Rep. Suzanne Bonamici met with leaders of the Portland Community College manufacturing center

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Rep. Suzanne Bonamici tours the Portland Community College Columbia County Center with PCC leaders.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."PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Equipment is still being installed at the PCC Training Center in Scappoose in August 2021.

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.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Rep. Suzanne Bonamici speaks to students in PCC's On-Ramp to Manufacturing summer course at its new Scappoose facility.

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.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - PCC OMIC Training Center Director Andrew Lattanner gives Rep. Suzanne Bonamici a tour of the new facility in Aug. 2021.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!