Welding student Dalton Deay finds work through JPMorgan Chase-funded trades fair
Deay, 22, enrolled in the Career Pathways’ Maritime Welding Certificate Program last September to get the skills he needs for a stable career after years working in the up and down construction industry. Despite that he hasn’t finished the welding classes at the college’s training lab on the Vigor Industrial shipyard, he was able to score a job with Evans Metal Fabricators after attending Career Pathways’ Career Fair at the Swan Island Trades Center in mid-February.
“They were looking for somebody who would be interested in working a new weekend shift that fit with our schedules at school,” Deay said. “I just started it two weeks ago. I was the first student in our class to find a job.”
Deay explored the dozens of trades companies whose industries tie into classes that Career Pathways and the Swan Island Trades Center offer — HVAC, Welding, Machining, Facilities Maintenance and Construction. The fair was sponsored through a $100,000 Career Pathways’ JPMorgan Chase Foundation grant that was awarded to the PCC Foundation in 2016.
“This career fair was a chance for our partners working in the trades and K-12/youth providers to get potential students interested in trades career paths — and hopefully PCC,” said Kate Kinder, director of the Career Pathways Program. “We kept it fairly targeted and on the smaller side, so our students could shine and get hired.”
JP Morgan Leader Impressed
Some of the companies on hand for the fair were Snyder, Microchip, Vigor Industrial, Parr Lumber, Jacobs Heating & Cooling, Oregon International Guard, Columbia Steel, Aerotek, Roth Heating & Cooling, Leatherman Tool Group, NW Natural and the City of Portland. The jam-packed trades center of youth and aspiring college students was witnessed by Mike Hurley, JPMorgan Chase’s Market Executive of Middle Market Banking for Oregon and SW Washington, who stopped by to take a tour of the facility.
Hurley was joined by Kinder, Karin Edwards (Cascade Campus president), Marc Goldberg (Associate Vice President of Workforce Development and Continuing Education) and Matt Chase (Corporate & Foundation Relations Officer for the PCC Foundation). Richard Willbrand, instructor in the Trades and Industry program, walked the group to each specialized trades area of the center, including showcasing the HVAC shop with rows of the latest furnaces and air conditioners.
“I enjoyed touring the college’s Swan Island Trades Center and seeing so many students attending the fair,” Hurley said. “And I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the center’s successful workforce training programs. JPMorgan Chase sees great value in programs like PCC’s Career Pathways that help provide growth and vitality of our regional economy. We are proud to support this work as part of our New Skills at Work initiative.”
The aim of JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s grant to the college is to expand access to career pathways for low-income students and youth of color through the Career Pathways Expansion & Outreach Project. The money is helping to expand the number of youths completing stackable career pathway credentials that lead to a degree and careers with advancement opportunities, and develop the talent pipelines for the region’s manufacturing, healthcare, and technology sectors, which face a shortage of skilled workers.
Boosting Career Pathways
Thanks to the grant, Career Pathways has already bolstered existing workforce connections with regional employers, Portland Public Schools and Worksystems, Inc.
“These connections and partnerships are increasing the number of students participating in college success and leadership training, mentoring, and coaching, which are important to students building technical skills and college credits,” Kinder added.
Career Pathways was recognized by the Barrack Obama White House for its student success and workforce development initiatives that offer youth a path to succeed in college and start on a career path. Each year the program serves between 300-500 students, and an additional 200 to 300 through outreach. Over the past several years, the program has sustained a 94 percent credential completion rate, as students earn short-term, stackable certificates that prepare them for employment in high-growth, high-demand industry sectors, as well as provide a stepping stone to a college degree, and more.
The program has been a game-changer for Deay, the welding student who moved to Portland a year ago from Washington, D.C. He had been spinning his employment wheels applying for forklift jobs online and never getting a callback. He knew he couldn’t count on steady work in construction, so he gravitated toward PCC to see what types of training programs were available through a trades information session. That’s when he discovered the short-term training certificate Maritime Welding.
“This program was definitely the right one for me,” he said. “It’s fulltime and you can get as many hours you want a week. I wanted as many hours and as much training as I could, to get me a job as soon as possible. They have all the resources there at PCC’s Swan Island welding lab. I got everything I needed to take my education to a whole other level. Instructors there are awesome and know what they are talking about.
“I’m more than happy,” he added. “I have the ability to pay off my debt and all my bills successfully and on time. I’m glad I finally have money coming in.”
In less than one year, create your career
Career Pathways is a nationally renowned job training program, recognized by the White House during the Obama administration. It offers a faster path to build your skills to advance your career and income. Program features short-term, stackable certificates that lead to degree and a job.
- Check out the stackable credit certificates offered through Career Pathways.
- $19.40 was the average wage after one year of employment, with an average entry-level wage of $14.63.
- Career Pathways offers help navigating your options—whether you are just starting college, switching careers, or looking to advance in your field.
For more information or to contact a team member, visit the Career Pathways staff list to get started.