College offers free, short introductory courses on manfacturing in Scappoose

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE - Construction on Portland Community College's OMIC training center was completed earlier this year.Portland Community College's manufacturing training center in Scappoose will offer an introductory course this summer as it ramps up for full classes in the fall.

PCC's Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center facility is hosting an "on-ramp to manufacturing" series of free courses in August and September.

Students can attend all three sections or pick and choose.

The first week-long section runs from Monday, Aug. 16, through Friday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. The week will offer introductions to manufacturing career paths and introduce PCC programs in bioscience, computer-aided design, electronic engineering, machine manufacturing and more.

The second section runs Aug. 23-27, from 10 to 11 a.m. each day. The week is focused on on-boarding to PCC for students who plan to enroll in more classes.

The third section runs for three weeks, on Tuesdays through Fridays from Aug. 31 to Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon. The course will build introductory skills for manufacturing, like drawing to scale, taking measurements, and working with an xArm robot.

Classes may be offered at the Scappoose facility or online, depending on COVID-19 restrictions this summer.

The facility plans to offer full courses for college credit starting in the fall.

The center will offer pre-apprenticeship programs; apprenticeship programs in CNC lathe operation, CNC mill operation and welding and fabrication; career and technical degrees and certificates in machining, welding, mechatronics, CADD; and other PCC classes.

PCC is developing apprenticeship programs with businesses that will allow students to split time between PCC classes and paid on-the-job experience, gradually spending less time in the classroom and more time working as they gain experience.

Rightline Equipment, a forklift attachment manufacturer in Rainier, is one company working with PCC.

"The earning potential for trade skills is huge, not just locally in the northwest, but globally," Natasha Allen, the weld process manager at Rightline, said in a PCC video posted earlier this month. "There's job security, you can travel, and you can make a real career out of it."

PCC already has an apprentice at Rightline, Harlan Williams, who said that he had no experience or understanding of machining when he first started. "It's really broadened my horizons on what machines can do and how valuable they can be," Williams said in the PCC video.

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