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Welding program unveiled on east side of Portland

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PORTLAND, Ore.- (May 1, 2008) Vigor Industrial and Portland Community College have joined forces to open the Swan Island Training Center. Made possible through a partnership between Vigor and PCC, this facility provides welding training opportunities that support the local manufacturing industry.

The facility makes its debut from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at 5555 N. Channel Ave. The event is open to the public. Signs lead to a trailer on the exterior of the Vigor facility.

Skilled welders are a key labor component for manufacturing companies and, locally, there is a shortage of well-trained workers in this vital trade. Companies on the east side of the Willamette, such as U.S. Barge, Vigor, Service Steel, and Columbia Wire & Iron, have the potential to expand their workforce by taking advantage of the training opportunities that the Swan Island Training Center provides.

Interested students can sign up for classes by going to The Swan Island Training Center is not an official campus, so administrative functions will be performed at PCC’s Southeast Center. Vigor Industrial owns the Swan Island Training Facility and has made a substantial capital investment to develop the property into a training facility.

PCC currently offers welding only at the Rock Creek Campus in Washington County, where college officials say more than 340 students are served per year, with a waiting list of 80 to 90 students at any given time.

"It’s important that we, the industrial community, invest in training our workforce of tomorrow," commented Frank Foti, chief executive officer of Vigor Industrial, "With the Swan Island Training Center, we’ve expanded our capacity to train skilled workers and increase our local labor pool. It’s an exciting prospect, and I’m glad that we could help make it happen."

“We are so excited to offer welding on Portland’s east side,” said Preston Pulliams, president of PCC. “We hear from business and industry almost daily, asking for more highly trained workers. The need is vital.”

The program at Vigor Industrial was made possibly when the 2007 Legislature boosted funding for Oregon’s 17 community colleges, after several years of disinvesting in higher education, according to Dana Haynes, public affairs manager for PCC.

Vigor Industrial, LLC is a privately-held company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Rooted in a long tradition of craftsmanship, the company offers integrated ship repair, vessel construction, and related industrial services to public and private sector clients. Vigor Industrial’s corporate structure enables it to align resources seamlessly across subsidiary companies and geographical regions to best meet customer needs. Please see:

Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 86,700 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 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.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »