Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Successful grants

PCC was awarded $20,307,710 between 2014-2017. View a complete listing of awards, or read a sampling of funded projects below.

PCC keeps students excited with engineering boot camp through Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience

Engineering students standing in a group outside

During the summer of 2013, Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus was the host for a six-week, Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience boot camp. The program served approximately 120 first-and second-year engineering, science, math and technology students from area colleges, universities and high schools who were at-risk of leaving engineering fields of study.

The experiential program utilized team projects in software and robotics, professional skill development and networking to provide students with a glimpse into what being an Intel engineer is like. Jeff Patterson, 40, a second-year computer science major at PCC explains, “(The Experience) gives you skills and a metric to decide what to work on and see where you are in the process. It’s giving me a focus, a boost and a lot of different perspectives.”

The Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience was made possible thanks to a 20-year partnership between PCC and Intel that started when Intel helped develop PCC’s Microelectronics Technology program, addressing the need for highly-trained manufacturing technicians. The Intel Foundation awarded PCC a $33,961 grant for the Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience boot camp.

PCC’s High School Equivalency Program (HEP) funded for another 5 years

HEP staff

High School Equivalency Program champions include, left to right, instructor Scott Lowrey, Division Dean for Rock Creek’s Business & Applied Technology Karen Sanders and HEP program manager Beto Espindola.

The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) assists migrant and seasonal farmworkers (and their family members) obtain a high school equivalency so that they may gain better employment or continue onto college. HEP serves 76 students each year by providing academic and career advising, instruction, tutoring, college skills building and other educational experiences. HEP students are provided with free study materials, free comprehensive classes and free high school equivalency tests. Additional support for HEP students may include transportation assistance, meals and childcare. HEP started in 2010, and since then has served 400 students. Luis Montero, HEP’s first graduate explains what HEP has done for him, “I’m happy to be the first person (to graduate from HEP), but I’m not feeling that this is it. I’m still going. It’d just the beginning for me.”

PCC HEP is funded by the US Department of Education ($2,227,224 for 2015 – 2020). This is the second 5-year HEP grant that PCC has been awarded.

PCC earns $540,000 grant to give underemployed a career reboot

Reboot coaches

Reboot coaches, including (left to right) Jennifer Poinar and Larisa Felty of PCC, and Sam Wilson of SE Works, welcome all qualified unemployed and underemployed workers to the new program to get a needed reboot on their careers.

Portland Community College was awarded a three-year $540,000 grant from Worksystems, Inc. (WSI) to establish the Reboot Northwest: Career Link Coordination Program, a Department of Labor strategy that specifically targets workers who have been unemployed for six-months or longer. PCC’s program will focus on helping workers obtain training and employment in the fast-growing healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

The long-term unemployed often need to reboot when an old approach has stalled, with the best option being a fresh start,” said Amy Youngflesh, PCC’s Workforce Development director. “Reboot Northwest will get the long-term unemployed back to work in a new way by employing immediate, hands-on, practical and cohort-collaborative approaches. After the course, students will create a peer networking group to support them as they pursue education or job search.”

PCC will design and offer Career Link courses to approximately 600 long-term unemployed and underemployed workers in Multnomah and Washington counties.

Oregon Department of Education grant funds girls wearable tech camp

Girls showing off the hoodie they made

Miranda O. Salinas (left) of West Linn High School and Ariana Rivera of Hillsboro’s Century High School were part of the Wearable Tech Summer Camp at the Sylvania Campus’ MakerSpace in August. Fellow camper Madeline Pitoby is wearing the hoodie.

The Wearable Tech Camp held on the PCC Sylvania Campus during the summer of 2014 gave local area high school girls the confidence and excitement to find their path in engineering. One purpose of the camp was to combat perceived social norms of what girls should be interested in while sparking interest in the engineering fields and show girls they can be as talented and successful as boys.

The Camp introduced STEAM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) studies to young women that may not have the opportunity or the encouragement to join related programs and careers. The girls were introduced to STEAM through designing sweatshirts incorporating wearable technology such as lights and electronic circuits. They met industry experts in fashion, health, engineering, anthropology and business. Ariana Rivera, who participated in the camp shared, “I know I wanted to do something in the science field, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. Having this camp definitely sparked my interest in this area.”

The Camp was made possible by a $120,000 Oregon Department of Education grant to PCC to assist in incorporating dual credit engineering programs into local high schools.

What others are saying about us

"The PCC grant team has been an essential part of securing funding for student parents in the way of child care grants. This is such an important part of keeping costs low for students to complete their degrees. Now we are working with the grant team looking for funding for our new outdoor classroom, for our new center, to provide the highest quality early education in affordable ways for student families. They are such a great team and always willing to help!"

– Simone Chaves
Director, Child Development Center