HECC grants PCC $2.2 million to boost workforce development
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is providing a significant boost for Portland Community College.
PCC received a grant of $2,235,649 for its Community 2 Career (C2C) Program. This funding is part of the Future Ready Oregon Workforce Ready Grant initiative, which has been distributed to 30 community-based organizations and workforce service providers across the state.
Opportunity Center’s “Discover” Classes
- The Opportunity Center’s “Discover” classes offer a transformative learning experience that can unlock pathways to new careers and personal growth for individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. The short, two-week courses introduce people to new career possibilities and personal growth and align with in-demand careers. These classes empower individuals to seize their full potential and create a positive impact in their lives and communities.
The program will utilize the grant to support community-based organizations, PCC’s network of Opportunity Centers, and its regional employers. The primary goal is to enhance workforce training opportunities for communities of color and low-income students.
“We will use the grant to strengthen connections between our Opportunity Centers and community-based organizations, as well as create pathways for traditionally marginalized populations to succeed in education and move into careers with economic mobility,” said Pam Hester, PCC’s Business, Community & Workforce Development Program dean. “In collaboration with manufacturers, funding will also support development of new short-term industry-recognized microcredentials in manufacturing, addressing a critical workforce need.”
This round of grant funding is the most substantial to date, with a collective award of approximately $35 million. The “Workforce Ready Grants, Round Two: Innovation in Workforce Programs” fund initiatives that cater to Oregon’s underserved and marginalized communities, ensuring access to resources for quality employment opportunities in vital sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.
For more information about PCC’s network of Opportunity Centers, visit https://www.pcc.edu/opportunity-center/
This is not the first time PCC has received Future Ready Oregon grants. In February, PCC was awarded $300,000 for the Next Generation Machine Manufacturing Technology initiative as part of the first round of $10 million in funding. Later last spring, a portion of another $2.8 million Future Ready Oregon grant to PCC is supporting a pilot program that assists Pell Grant and academically eligible, incarcerated students transition back into society with the skills they need.