James Erickson - Computer Technology

James Erickson James Erickson, like many others, had worked his way up the ladder in the High Tech industry. Starting as a Programmer he advanced through positions in Engineering, Software Development, and eventually landed in management. When the industry experienced a dramatic downturn in the early 2000s, James was laid off, the first time in 2003. It took James almost six months to find his next job as a Supervisor for Qmedtrix. Then after only 15 months he found himself out of work again due to downsizing.

James immediately started applying for work but soon realized that the market had shifted. Employers were now requiring credentials for the supervisory and management jobs he'd been doing for years. In addition, James learned that his software development skills had become dated since he had been coordinating and supervising work but had limited hands on experience in recent years.

James learned about the Portland Community College/Mt. Hood Community College Career Pathways Computer Support Technician training through the Dislocated Workers Program. Career Pathways are a series of courses offered through PCC and MHCC to help job seekers and career advancers get the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Career Pathways trainings are supported by Worksystems, Inc., the Local Workforce Investment Board for the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

James thought this program might be a way to update his skills and add credentials to his resume.

What was less appealing to him was the required 33 hour Career Planning course that teaches students how to market themselves to employers and plan for on-going education and training once employed. In hind sight James now believes that the skills training and career planning classes were equally valuable in helping him land his current job. James is putting all of his new skills to work as a Microcomputer Analyst with Clackamas County Community Corrections.