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News Releases
From left, Oscar Arana (NAYA CEO), Patricia Rojas (regional housing director at Metro), Ivory Mathews (executive director of Home Forward), Dr. Adrien Bennings (PCC president), Helmi Hisserich (director of the Portland Housing Bureau), and Natasha Detweiler-Daby (director of Affordable Rental Housing Division).
From left, Oscar Arana (NAYA CEO), Patricia Rojas (regional housing director at Metro), Ivory Mathews (executive director of Home Forward), Dr. Adrien Bennings (PCC president), Helmi Hisserich (director of the Portland Housing Bureau), and Natasha Detweiler-Daby (director of Affordable Rental Housing Division).
PCC and partners break ground on affordable housing next to new Opportunity Center (Photo) - 05/20/24

NORTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. – A significant milestone was reached May 15 with the groundbreaking of the PCC Killingsworth apartment community in Northeast Portland. The event, celebrated by Portland Community College, Home Forward and the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), was attended by leaders from the Portland Housing Bureau, Metro, Oregon Housing and Community Services, housing advocates, and various partners.

The new development, set to be a vibrant community hub, will feature 84 income-based apartment homes, including 18 studios, six one-bedroom units, 45 two-bedroom units, and 15 three-bedroom units. Key amenities include bike storage, Wi-Fi, outdoor courtyards, a family room, a community kitchen, a large laundry room, and an experiential playscape. The project will be co-located with the new PCC Opportunity Center at 42nd Ave., enhancing the community's resources and opportunities.

Ivory Mathews, CEO of Home Forward, expressed her excitement, stating, "This collaboration is a testament to what can be achieved when organizations come together with a shared vision of creating opportunities for families to thrive and communities to prosper."

Dr. Adrien L. Bennings, president of PCC, emphasized the project's broader impact, highlighting the Opportunity Center's role in community development. "This project exemplifies our commitment to holistic community development. Through collaboration with key partners, we've created more than just a center; we've created a hub for opportunity and stability."

The neighborhood revitalization effort will also include a 16,000-square-foot plaza for community events and a casual amphitheater. Additionally, the Oregon Department of Human Services will have an on-site office, and the Multnomah County Health Department will open a community health center next year.

The PCC Killingsworth development, scheduled for completion by summer 2025, exemplifies best practices in community-driven solutions and economic mobility support. Funded by the 2018 Metro Housing Bond and other sources, this project aligns with regional goals for housing affordability and accessibility. 

PCC’s new Opportunity Center at 42nd Avenue (located at 4299 NE Killingsworth St.) opened last fall to the community. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by the Department of Human Services, NAYA and Home Forward, offering a comprehensive array of services, educational resources, and workforce development initiatives.

This center’s primary mission is to address racial and economic disparities by providing residents with access to education and career-track employment opportunities. The services offered include career exploration, coaching, skills development, and comprehensive support systems to help individuals achieve their goals.

Funded by the 2017 PCC bond measure, the 50,000-square-foot Opportunity Center at 42nd Avenue is a state-of-the-art structure aiming for LEED Gold certification for integrating Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). This is a sustainable and eco-friendly construction material that contributes to the building’s warmth and inviting atmosphere.

For more information, visit the Opportunity Center’s webpage

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

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Jai Johnson named 2024 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar (Photo) - 05/16/24

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – The Association of Community College Trustees and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society announced that Portland Community College student Jai Johnson has been selected as a 2024 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar. 

The Forest Grove resident’s exceptional performance in the All-USA Academic Team competition, where over 2,200 applications were evaluated, has earned her this prestigious recognition. The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation and PTK.

She stood out as the top-scoring student from Oregon, showcasing academic achievement, leadership, service and significant endeavors. As a result, Johnson has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, with additional support provided by PTK.

“Earning this designation caught me by surprise,” Johnson said. “This just helps me move closer to reaching a huge milestone in my life that will set me on the path toward growth.”

Currently pursuing an associate degree in Family and Human Services at PCC, she said, “Believe it or not, this program picked me. I wanted to focus on early child development, but instead, I’m now learning how to increase the growth of families and help them maneuver through the challenges life brings.”

Despite facing challenges like time management as a 19-year-old navigating adulthood, Johnson remains resilient and grateful for her support system. Looking ahead, she aspires to become a youth or family advocate, aiming to make a positive impact in their community.

“I’m learning, and I’m grateful for the support system I have around me,” she added. “Peer support was big for me. Building bonds helped me learn more about connections and become more familiar with my school environment, which was extremely helpful, mostly financially.”

As a New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, Johnson will be honored during the ACCT Leadership Congress, scheduled from Oct. 23–26 in Seattle.

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

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Lamb_4600.JPG
PCC unveils new state-of-the-art barn at Rock Creek Campus (Photo) - 05/13/24

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – Portland Community College unleashed its “Animal House” on May 10 during a ribbon cutting with key Washington County partners.

PCC officially opened its new 10,000-square-foot barn at the Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. It replaces an older barn that was nearly 50 years old that was beset by structural issues and a lack of quality education space and technology. The new barn is a modern facility designed to enhance the Veterinary Technology Program and improve animal welfare.

The program is crucial in meeting the workforce needs of the region – the Oregon Employment Department projects employment growth of 23.1% through 2029. A veterinary technician provides essential nursing care for all animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The program is one of only two of its kind in Oregon, and only one of five in the Northwest.

“PCC has had a history of standing up for workforce development,” said Pam Treece, Washington County commissioner. “Workforce development as we approach the next 10, 15 and 20 years is critical to our economic development. We have to work hand in hand with PCC to educate our workforce. The beauty of PCC is that it stands at the nexus of what the student needs and wants, and what the business community needs and wants.”

In general, there are 4-5 jobs available for every Vet Tech graduate. Technicians can work in clinics, wildlife preserves, zoos, animal shelters and diagnostic labs, to name a few opportunities.

“The pandemic took a huge toll on veterinarians and veterinary technicians, and there is a high demand to increase the workforce,” said Dr. Adrien Bennings, PCC president. “Facilities like this new barn are helping PCC address those technician shortages.”

The barn, funded through the college’s 2017 bond, boasts modern features, including recessed flooring for animal pens, state-of-the-art water feeders, full internet connectivity, and internal cameras for animal monitoring. The design prioritizes efficiency and animal welfare, aligning with PCC's commitment to excellence in education and sustainability.

The facility is at the center of a fully operational farm with cattle, sheep, horses, and other livestock – as well as dogs, cats, and more. The real-world training students receive prepares them to become a certified veterinary technician. Ninety percent of PCC Vet Tech graduates have passed the veterinary technician national exam over the previous three years – 21% above the national average.

Students can now use a state-of-the-art classroom right next to the animals and utilize an ultrasound machine. The new barn will also be a community space for further awareness activities associated with animal care, small farms, and connecting the program to local high schools.

“The big part of preparing students for their careers is hands-on experience, and we are very lucky in this program to have a facility to provide that experience,” said Dr. Ragan Borzcik, Veterinary Technology Program chair. “The number one thing is it won’t allow the weather to rain on us when we are inside, which the old barn used to do. And, lighting in the old barn made learning really hard to identify parts of the animal when we would draw blood. Students would have to take their phones out of their pockets and use the flashlights.

“This facility is amazing for us,” she added. “There are lots of ways this will benefit our program.”

Key Info:

Project Manager: Stephen Wasserberger, Otak CPM

Design Team: Opsis Architecture

Contractor: Ross Builders Northwest

Budget: $4,000,000

Construction Completion: April 2024


For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/bond/, or www.pcc.edu/rock-creek-farm/

  

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

Media Advisory: PCC to unveil new state-of-the-art barn at Rock Creek Campus - 05/08/24

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. – Portland Community College is unveiling its new 10,000 square foot barn at the Rock Creek Campus on Friday, May 10, replacing it with a modern facility designed to enhance the Veterinary Technology Program and improve animal welfare. In collaboration with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, PCC invites the media to join college leaders, local elected officials, and other esteemed guests for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception.

Event Details:

  • When – 10:30 a.m., Friday May 10
  • Speakers – Dr. Adrien Bennings (PCC President); Pam Treece (Washington County Commissioner); and Dr. Ragan Borzcik (Veterinary Technology Program Program Chair). 
  • Location – Barn (westside of campus), Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Rd. (Park in Lot D)
  • Attire – There is heavy gravel and dirt. Wear appropriate attire for barn environment
  • Accessibility – Accessible parking and facilities available
  • Media RSVP – Contact James Hill at jghill@pcc.edu

The event will feature tours of the facility where attendees can witness firsthand the upgraded amenities for the animals and the innovative teaching spaces for students. 

The Veterinary Technology Program is a crucial program to meet the workforce needs of the region – the Oregon Employment Department projects employment growth of 23.1% through 2029. A veterinary technician provides essential nursing care for all animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The program is one of only two of its kind in Oregon, and only one of five in the Northwest.

The new barn, funded through the college’s 2017 bond, boasts modern features including recessed flooring for animal pens, state-of-the-art water feeders, full internet connectivity, and internal cameras for animal monitoring. The design prioritizes efficiency and animal welfare, aligning with PCC's commitment to excellence in education and sustainability.

Key Info:

  • Project Manager: Stephen Wasserberger, Otak CPM
  • Design Team: Opsis Architecture
  • Contractor: Ross Builders Northwest
  • Budget: $4,000,000
  • Construction Completion: April 2024

For more information, visit www.pcc.edu/bond/, or www.pcc.edu/rock-creek-farm/

  

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

Welding student
Welding student
PCC earns national designation as a center of excellence for maritime training and education (Photo) - 05/06/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College has earned recognition from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) as one of 32 designated Centers of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education (CoE). This prestigious designation underscores PCC’s commitment to preparing students for fulfilling careers within the United States maritime industry.

As part of the PAC Maritime alliance, which includes seven community and technical colleges along with one maritime training entity spanning Washington and Oregon, PCC stands among six designees in the region. According to MARAD, this acknowledgment highlights the vital role these institutions play in fostering highly skilled mariners essential for bolstering both the nation's economy and security.

“The designation solidifies the excellence of PCC’s Maritime Welding Program,” said Patty Hawkins. “The program’s goal is to bring more skilled welders directly into the workforce, and to help students find careers in this incredible industry.”

Why welding? In the manufacturing industry, there is a lack of qualified workers from which companies like Union Pacific or Vigor Industrial can recruit from. With an aging workforce, there is an overwhelming shortage of welders, and the employment prospects in the Portland area are strong as a result. The Oregon Employment Department forecasts more than 250 welding job openings per year through 2027.

PCC is at the region’s heart of manufacturing training. At Swan Island shipyards, the college partnered with Vigor Industrial in 2008 on the Maritime Welding Training Center – a 4,000-square-foot facility. Vigor is the region’s leading provider of shipbuilding and repair and with its assistance, PCC offers students hands-on education under the expert guidance of diverse and student-centered faculty.

“It was the first college industrial partnership within the United States to create a maritime welding/ship fitting collaboration within a shipyard,” said Todd Barnett, welding faculty. “Frank Foti, the owner and CEO of Vigor industrial, saw the need for a pathway for new employees to be created.”

In addition, the college recently introduced its new Mobile Welding Outreach & Skills Training Center last fall, which was made possible due to an initial investment of $375,000 by Union Pacific. PCC is just one of 20 institutions across the country to have similar mobile welding centers.

And, the PCC Welding Program offers flexible scheduling with an open-entry/open-exit, self-paced format that fits the needs of the students. This allows them to register for full or part-time instruction by using the college’s recently renovated weld shop. PCC offers welding classes at the Rock Creek Campus in Washington County, OMIC Training Center in Scappoose and at Swan Island.

In addition to the flexible instructional design, PCC offers several Career Pathway Certificates through an associate degree in Welding Technology.

“The newest, and most exciting of these are the Career Pathway Certificates with Maritime options,” said instructor Matt Scott. “Within these certificate packages PCC offers classes in welding and shipfitting techniques that allow the students to hit the ship decks well prepared for a career in the marine industry.”

The MARAD designation stems from Section 51706 of title 46 United States Code, authorizing the Secretary of Transportation to recognize entities demonstrating excellence in maritime workforce training and education.

“Our country depends on a highly-skilled mariner workforce to strengthen both our economy and our national security,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The 32 Centers of Excellence we’re designating today will promote training opportunities outside of traditional four-year degree programs and will bring more Americans into these great maritime careers.”

For the full list of designees, and searchable map, can be found on the Centers of Excellence webpage.

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

Hacienda CDC and Verizon open learning and innovation center at PCC for youth and adults - 05/03/24

SOUTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore., — Adults and youth in Southeast Portland have access to new and vital connections to cutting-edge technology, STEM education, and career development opportunities with the launch of a community-driven learning center at Portland Community College's Southeast Campus (Room 202/231, Student Commons Building, 2305 SE 82nd and Division). The community is invited for an open house at the new learning center on Wednesday, May 8 from 3-7 p.m.

The Verizon Community Forward Jade District Learning Center, one of three centers launched by Verizon in partnership with Hacienda CDC, intends to remove barriers between low-income Portlanders and the tech resources they need to succeed in a digital world. These learning centers are designed for all ages, with high-speed internet access, advanced technology, and educational and career programming. This location on Portland Community College’s southeast campus will reach traditional and nontraditional students with an increasingly diverse population.

"Everyone deserves access to the technology and resources they need to be successful in today’s digital world,” says Rudy Reyes, West Region Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Verizon. “On behalf of Verizon, we are proud of our partnership with Hacienda to enable both youth and adults to develop the skills, knowledge and capabilities for a more promising future in the Portland community."

In partnership with Verizon, Hacienda CDC was selected to support the development of three learning centers in Portland. Open to students, community members and the public, the centers are in spaces that cater to different demographics: at Hacienda’s headquarters in Cully, mostly BIPOC youth and adults; at New Columbia, mostly high school students, and at Portland Community College’s Southeast Campus, a diverse student body and community.

“More than 60% of the families Hacienda serves in its affordable housing and programs access the internet only through their smartphones. That’s a huge barrier when you’re trying to participate in school, fill out a job application, or manage your business only through your phone,” said Ernesto Fonseca, CEO, Hacienda CDC. “Latinos, who are a large portion of families served by Hacienda, are among the communities who are under-resourced when it comes to technology. They make up only 8% of STEM workers despite being 18.5% of the U.S. population.”

Known for developing affordable housing throughout metro Portland, Hacienda takes a holistic approach to building communities that goes beyond housing. The new Verizon Community Forward learning centers exemplify how Hacienda’s programs and pathways remove barriers to education, careers, and wealth building for low-income families — especially for Latinos and communities of color who historically have been shut out of opportunities.

Everyday challenges continue to magnify the barriers that low-income households face — such as not having internet or devices at home— which unfairly limit their opportunities to succeed at school and at work.

“Thanks to Verizon and a partnership with Hacienda, the learning center will help increase digital access, literacy and STEM learning opportunities for low-income families and communities,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings. “PCC is Oregon’s largest post-secondary institution and one of the most diverse institutions in the state. With a focus on equitable student access and success, it is our mission to drive outreach and support for underrepresented populations. This is just another example of that effort.”

The Verizon Community Forward Learning Centers are helping Hacienda remove those barriers with advanced tech including computers, 3D printers, audio/video recording tools, and more.

These resources are coupled with programming offered through partners like Portland Community College, Free Geek and iUrban Teen that will help community members use the space and launch opportunities — whether that’s learning to use a computer, developing critical STEM skills and connections to secondary education, or launching a new career or small business.

Schools and community groups who want to participate in programming opportunities at the Verizon Community Forward learning centers or learn more should visit haciendacdc.org/community.


About Verizon: Citizen Verizon is the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillars of Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity, the company's responsible business goals include providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, supporting 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030, achieving net zero emissions in its operations by 2035, and preparing 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com.

About Verizon Community Forward: Verizon Community Forward works with local non-profit partners to create innovative learning spaces in community centers, powered by 5G. Verizon Community Forward expands existing local education resources around the country to deliver education and skills training needed to prepare youth and adults for the digital economy and jobs of the future. There are nine Verizon Community Forward learning centers in 4 cities: Portland, Pittsburgh, Houston and Cleveland.

About Hacienda CDC: Hacienda CDC was formed in 1986 to provide necessary housing and supportive services in NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood. At that time, Cully was home to the largest Latino population in Oregon. Since then, Hacienda has grown to provide affordable housing in 10 communities in Northwest Oregon and provide supportive services to over 1500 individuals, children, and families. As Portland’s Latino population has grown rapidly, Hacienda continues building capacity to offer our bicultural services to Latinos and other low-income families. Hacienda embraces a holistic approach, providing culturally specific services that provide opportunities to access needed resources like growing or starting a business, and buying a first home. Hacienda is Oregon’s largest Latino-led, Latino-serving housing organization and remains a trusted name in the community. Learn more at haciendacdc.org.


About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/
 

Gilbert Lopez at the Rock Creek Campus.
Gilbert Lopez at the Rock Creek Campus.
Graduating cyber security student never stopped believing (Photo) - 05/02/24

Cornelius, Ore. – Portland Community College’s class of 2024 is ready to celebrate a milestone in their education pathway this spring. PCC’s commencement ceremony takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, June 14 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum where thousands of newly minted graduates will celebrate their degrees and certificates with family and friends.

For Computer Information Systems student Gilbert Lopez, who is walking the stage to receive his associate degree in Cybersecurity, the path has been long and winding, taking more than a decade to reach this moment. It is as if Confucius whispered his well-known quote in Lopez’s ear: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

For many PCC students, hurdles in life make earning a college degree a challenge. Financial reasons were a significant factor in Lopez’s temporary departure from school, but he was fortunate enough to secure a job that eventually allowed him to return to his studies. 

“I’ve always worked full-time, and as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, I haven’t qualified for financial aid,” Lopez said. “Therefore, I’ve funded my education out of pocket. At times, I’ve even worked two jobs to support my studies.”

Consulting with his advisor, the Cornelius resident recently learned that he has also earned two certificates in Cybersecurity Fundamentals and Windows System Administration. With this skills-expanding training in sophisticated technical tools and information security from PCC’s CIS Program, Gilbert now has a competitive edge in this essential and dynamic field.

He began as a part-time student under a different electrical engineering transfer program. After a hiatus to work more in 2017, he resumed his studies two years ago. 

“Cybersecurity has always piqued my interest since childhood, when I taught myself to code and set up my home network,” he said. “When I initially enrolled at PCC in 2013, I hoped for a program like this, so I settled for the next best thing (CIS). I was thrilled when I rejoined PCC in 2022 and discovered they had a whole Cybersecurity Program.”

The college’s Cybersecurity Program is recognized as a center of excellence by the National Security Agency, which excites Lopez.

“My ultimate goal is to work in an offensive role in cybersecurity, preferably on a red team,” Lopez said. “They focus on offensive security, where you’re tasked with attacking a target to uncover vulnerabilities and strengthen their security. However, I’m open to any opportunity within cybersecurity, as long as it allows me to contribute and grow in the field.”

While he is not currently employed within the cybersecurity field, Lopez is in the IT field, which is a step in the right direction.

“I work full-time in IT, and it’s a paid position with Pacific Office Automation,” he said. “One of the best aspects of my job is the opportunity to continue learning while getting paid for it. My company incentivizes learning by covering the costs of certifications, but only upon successful completion. Also, acquiring more certifications enhances our prospects for advancement within the organization.

“One thing I can say about the PCC Cybersecurity Program and the teachers is that they are always willing to accommodate whatever is going on in your life, as long as you make them aware of it. I’ve been really grateful for the instructors and their flexibility, ” continued Lopez.

Lopez also said that Cybersecurity is a great program that helped him land his current IT help desk job and that he believes having that experience on his resume, along with his degree and certificates, will open up plenty more doors in the future as he gains more experience.

“I feel like I’m already on the path to earning a good and livable wage, and I hope it only gets better from here,” said Lopez.

About PCC Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) PCC is a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) offering both a degree in Cybersecurity or certificate in Cybersecurity.  The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity is located within the National Security Agency (NSA). The National Cyber Strategy addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

 

PCC, Office of Community & Civic Life partner to fund free legal services for immigrants and refugees - 04/30/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College Legal Resource Center has signed an agreement to partner with the City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life to provide free legal support for immigrants and refugees in Portland.

Civic Life’s Immigrant & Refugee Program and the PCC Legal Resource Center plan to offer free help on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals, work permit applications, immigration legal screenings, and advance parole for DACA recipients. These services were strategically chosen to remove barriers to success and well-being for immigrants and refugees.

“This partnership reaffirms our commitment to equity and justice for all members of our community,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings. “By providing free legal support for immigrants and refugees, we are not only removing barriers to success and well-being but also championing inclusivity and empowerment. Together, we strive to build a more equitable and vibrant city where everyone can thrive."

This partnership will facilitate essential legal services for these communities, address legal and support access inequalities, and help individuals in obtaining and maintaining legal status.

“This partnership solidifies our commitment to more comprehensive and sustainable civic engagement in the wake of charter reform and advances the economic, cultural, social, and political well-being of immigrant communities in Portland with essential legal services,” said Civic Life Interim Director Mourad Ratbi. “Civic Life will continue to push for inclusive policies and programs that will lead to full civic, economic, and cultural inclusion throughout each of Portland’s 94 neighborhoods.”

Potential candidates for these services should fill out the PCC Legal Resource Center’s intake form. Staff will review applications and contact those who are eligible to receive aid.

“These services reflect Civic Life’s commitment to supporting immigrant and refugee communities in Portland,” said  Wafa Almaktari, Immigrant & Refugee Program Coordinator. “By filling knowledge gaps and increasing informed decision making, these Portlanders will be empowered to meet legal challenges and bring their whole selves to our vibrant City.”

The PCC Legal Resource Center helps reduce barriers to employment, housing, education and well-being for members of the PCC community. Center staff are dedicated to increasing access to justice and addressing the lasting impact of disproportionate law enforcement on people of color and low-income communities. They focus on serving the community in the areas of housing justice, criminal record relief and self-determination, and immigration justice. 

“This funding will allow us to expand our immigration justice program and provide desperately needed immigration legal services and wrap-around support to our community members, free of charge,” said Leni Tupper, Director of the PCC Legal Resource Center. “We are grateful to Civic Life for this partnership with the PCC’s Legal Resource Center, where students can access legal services and support that can be life-changing.”

For more information or assistance, please email alena.tupper15@pcc.edu, or call 971-722-5258.

 

About Office of Community & Civic Life: The Office of Community & Civic Life connects the people of Portland with their City government to promote the common good. Founded in 1974, Civic Life works to build stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders to get involved with their local government through civic engagement, community leadership, and support for neighbors. We work every day with a wide range of partners to build systems that serve the needs of all Portlanders, ensuring equitable outcomes for our communities. Learn more at www.portland.gov/civic  

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

veterans day honoring
veterans day honoring
PCC earns national 2024-2025 Military Friendly School honor (Photo) - 04/29/24

PORTLAND, Ore. – Thanks to a myriad of supportive services, Portland Community College has earned the 2024-2025 Military Friendly School designation. 

The Military Friendly ratings program was started in 2003 as an advocacy vehicle to encourage civilian organizations to invest in programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans as employees, entrepreneurs and students. By providing a benchmark to aim for, this program has encouraged a focus on recruiting veterans.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2024-2025 survey with 537 earning special awards for going above the standard. 

“I am profoundly honored and humbled by the recognition of our institution as a 2024-2025 Military Friendly School,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings, whose father served in the Air Force. “This designation reaffirms our unwavering commitment to supporting our veterans and military-affiliated students. Through our Veterans Resource Centers, we strive to provide not just services, but a sense of belonging and community for those who have served our country. This accolade is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the values we hold dear as an institution. We are proud to be a beacon of support for our veterans, their families, and the wider veteran community.”

The Veterans Resource Centers (VRCs) are open and welcoming spaces that support all students at PCC. The centers focus on providing veteran and military-affiliated students, their families, and the surrounding veteran community with advocacy, resources, programming and cultural engagement. The college has centers located on Cascade, Rock Creek, Southeast and Sylvania campuses.

The VRCs offer transitional tools for veteran students to be successful on their path back into civilian spaces. PCC also provides a space to socialize, grab a free coffee, study, or simply relax. The VRCs invite all students, staff and faculty to engage and learn more about the veteran culture and vets on our Military Friendly School campus by visiting a VRC .

“PCC’s efforts to strive for excellence in service to student veterans is reflected by this significant Military Friendly College recognition,” said PCC Director of Veteran Services Walt Ghant. “The impact to our student veterans as a result of this designation is ongoing accountability and responsibility to maintain the high quality of service we provide. Our veterans can be proud to be associated with Portland Community College.”

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans. 

For more information about PCC’s student veteran programs, visit www.pcc.edu/veterans/ or stop by any main campus. Or for details about the Military Friendly Schools honor, check out www.militaryfriendly.com.

 

About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/

Yareli-Cornejo-Torres_3964-scaled.jpg
Yareli-Cornejo-Torres_3964-scaled.jpg
Yareli Cornejo Torres forges a clinical research career helping Spanish-speakers, looks to the future (Photo) - 04/25/24

HILLSBORO, Ore. – Yareli Cornejo Torres, an alumna of Portland Community College's Health Studies Program, has emerged as a beacon of inspiration and change in the realm of public health advocacy. 

After graduating with an associate degree from PCC in 2018, Cornejo Torres continued her educational journey, earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Portland State University (PSU). Today, she stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and perseverance.

Cornejo Torres's journey began with her participation in the BUILD EXITO Program, a groundbreaking collaboration between PCC, PSU, and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). This innovative initiative aims to cultivate the talents of underrepresented students interested in biomedical, public health, and social science research careers. Through BUILD EXITO, Cornejo Torres not only honed her research skills but also found her calling in advocating for marginalized communities.

She continued her studies with the program at PSU, where she researched the barriers and facilitators of health research among Spanish-speaking Mexican and Mexican-American women, graduating from PSU in 2020. Through her research project she was able to collaborate with the Mexican Consulate. Her project helped her continue to implement this research through her position at the OHSU Women’s Health Research Unit.

Reflecting on her educational background, Cornejo Torres expressed gratitude for the opportunities she received at PCC. She didn’t speak a word of English when she started kindergarten with her parents struggling to understand how to navigate the Oregon education system. From a young age, she said, she struggled with school, specifically with math and science courses. 

“As a first-generation college student, I dealt with a lot of anxiousness and felt like I shouldn't be part of higher education,” she said. “But PCC provided me with invaluable support and resources that helped me succeed.”

Cornejo Torres’s dedication to her studies and her community has propelled her into a fulfilling career in public health advocacy. Currently serving as a behavioral health resource specialist at OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond, Cornejo Torres is committed to eliminating barriers to health care access, particularly for non-English-speaking populations.

“When it comes to health research, participation often excludes folks that are non-English speakers,” she said. “So, being able to introduce health research and eliminate barriers to participation is vital towards inclusivity.”

Looking ahead, Cornejo Torres harbors ambitious goals for the future. 

“I want to obtain a dual degree at the OHSU School of Public Health for both a master’s in Epidemiology and Social Work at PSU,” she said. “Eventually, I would like to work in a hospital setting and provide resources to patients, extending similar support to households across the country.”

As she continues her journey, Cornejo Torres remains deeply rooted in her mission to empower communities and promote health equity.

For her full profile, visit: www.pcc.edu/news/2024/04/yareli-cornejo-torres/


About Portland Community College: Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 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/