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Portland Community College celebrates winners, employer partners at industry breakfast.

COURTESY PHOTO - From left: Chris Villa, president, PCC Rock Creek Campus; Juan Carlos Gonzalez, director of Development and Communications at Centro Cultural; and the Centro Cultural staff.Cornelius-based nonprofit Centro Cultural de Washington County was chosen as one of Portland Community Colleges's 2019 partners of the year at PCC's second annual Employer Partnership Awards celebration on Tuesday, May 21.

"Over the past three years, our partnership with PCC has grown through our employment and training services that we offer [through] Prosperidad," a career coaching and support service, said Maria Caballero-Rubio, executive director of Centro Cultural. "We work very closely in collaboration to provide training programs and classes that some of our clients need to be successful in a job."

Founded in 1972, Centro Cultural is Oregon's oldest Latino nonprofit. Its legacy is built on community leadership and Latino heritage. Today, its mission promotes personal growth and empowerment for Washington County communities of color and low-income families. It serves both Washington County and the Portland metro area by offering courses and workshops in Arts & Culture, Civic Leadership & Advocacy, Community Wellness, Economic Empowerment through its Centro de Prosperidad and Youth Development Services.

PCC's inventory of employer partners from across its service area tallies more than 1,600, representing a variety of fields and industries. The college's partnerships vary in look and structure depending on the needs and size of the collaborating organizations. Examples include employers who hire PCC graduates; offer work-based learning opportunities for students such as internships, co-ops, clinical rotations, or apprenticeships; serve on career technical education (CTE) advisory committees at the college; and donate equipment for specific CTE programs, among many models. This year, PCC considered 40 nominees and chose from among a set criteria.

Centro won in the government/nonprofit category, with Juan Carlos Gonzalez, director of Development and Communications at Centro Cultural and other members of the Centro Cultural staff accepting the award.

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