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Our Goals

The Portland Workforce Alliance (PWA) is an independent, nonprofit organization that was created in 2005. The goals of the Portland Workforce Alliance are to:

1. Provide a Skilled Workforce

Help provide the region with a skilled workforce.


2. Partner with Business & Industry to educate students about Career Opportunities

Develop experiences ( career days, internships, mentorship programs,etc.)  for high school students  that help to motivate them to succeed academically and continue their education after high school.


3. Increase the High School Graduation Rate

Many studies conclude that students are far more likely to stay in school and graduate if they see the relevance of their education and have a relationship with a caring adult. 



Data & Research

Only sixty-three percent (63%) of Portland Public Schools students who entered ninth grade in 2008 went on to graduate on time.

PPS estimates that only 25% of their students who graduate from high school obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree within five (5) years.

For the first time in history, the current generation of college-age Americans will be less educated than their parents' generation unless college completion rates improve.


Two recent studies conclude that relevance is a critical factor in student success and in helping students transition to the next level:

1. "The Silent Epidemic" : Perspectives of High School Dropouts

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation -- Excerpt from the Executive Summary:
"While most dropouts blame themselves for failing to graduate, there are things that they say schools can do to help them finish: Four out of five students (81%) said that there should be more opportunities for real world learning and some in the focus groups called for more experiential learning. They said students need to see the connection between school and getting a good job."

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2. "Reclaiming the American Dream" : The Bridgespan Group

" Academic preparation is necessary but not sufficient, however, in helping low-income students enroll in and graduate from college. Expectations about college attendance are important with one in particular standing out: a student's expectation that a college degree will be essential to pursue his or her desired career. Students who make this connection are six times more likely to earn their degree than those who did not."

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