyer & Kali Giaritta
Anne Naito-Campbell
Anne Naito-Campbell
PCC Foundation receives $1 million gift from Anne Naito-Campbell (Photo) - 11/12/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – In response to the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, Portland civic leader and philanthropist Anne Naito-Campbell has donated $1 million to support job training and education at Portland Community College.

The gift marks the first-ever million-dollar cash charitable donation received by the PCC Foundation and will be used to establish the “Naito Family Fund for Opportunity.” This fund will support PCC’s Pathways to Opportunity initiative, which helps low-income individuals and displaced workers connect with community resources while training in high-demand fields. The result is short-term certificates leading to family-wage jobs and economic mobility. 

“Education and training play a vital role in the American Dream,” said Naito-Campbell, whose grandfather Hide Naito moved from a tiny village in Japan to Portland to seek out the same dream. “When the pandemic hit last spring, I thought of all the people affected who were just like members of my own family – people who had worked hard and struggled to build something, to achieve a dream and watched it slip away as a health crisis became an economic crisis. I thought of the small business owners, and workers in industries that seemed to evaporate overnight. I thought to myself, ‘What will they do?’ I dedicated myself in that moment to being part of a solution.”

The daughter of noted late Portland businessman, civic leader and philanthropist Bill Naito, Naito-Campbell is a principal of the Bill Naito Company, which owns and manages commercial and residential real estate in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Bill Naito Company, Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation, Vintage Trolley, Inc., and Lines for Life, which aims to end substance abuse and suicide.

Her gift will create a flexible endowment with earnings supporting any student who is in a Career Pathways certificate and the Pathways to Opportunity initiative, with the remaining funds being used to meet urgent needs or opportunities. Pathways is a coalition of community colleges, human service agencies, and community-based organizations that closes opportunity gaps and increases economic mobility. It does this by connecting low-income individuals to the resources they need to complete college and move into careers. This statewide coalition has become even more important as the state tries to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

“Her contribution helps capstone the Foundation’s ‘Campaign for Opportunity’ and will help students, their families and our region to rise for generations to come,” said Ann Prater, PCC Foundation’s executive director.

In honor of the impact of the gift, PCC’s Board of Directors voted to rename the Southeast Campus Library as The Naito Family Library. The campus (located at 2305 S.E. 82nd and Division) is in the heart of Portland’s Asian-American district, which is one of the largest communities in the state of immigrant and first-generation Americans. Her father was a Nisei, or a second-generation Japanese who was born outside of Japan. Naito was a lifelong lover of libraries and being raised in a non-English speaking household, he valued the many hours spent in libraries as a child. His visits to them nurtured a sense of belonging and love of learning.

“In this moment of uncertainty and unprecedented challenge as we begin the long, hard work of rebuilding our state in the wake of the global pandemic, an economic implosion, and historic wildfires, PCC’s mission of supporting student success is more important than ever,” said U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.

PCC President Mark Mitsui said Naito-Campbell’s gift fits perfectly with the college’s mission to create pathways to completion for the under-served and will be a boost to Oregon’s economy.

“The collective action of PCC students, faculty and staff, with partners like the Department of Human Services, community leaders and philanthropists like Anne Naito-Campbell, and leaders like Senator Merkley, allows us to create a more equitable and economically vibrant Oregon,” Mitsui said.

The Portland Community College Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which mobilizes private support for student scholarships and educational programs. For more information, call (971) 722-4382, or visit pcc.edu/foundation.
 
 
About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 60,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.
 
Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: Anne Naito-Campbell
Cascade Campus
Cascade Campus
U.S. Department of Ed awards PCC $1.27 million to guide under-served students to success (Photo) - 11/09/20

NORTH PORTLAND, Ore. – Thanks to a $1.27 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Portland Community College’s TRIO Student Support Services Program can now serve more under-represented students and guide them to success. 

Based at the Cascade Campus in North Portland, the college’s TRIO program is designed to identify and provide services for individuals who are low-income, first-generation college students, or individuals with disabilities. Staff support these students through the academic pipeline, from their first year in college to post-baccalaureate programs. 

“Our students face significant challenges, including inadequate preparation for college, lack of peer support and educational role models, and difficulty navigating the complexity of financial aid and the registration process,” said TRIO Program Director Dr. General C. Johnson. “These problems can have a devastating impact on their persistence, academic standing, graduation and transfer rates. SSS-eligible students are in critical need of student support services to achieve their educational goals.”

The Cascade Campus serves 11,627 degree-seeking students in a racially diverse, historically African American neighborhood. Sixty-three percent identify as low-income, first generation students or have disabilities. More than 3,700 of these students have a need for academic support like PCC’s TRIO program, which has served nearly 600 students since 2010 and has a graduation rate of 37% since 2015.

The grant funding will allow 450 more students in the next five years to be served by Dr. Johnson’s program. The goal is to have 75% of the students persist in their studies from year to year and 75% to remain in good academic standing. Of the new participants from this grant, 30 percent will graduate with an associate degree within three years, and 20% will transfer with a degree within three years. 

PCC’s TRIO Program will achieve these goals by providing a comprehensive suite of services:

  • Intensive academic advising, tutoring and monitoring.

  • Financial aid and scholarship assistance.

  • Exclusive student success courses.

  • Career exploration.

  • Financial literacy and planning.

  • Peer tutoring and cultural enrichment activities.

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program has provided a broad range of services to help students succeed. The SSS grant program began in 1968 and is one of the eight federal TRIO programs authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the systemic inequality and financial hardship which keep promising students from succeeding in college,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the nonprofit Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C. “Student Support Services is needed now more than ever.”

 

About Portland Community College: Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 60,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, eight education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.

 

Visit PCC news on the web at http://news.pcc.edu/

Attached Media Files: Cascade Campus