Pre-apprenticeship class gives elderly resident’s home a needed upgrade

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Group shot of pre-apprentice students.Portland Community College’s Pre-Apprenticeship/Trades Program has a project that left everyone smiling.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, almost two dozen pre-apprentice students were given a field trip to Beaverton from their base at the Swan Island Trades Center. The students used their skills to repair an elderly tenant’s mobile home, which had fallen into disrepair due to her health issues.

Through a partnership with Rebuilding Together Washington County, instructor Enrique Maldonado and trades coordinator Sal Castañeda Jr. led the class in fixing mold issues, flooring, plumbing and HVAC. The day of volunteer work provided the students, who are seeking careers in the trades, the chance to build the necessary skills needed to meet the minimum entry qualifications to enter a trade or apprenticeship program.Student working on flooring.

The Pre-Trades Career Pathway is a 14-credit pathway certificate designed to prepare students to become the most desirable candidates possible when applying to any of the 40 or more apprenticeship programs registered in the State of Oregon.

It’s a needed program as 46 percent of job openings in Oregon require more than a high school but less than a four-year degree. And, 50 percent of jobs in the state are middle skills jobs but there’s only 45 percent of middle skill workers qualified to fill them.

To help fill this skills gap where industry can’t find enough skilled workers to fill open positions, the state’s community colleges are asking for a 2019-21 biennium support budget of $787 million. Colleges will earmark $70 million of the funding total to expand CTE programs to serve business and industry workforce needs. The goal is to double the number of graduates annually in high-wage, high-demand CTE fields.

  • Students fixing mobile home.

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 »

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