NAYA youth introduced to basics of advanced manufacturing thanks to grant
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College recently hosted two dozen enthusiastic youths with the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) at the OMIC Training Center in Columbia County as part of the college’s recent state grant.
Earlier this year, PCC was awarded a $300,000 grant for the Next Generation Machine Manufacturing Technology initiative through the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The funding was the first round of $10 million Future Ready Oregon Workforce Ready grants to help organizations focus on innovation and removing barriers to job training and education for historically underserved and marginalized populations.
The Strategic Plan: Workforce
- The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan prepares the college for the future of higher education. Part of the plan is responding to community and workforce needs by developing a culture of agility. The college’s network of Opportunity Centers do that by connecting people, employers, and community partners.
The Next Gen MMT project is a collaboration between the PCC’s Opportunity Centers, the Machine Manufacturing Technology Program, OMIC Training Center, as well as many community-based organizations and industry partners. The project supports communities of color and low-income populations by improving awareness of and expanding access to industry-aligned training. Partners include NAYA, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Central City Concern and Central Cultural.
“The partners are recruiting participants to engage in Opportunity Center offerings and gathering feedback from participants about services,” said Mary Rosenthal, project manager. “We are learning about engagement and recruitment and how we can be more effective partners.”
The NAYA visit was a way to introduce the attendees to opportunities in advanced manufacturing careers. The participants got to create projects in the mechatronics lab and were able to participate in virtual welding demonstrations, to name a few.