PCC hosts ‘Employer Day’ in state Capitol to highlight industry partners
A group of important business leaders from around the metro area are singing the praises of the work being done at Portland Community College.
The leaders, which included representatives from Vigor Industrial, H.W. Metals, Hunter-Davisson, Inc., Providence Health & Services and Abbott and Associates, Inc., met with state senators and representatives to discuss PCC’s value and state funding. The day at the state’s Capitol Building served to highlight not only how PCC trains qualified workforce for these companies, but to stress the importance of better funding for the state’s community colleges, who are on the frontlines in statewide career-technical education (CTE).
PCC and Oregon’s other 16 community colleges are asking for a general fund budget of $787 million for the next biennium (2019-21). About $70 million of that would go towards adding capacity in CTE programs, doubling the annual graduates with an additional 7,900 per year.
“Investing in education training in the trades will build the future for Oregon,” said Ken Lindahl, project sales and safety manager at Hunter-Davisson, Inc.
With improved funding PCC could opening up new seats in healthcare fields, graduate more STEM students, and respond to industry needs in micro-electronics, manufacturing, computer technology, and business and management.
“Healthcare programs at PCC have been a must for our communities and our industry,” added Melanie Faber, staffing coordinator at Providence Medical Group. “We get our best candidates (from PCC) and we value the education they get. This helps our overall wellbeing and connection to make us equal.”
The business leaders visited with state representatives Barbara Smith Warner, Janeen Sollman, Margaret Doherty, Janelle Bynum, Jeff Reardon and Jennifer Williamson, and state senators Kathleen Taylor, Ginny Burdick and Mark Hass. The group also met with Anna Pycior, who is the legislative director at the Oregon House Majority Office. The message to them all via PCC’s partners was clear.
“Without skilled workforce companies will not be able to grow,” said Josh Suter, vice president of H.W. Metals in Tualatin. “The first need for a company is skilled and trustworthy employees. This is something PCC can provide.”