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News Release
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
View more news releases from PCC.