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Sponsored story: If the proposed bond passes, public funds for the community college will be used to increase equity and training for the 21st century workforce

PCC's 2022 Bond - If the proposed bond passes, public funds for the community college will be used to increase equity and training for the 21st century workforce.

Access to education is not always equitable in the Portland area.

Marginalized communities face barriers to getting their degree. Less than half of those from Oregon's communities of color have an associate degree or higher, according to the state's Higher Education Coordinating Committee. Barriers include lack of child care, unreliable transportation, and inadequate culturally-informed support on campus, all of which keep these students from reaching their full potential.

PCC's 2022 Bond - If the proposed bond passes, public funds for the community college will be used to increase equity and training for the 21st century workforce
Business owners across the region are facing staffing shortages. Oregon boasts a record-breaking number of job openings, with a lack of skilled workers to fill them.

PCC provides students with the training required to land jobs with advancement potential, and fill industry's need for skilled workers. The college's importance in Oregon's educational landscape is wide-reaching. As the largest institution of higher education in the state, PCC serves nearly 50,000 students every year with credit and non-credit classes, academic degrees and certificates, career-technical training, employment resources and guided support.

This November, PCC is proposing a $450 million bond measure that would support added access to education and better training for industry workers. The bond, if passed by voters, would go toward funding technology and renovations to train workers, foster more options for hybrid learning, and better connect busy and low-income students to classes across PCC's service district.

If the proposed bond passes, the rate tax-payers pay would stay at $0.38 per $1,000 of assessed home value. The taxpayer cost would be $95 per year or $7.92 per month for property with an assessed value of $250,000. Assessed value is generally lower than market value. The proposed bond would mature in approximately 16 years. (This is the date when the borrower repays the principal amount and interest.) If the proposed measure does not pass, the described services would not be provided and the tax rate would decline.

Past Bond-Funded Projects

Locally, Oregon's manufacturing industry reports a need for shorter, quicker training programs to keep up with change and to engage more young people in these careers. PCC's Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Training Center, which earned LEED Silver (sustainable building standard) in 2021, is a project funded by PCC's 2008 and 2017 bonds. Located in Columbia County, this training center features welding, machining, computer-aided drafting and advanced manufacturing. The center supports the college's partnership with nearby OMIC R&D, a collaboration of industry, higher education and government.

PCC's 32,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing training facility offers both traditional and work-based learning models like registered apprenticeship, pre-trades programs and internships. The facility, which opened its doors last year, also provides introductory, intermediate and advanced training in computer numerically controlled (CNC) lathe operation, CNC mill operation, welding and fabrication, and other areas of advanced manufacturing.

In addition, PCC hosts "On Ramp to Manufacturing" courses at the site for area residents. These are non-credit, introductory classes for participants to make informed decisions about their careers, build skills for success in school or on the job, and access support on their journey to becoming a PCC student.

The Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center (PMWTC) - currently under construction in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland - is funded by the 2017 bond. PMWTC will be the college's next Opportunity Center, offering career exploration, job training, educational opportunities and adjacent affordable housing.

The opportunity center will be a one-stop resource for community members seeking assistance that also offers affordable housing on site. It will connect people to education and career-track employment, and feature career exploration, coaching and skills development.

PCC's partnership with Home Forward will develop and manage 84 affordable housing units and other support services at this location.

Due to the 2008 capital construction bond and an earmark of $1 million from the state, PCC built the Swan Island Trades Center in 2014 to house the college's apprenticeship and trades programs, like facilities maintenance, HVAC-R, electrical and fiber optics. Nearby, the Maritime Welding Training Center was created to provide various ship welding career certificates.

In addition, the college's primary comprehensive campuses - Rock Creek, Sylvania, Southeast and Cascade - have been reshaped by bond measures. Most recently, PCC completed work on the 2,200-square-foot Medical Simulation Center for nursing and emergency medical services students at Cascade. The center features three patient care spaces: one ambulance and two ICU nursing rooms, as well as two debriefing rooms. All were constructed via the 2017 voter-passed bond measure.

This sponsored story paid for by Portland Community College. For more information go to www.pcc.edu/bond/bond2022/


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