The community college's free classes through the Willow Creek Center provide skills training for community members.

COURTESY PHOTO - Portland Community College's Willow Creek Center., Forest Grove News-Times - News The Workforce Development team's programs come at no cost to the individual, thanks to CARES Act funds from Washington County. PCC's On-Ramp courses aim to help unemployedPortland Community College is continuing its effort to aid the community — and like the rest of the community, it's continuing to navigate the difficulties created by the ongoing pandemic.

The local area community college is again offering On-Ramp classes at no cost to participants, in an effort to provide opportunities to explore new careers and get support with on-boarding to PCC programs and services.

As part of the On-Ramp program, PCC's Willow Creek Center is offering services that connect Washington County residents to education and employment; help them explore in-demand careers, build skills, and identify transferable skills; and offer courses in Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Construction/Trades, and more.

Upcoming two-week classes include:

• On-Ramp to Manufacturing: Starting February 22. Explore educational programs and opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing.

• On-Ramp to Healthcare: Starts February 22. Explore educational programs and opportunities in the Healthcare industry.

• On-Ramp to Essentials: Starts March 9. Learn six essential skills to prepare for the next step in your healthcare career.

Past On-Ramp programs have led directly to entry level manufacturing positions, which have in turn allowed participants to advance from an entry level wage to as much as $60,000 per year by way of the education track they've put themselves on in as little as three years.

These programs are funded through the Title III RISES Grant.

The school also partners with WorkSource Oregon and WorkSystems Inc. to reach out to the Washington County community, offering customized courses and services to enhance people's career as well as programs and tools to help them return to work with improved skills in today's competitive job market.

Ultimately, PCC and the Workforce Development Team's On-Ramp programs are here to help. They're about providing information, education and guidance for Washington County residents who have, are or will be looking for work. Yet beyond that, it's not entirely about a job, but also about a career — something the programs aim to help provide.

"It's really about helping people set up realistic expectations for themselves on what they can handle, and then really helping them to develop that plan of action for themselves," PCC workforce development manager DaNene Dwyer said. "So that they are reaching milestones, and we're assisting them as they're reaching those milestones."

You can find more information on PCC's On-Ramp programs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 971-722-2688.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not include the full name of the Portland Community College workforce development manager. The manager's name is DaNene Dwyer. The story has been updated.

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