Portland Community College President Mitsui Testifies at House Education and Labor Committee
Photos and Story by James Hill
On Wednesday, April 28, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) welcomed Portland Community College (PCC) President Mark Mitsui to the Education and Labor Committee to testify about the need to invest in community colleges and workforce development.
Bonamici, a community college graduate, and Mitsui have long advocated for increased support for community colleges, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s hearing focused on the need for investments in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, including a proposed $12 billion to modernize community colleges and $100 billion for workforce development programs.
“President Mitsui is a champion for community colleges, and I am grateful he testified at our hearing today about the support students need as we recover from the pandemic and build back better,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Attending community college opened doors for me, and I want more students to have the opportunity to benefit from these essential, life-changing institutions. I am leading the effort to invest in our nation’s workforce systems, and community colleges are uniquely positioned to provide this instruction. Portland Community College has done an impressive job in this area, providing a powerful example of what can be achieved when we center the needs of students and focus on the future.”
Video of Mitsui’s opening testimony can be viewed here, and his full written testimony can be found here. Video of Bonamici introducing Mitsui can be found here, and video of her questioning him can be found here.
“In Portland, we have a lot of bridges and I think of Portland Community College as one of them,” PCC President Mark Mitsui said in his prepared testimony. “PCC is a bridge to opportunity and a better life through education and training. PCC is also a bridge that brings needed talent to local employers. In our community, like communities across this nation, on one side of the bridge are hardworking, talented people who need educational opportunity. On the other side, we have jobs that offer a living wage and keep our economies growing. The community colleges are the bridge between those sides.
“By investing in the students who cross the bridge, and by investing in the bridge itself, we can help keep America on the forefront of the world economy and create a more equitable recovery,” Mitsui continued. “The community colleges are a key part of a functioning economy. An investment in community college infrastructure is vital to ensuring that our students are prepared for the jobs of the future.”