Why Career Pathways?

Gain the skills to jumpstart your career in more than 20 occupations in demand in the Portland metro area. Career Pathways are offered in an intensive, short-term format (3-12 months). All trainings include assistance with planning your career and the tools needed to make a successful career transition in today's competitive job market. Read on to learn more about the services that are provided when you choose a Career/Technical, or Vocational ESL career pathway.

Still not sure if Career Pathways is right for you? Take a look at the success stories of former pathways students.

Career/Technical Pathways


Learning Phlebotomy

Before Your Program

You will work with our Education Coordinators to:

  • Receive guidance on how your education, work history, and occupational goals relate to your chosen training
  • Identify potential sources for funding (e.g financial aid and workforce development programs)
  • Understand how to navigate the college admissions and placement testing process
  • Simplify your process for starting college. Career Pathways will assist you with registration, provide a books/supplies list and a schedule of your classes

During Your Program

As a Career Pathways student you'll attend and participate in a weekly 3-hour Career Planning course to develop tools and strategies for success in reaching your educational and employment goals by:

  • Receiving individualized assistance in customizing your resumes, cover letters and job search portfolio
  • Developing and practicing effective interview strategies for present and future job search
  • Expanding and utilizing your personal network to enhance career opportunities
  • Performing occupational, labor market, and educational research to develop a plan for educational and career advancement
  • Providing information and guidance to assist with internship development

After Your Program

The CTE Employment Specialist will work with you to:

  • Identify and apply for internships and job openings after the completion of your training
  • Tailor your application materials to the companies and jobs that interest you
  • Develop targeted strategies for upcoming interviews
  • Continuously refine your job search materials and strategies

Vocational ESL Career Pathways

Before Your Program

The Vocational ESL (VESL) training team schedules recruitment sessions about a month before the scheduled start of each training. At this session, you will learn about the training, have an opportunity to ask questions, and will be given an English language listening and writing test. You will also be asked about your availability for the three parts of the training: classroom lessons, internship, and job search. Some of the applicants will be called for a short interview with the Education Coordinator and Employment Specialist. Those accepted into the training must arrange for payment of tuition with their Career Specialist, Case Worker, Advocate, or other funder. Students who self-pay must make payment arrangements with PCC. The Education Coordinator can assist with finding the necessary forms and information to do this.

During Your Program

Classroom Lessons: Each of the VESL trainings runs 12 to 20 hours a week, for 10 to 16 weeks (Credit VESL trainings may be longer, up to 9 months). Classroom lessons focus on developing knowledge, skills, and language for the subject. For instance, in the Health Care training, students learn about the human body, medical terminology, and office skills, especially communication and basic computer skills.

Internship: Each training requires an unpaid internship with a local employer. Students work with the VESL Employment Specialist to determine the best match of internship with their experience, skills and career interests. The goal of the internship is to provide the student with hands-on experience to practice the knowledge and skills that are learned in the classroom. Internships range from eight to 15 hours a week and may start at various times during the training.

Many students begin applying for jobs before the training is over, with 1-on-1 help from the VESL Employment Specialist, who tells students about open positions, advocates for students with employers, edits and refines applications, cover letters, and resumes.

After Your Program

Job Search: Some students are hired by their internship site as training comes to an end, and some choose to focus on furthering their education instead of seeking employment right after training. Students who are not employed or attending school at the end of the training will continue to attend job search sessions for up to two months. They will meet with the VESL Employment Specialist and Education Coordinator to identify barriers to job placement and to develop strategies to meet their career goals. Each day during job search class, students apply for several jobs, which allows them to complete dozens, if not many more applications during the job search portion of the training. Students who are not employed at that point are asked to both follow up with their Career Specialist, Caseworker, or Advocate; and to keep in contact with the VESL Employment Specialist, who provides 1-on-1 services to help those students who are still job seeking.