Youth Manufacturing Day showcases future career opportunities for Hillsboro students

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Glencoe student dons the bunny suit while holding a semiconductor chip.

A student from Glencoe High School dons the bunny suit while holding a semiconductor chip.

Portland Community College’s Willow Creek Opportunity Center ignited the spark of curiosity and ambition in about 60 high school students from Washington County on Feb. 28. In collaboration with the Hillsboro School District and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the center hosted an immersive Youth Manufacturing Day aimed at shedding light on the diverse pathways within the manufacturing industry.

Attendees embarked on a whirlwind tour through six interactive stations, each offering a glimpse into the exciting world of manufacturing. From donning bunny suits at the gowning station to delving into the cutting-edge realm of virtual reality, students had the opportunity to engage firsthand with various aspects of manufacturing technology. In addition, representatives were on hand to discuss job and employment opportunities at their companies, including Jireh Semiconductors, Qorvo, Align Precision, Vigor Industrial and Twist Bioscience, to name a few.

“PCC and local industry partners have a shared goal to raise awareness of manufacturing and semiconductor jobs with career growth potential,” said DaNene Dwyer, program manager with the Willow Creek Opportunity Center. “At Youth Manufacturing Day, high school students were able to explore opportunities in an industry they might not have considered before.”

Poppie with students in bunny suits.

PCC Opportunity Centers

These centers are dedicated hubs for workforce development that connect people, employers, and community partners. PCC’s team of experts help community members get started in a new career with one-on-one coaching, holistic support systems, short-term training, and more.

Learn more about the Opportunity Centers

In its second year, the event aims to not only showcase PCC’s array of manufacturing-related programs but also to inspire the next generation of industry leaders. By offering a hands-on experience and highlighting the practical applications of bioscience, microelectronics, and more, organizers hope to spark enthusiasm and encourage students to pursue educational pathways that align with their interests and aspirations.

“It was a great opportunity to share information about PCC’s manufacturing-related programs that get students workforce ready in three months to two years,” said Ariel Ladum, PCC trainer and education specialist. “The students were highly engaged as they moved through five interactive stations hosted by PCC faculty and industry partners.”

Three programs were highlighted during the day to provide pathways to semiconductor training for the students:

Semiconductor Essentials Training – This class is free to youth ages 17 to 24 years old who are interested in the semiconductor industry. They can enroll in the class to plan next steps to start in PCC manufacturing programs, develop technical skills through hands-on training and develop in demand essential skills for success. Interested students can visit the program’s webpage, or call (971) 722-2623.

NextGen Youth Services – The NextGen Youth Program provides a welcoming and supportive space for youth ages 16–24 years old who are encountering barriers while trying to enter the workforce. Along with our community partners, staff provide support for work tools, books, fees, TriMet passes, and more. There are career exploration activities that will help participants develop skills and gain work experience. To learn more visit the program’s webpage, or call (971) 722-2541 in Washington County or (971) 722-2178 in Multnomah.

Opportunity Centers College & Career Prep – For people who want to go to school to earn a family wage  and need support connecting to PCC and community resources. For details, visit the jobs webpage or call (971) 722-2688.

Youth Manufacturing Day Photo Gallery
  • Poppe with high school students in bunny suits
  • Glencoe student dons the bunny suit while holding a semiconductor chip.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »