Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Steps to Success (TANF Services)

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

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Discovering Options
Women talking together

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

Skill-building, career planning and coaching. Presentations from knowledgeable, motivational guest speakers. Personalized résumé, cover letters, disclosure letters, mock interviews and life skills, master application completion.

English Language Learners

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

Employment-focused English language coaching, specialized résumé creation, one-on-one personalized program development, and personalized job development utilizing language translation services as needed.

Life Skills

TANF Participant profile: Limited work place skills and habits, barriers to daily living and decision making, and obstacles to relationship building.

Group and one-on-one support with career assessments, develop helpful work place habits and social skills, research and improve skills to: Building self-esteem, Feel better about yourself, Practice positive self talk, Assess your skills, Identify affirmations, Problem solving, Budgeting, Parenting skills, Identify resources, Employment retention, Improve work-life balance, Decision making, Effective communication, Interpersonal relationships, Time management, & Practice lifelong learning.

Job Search Orientation
Person getting help on a computer

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

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

Career LaunchMan working on a computer

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

One week-long training-based course specifically designed to prepare participants for training. Starting from high school equivalency, to an Associates Degree or higher, Career Launch gives the tools, assessments and resources as well as Portland Community College Advisors and staff to assist in the transition to training. A day on a PCC Campus is included for a truly immersive experience!

On-Ramp to TradesHVAC Training

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

A two week-long 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 trade program of their choosing. Participants will be eligible to receive a recommendation letter upon successful completion of the program.

Steps to Success
Group of three women talking and laughing together

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: Work Experience (unpaid) and Jobs Plus (paid).


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

Paid employment in wide variety of public, private and not-for profit workplaces, learn valuable workplace skills, 6 month duration, often leading to direct hire.

Jobs Plus interns are full-time (between 30-40 hours a 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 on permanently at the end of the assignment.

Work Experience

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

Volunteer internship opportunities in wide variety of public, private and not-for-profit workplaces. Build skills, expand experience and gain references for the future.

Work Experience offers employers a great opportunity to meet staffing needs. Interns will work part-time (between 5-25 hours a week) in an unpaid position. This is a great opportunity for interns to develop new skills, gain recent work experience and develop professional references.

Benefits to employers
  • Pre-screening of interns to match skills and overall suitability to the worksite
  • Ongoing support and coordination with worksite supervisor and interns
  • Workers Compensation coverage for interns during a Work Experience assignment
  • 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
  • Reimbursement of a portion of wages for the first six months in a Jobs Plus internship
  • 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). For more information regarding TANF, visit oregon.gov.

GED® test preparationGED student

TANF Participant profile: All skills levels interest in training and continuing general education diploma.

Individualized assessment and placement, program exploration and selection to meet individual needs. GED® preparation classes, tutoring, one on one coaching, practice exams and final exam support and referral.

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
Man looking through a book

TANF Participant profile: Beginning level education.

Training and continuing education to obtain higher wage jobs, credentials and certifications in support of achieving career goals. Program and career exploration, securing funding, internships, apprenticeships, informational interviews.

Medical Case Consultant

TANF Participant profile: All skill levels experiencing employment barriers related to physical health and well-being.

Services to assess and assist clients who are experiencing medical barriers that are preventing them from accessing training, education or employment.

Wellness Services

TANF Participant profile: All skills levels experiencing employment barriers related to health and wellness.

Services for clients seeking support for mental health and wellness. Information about resources in the community are provided to address mental health or substance abuse issues for individuals and families.

PCC Metro Center Success Story