Bonamici visits PCC OMIC
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici toured Portland Community College's Columbia County Center on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
The new facility is home to PCC's OMIC Training Center, across the street from the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center facility operated by Oregon Institute of Technology.
Bonamici, who attended community college, mostly asked questions of PCC OMIC director Andrew Lattanner, but also briefly spoke with students participating in a week-long introduction to manufacturing class.
Lattanner said the OMIC building is the first part of PCC's Columbia County center, but the college's footprint will also include non-manufacturing community education.
The new facility includes a testing center, classrooms, labs and open workspaces to accommodate large pieces of equipment and machines that are still being moved into the building.
After touring, Bonamici said the new facility was "inspiring" and a place where students "will gain useful skills and experiences ... to help them find cutting-edge jobs in advanced manufacturing."
Bonamici noted that state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, has been a driving force behind OMIC initiatives for years.
"When I first talked to her about OMIC and the possibilities, it was just a twinkle in her eye," Bonamici said.
Bonamici said that manufac
In a statement after her visit, Bonamici said that manufacturing has evolved since her grandfather worked in a manufacturing plant in Michigan. "There is a stark contrast between the work he did and the advanced manufacturing that students will learn about at the new Training Center," Bonamici said. "Today's in-demand, high-paying manufacturing jobs will be accessible to more students in NW Oregon because of this great resource."
Students were halfway through the first of three "On-Ramp to Manufacturing" classes at the center when Bonamici visited.
The week-long "explore your options" class offered introductions to the different career paths in manufacturing and related PCC programs.
The second class, "onboarding to PCC," runs this week, while the final class runs for three weeks starting Aug. 31. It will teach students basic skills they'll use in manufacturing classes and careers.
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