Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Steps to Success (TANF services) at the Metro Opportunity Center

The following programs are available only for individuals currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Questions? If you have questions about the TANF programs at the Metro Opportunity Center, contact your PCC Career Coach or call 971-722-2000.

Online workshops

Choose from a wide variety of regularly-scheduled workshops to develop your career, explore academic and vocational training opportunities, enhance your interpersonal skills, and gain self-care tips and tools. All workshops are held via Zoom.

Career development and training opportunities

In this workshop, you’ll:

  • Find living-wage career opportunities.
  • Gain strategies to help you invest in your career growth.
  • Learn interview strategies and how to talk with employers about your experience and skills.
Application, cover letter, and resume basics

In this workshop, you’ll:

  • Learn about applications, resume trends, and how to be successful in the screening process.
  • Gain tips on how to highlight your work experience, knowledge, and skills.
  • Learn the difference between resumes and cover letters and gain the basic skills needed to highlight your personal brand.
Life skills

In this workshop, you’ll:

  • Identify your strengths and improve your self-esteem.
  • Practice problem solving and decision making.
  • Improve your work-life balance.
  • Learn effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Assess your skills and learn positive workplace habits.
Wellness and personal development

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to identify and strengthen essential skills for your professional and personal development and growth.

Discovering Options

This workshop focuses on skill-building, career planning, and coaching. You’ll listen to presentations from knowledgeable, motivational guest speakers and create a personalized résumé, cover letter, and disclosure letter. You’ll also participate in mock interviews, practice life skills, and complete application completion activities.

TANF participant profile: Limited or no work experience, poor job retention, multiple employment barriers.

Download the Discovering Options flyer

English Language Learners

This workshop focuses on employment-focused English language coaching, specialized résumé creation, one-on-one personalized program development, and personalized job development using language translation services as needed.

TANF participant profile: English language learners with an interest in gaining employment skills.

Life Skills

Receive group and one-on-one support as you:

  • Explore career assessments.
  • Develop helpful workplace habits and social skills.
  • Improve skills to build self-esteem and practice positive self-talk.
  • Develop problem-solving, decision-making, time management, budgeting, and parenting skills.
  • Improve your work-life balance.
  • Work on effective communication and interpersonal relationships.

TANF participant profile: Limited workplace skills and habits, barriers to daily living and decision making, and obstacles to relationship building.

Job Search Orientation

Learn about job search tools such as Master Application, social media, resume writing, job search motivation, Oregon labor market info, current job listings, resources, referral, and how to complete job logs.

TANF participant profile: Job-ready, current resume, recent work history.

Career Launch

This one-week-long training-based course is specifically designed to prepare participants for job training. Whether you have high school equivalency, an associate’s degree, or higher, Career Launch gives you the tools, assessments, and resources (as well as PCC advisors and staff) to assist in the transition to training. A day on a PCC campus is included for a truly immersive experience!

TANF participant profile: All skill levels interested in training and continuing education.

On-Ramp to Trades

A two-week course to prepare participants to transition into pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs. Participants will build skills to succeed in their apprenticeship program and will get support with applying to the PCC Pre-Apprenticeship program at Swan Island, or any trades program of their choosing. Participants will be eligible to receive a recommendation letter upon successful completion of the program.

TANF participant profile: All skill levels interested in training and continuing education.

Internship opportunities

The PCC Steps to Success program provides comprehensive employment readiness and internship placement services for individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Department of Human Services (DHS).

We offer two types of internships: Jobs Plus (paid) and Work Experience (unpaid).

Jobs Plus

Find temporary paid employment in a wide variety of public, private, and not-for-profit workplaces. Jobs Plus interns are full-time (between 30–40 hours per week) and considered temporary workers subject to the same rules and company policies as other staff. Employers who hire through the Jobs Plus program will receive partial reimbursement for the first six months of employment and can hire interns permanently at the end of the assignment.

TANF participant profile: Job-ready but unfruitful job search, needing additional job-related skills.

Work Experience

Find volunteer internship opportunities in a wide variety of public, private, and not-for-profit workplaces. Work Experience offers employers a great opportunity to meet staffing needs. Interns will work part-time (between 5–25 hours per week) in an unpaid position. This is a great opportunity for interns to develop new skills, gain recent work experience, and develop professional references.

TANF participant profile: Limited or no recent work experience, in need of good work reference.

Benefits to employers
  • Pre-screening of interns to match skills and overall suitability to the worksite.
  • Ongoing support and coordination with worksite supervisors and interns.
  • Workers’ compensation coverage for interns during a Work Experience assignment.
  • Reimbursement of a portion of wages for the first six months in a Jobs Plus internship.
  • Interns can be hired for regular positions within an organization with no employment fee.
  • Companies may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) if the intern is hired.
  • Employers can hire up to 10% of their staff through Jobs Plus.
  • Eligible interns are referred to the program by a DHS Family Coach (Case Manager).

GED® test preparation

In this program, you’ll receive Individualized skill assessment and placement, explore other academic programs, and participate in GED® preparation coursework, tutoring, one on one coaching, and practice exams.

TANF participant profile: All skill levels interested in training and pursuing a general education diploma.

GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education and may not be used without permission. The GED® and GED Testing Service® brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license.

Vocational Training

In this program, you’ll participate in training and continuing education to obtain higher-wage jobs, credentials, and certifications. Program and career exploration, securing funding, internships, apprenticeships, and informational interviews.

TANF participant profile: Beginning-level education.

Wellness Services

These are services for clients seeking support for mental health and wellness. Information about community resources is provided to address mental health or substance abuse issues for individuals and families.

TANF participant profile: All skill levels experiencing employment barriers related to health and wellness.

World of Work

Develop job readiness skills, earn a workplace credential, and get paid to participate in eLearning activities to strengthen workplace, communication, and employment skills.

TANF participant profile: Age 16-24, TANF recipient or living in a TANF household.