PCC announces $30 million campaign for scholarships, workforce development
Portland Community College announced plans Wednesday to invest $30 million into a new campaign for scholarships, mentoring and workforce development.
The Campaign for Opportunity is the newest initiative from the PCC Foundation that aims to give more Oregon residents access to college education, at a time when the college is simultaneously trying to bolster its workforce training programs, while facing tough budget cuts due to state funding gaps.
College officials say the $30 million endeavor comes at a "critical moment" in the state and PCC is well-positioned to try to close the opportunity gap.
"PCC's 'Campaign for Opportunity' will provide thousand of students with critical education, and our businesses with the skilled, trained workers we all depend on," PCC President Mark Mitsui stated in a news release about the Foundation's campaign.
Campaign for Opportunity was announced during the PCC Foundation's annual fundraising gala on April 27. That gala generated a record $636,000, according to the college. The foundation has already raised more than $25 million toward the $30 million campaign goal.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the foundation awarded $1.6 million in scholarships to students, at an average of $1,300 per student, according to the foundation's most recent financial report.
During last weekend's gala, Chris and Tom Neilsen were honored as the 2019 Distinguished Patron awardees.
"The Neilsens have provided critical leadership in guiding the foundation's first-ever comprehensive campaign," PCC stated in the release.
The Neilsens are credited by the college with providing one of the first and most substantial donations toward the campaign, a $280,000 flexible endowment gift for student scholarships.
"Every student story is an inspiration," Chris Neilsen said. "Both of us are humbled by the persistence and desire of PCC students to make their lives better. We are proud to support them in accomplishing their dreams."