The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded the nonprofit Portland Workforce Alliance a $10,000 grant to support career learning for high school students in the growing field of technology.
This grant will be used in 2016-17 to support PWA’s Tech TEAM initiative (Talent development, Education and Mentorship). Our shared goal is to provide high school students with opportunities to engage in career education through career days, classroom presentations, career materials and the Tech Zone at the NW Youth Careers Expo.
As part of the initiative, PWA will also create professional development opportunities for computer science teachers to learn more about industry trends, talent shortages and skills in demand.
Our employer partners in the tech sector want to strengthen and diversify their local pipeline of talent. Meanwhile, our education partners want to expand their career-learning experiences for all students, especially those with limited access to professional networks. This grant will help PWA serve as a bridge between the two.
The nonprofit Portland Workforce Alliance has grown significantly since its inception in 2005 due to strong community support from employers, educators and foundations. This year, PWA received grant funding from multiple foundations, including the Juan Young Trust, the Hoover Family Foundation, the Autzen Foundation and the MDU Resources Foundation. We also secured a grant from the Oregon-Columbia chapter of Associated General Contractors, which is very active in workforce development.
PWA’s mission is to build enduring partnerships between local businesses and Portland-area high schools as part of a strategy to raise the graduation rate, develop a strong workforce and help young people find pathways to great jobs. We are grateful to our funders for supporting our mission and sharing our sense of urgency about Oregon’s future.
From The Oregonian, April 2016: “Oregon had just over 95,000 tech workers in 2015, according to state jobs data, up 4 percent from the prior year. Tech jobs paid an average of nearly $104,000 a year, more than twice the state average.”