History Corner: Remembering Pat Kraft’s contribution to PCC and machine manufacturing
Last winter, Portland Community College lost one of its mainstays – Pat Kraft, who passed away.
Kraft was an award-winning Machine Manufacturing Technology instructor and program chair. From the time he started at PCC in 2003, he helped to cultivate a popular program that features the latest technological advances, like 3D printing machines and various rapid technologies.
He’s best known for coordinating the annual FIRST Robotics Camps for area high school students, leading teacher educator camps, and helping to instruct a wearable tech workshop for Latina high school students. In 2014, he earned the Oregon State Award for Outstanding Leadership in Career and Technical Education for his work in educating students, partnering with schools, training teachers, and creating pathways to employers for his graduates.
In the early 1960s, it was the machine manufacturing and other vocational-technical programs that were the foundation for the college as it separated from Portland Public Schools. Then, PCC was primarily a vocational-technical education college housed in an old portable structure in the Benson High School parking lot. Thanks to the continued work of leaders like Kraft, the college’s career-technical education programs have grown immensely since those days to now serve thousands of students and partner with hundreds of businesses.
After such a dedicated career serving PCC students and the community, Pat will be sorely missed.