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News Release
As PCC's new Opportunity Center is built, staff continue providing tools for upward mobility (Photo) - 09/20/22

NORTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. – For more than two decades, Tracee Wells has been helping students and members of the public connect to opportunities and navigate their career paths at Portland Community College.

With her recent transition into a new role as a training and education specialist, Wells supports a variety of programs and services at the Portland Metro Workforce Training Center (PMWTC) in Northeast Portland. PMWTC helps people explore careers that will provide upward mobility in an inclusive environment. 

The facility is part of PCC’s Opportunity Centers, which work to close opportunity gaps to give people the tools they need to develop their skill sets and the confidence to be competitive for high-demand careers. They also help students navigate resources, find employment and connect to the right PCC certificate and degree programs.

PCC’s Community Workforce Development Department partners with the Oregon Department of Human Services and other community agencies to provide services at these centers like PMWTC. They work closely with college programs, such as PCC Clear Clinic, Career Pathways and the Outreach and Advocacy Project, to connect students to the unique resources that will help them navigate and be successful in their academic and career journeys.

“Many of the students are nontraditional and come through the doors of our Metro and Willow Creek opportunity centers with multiple barriers to work or school,” Wells said. “My goal is to help remove or minimize as many barriers as I can in my role and through leveraging the valuable internal and external partners who come together to support equitable success.”

Last year, Wells participated in a major college initiative called Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS) that informed the development of PCC’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan. Wells served as part of a dedicated cohort of 140 staff and faculty who worked to design the new academic and career pathways in a way that keeps students and equity at the center. She said she has enjoyed seeing the YESS design work come to fruition in her work at the opportunity centers where she has seen an increase in collaboration across the college to remove gaps and barriers to become even more student-centered.

The new Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center, which will be the future Metro Opportunity Center, is currently under construction in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland — part of the 2017 voter-passed bond measure. PMWTC will include 84 affordable housing units and other supportive services to be accessed by surrounding communities. 

Both PMWTC in Northeast Portland and Willow Creek in Washington County are opportunity centers that strive to meet with students in a way that works best for them – considering access to resources and using a trauma-informed approach.

“That’s meeting people where they are—culturally, mentally, emotionally and trauma-informed, so as not to create any additional stress on their lives,” said Wells. “We are giving them the support that they need to gain overall student success, and they feel a true sense of belonging.”

For more information on PCC's Opportunity Center services, visit https://www.pcc.edu/opportunity-center/, or for more about the redevelopment work – https://www.pcc.edu/bond/current-projects/pmwtc/

For more details about PCC’s $450 million bond measure on the Nov. 8 election ballot, visit www.pcc.edu.  


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 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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