Dear PWA friends,
Just before the first snow came, two dozen Portland high school students trooped into the Pearl West offices of Howard S. Wright for a PWA Career Day in construction management and the skilled trades.
They broke into teams and did a simulation of bidding and scheduling a big project. They tried out virtual reality equipment used with clients. Then they donned hard hats and safety gear to tour one of Howard S. Wright’s real-life projects, stepping gingerly around cables while several floors up.
“Awesome,” one student told us later.
“Super engaging,” said another.
This day didn’t happen by accident. It took one supportive employer, supportive school staff and about eight volunteers. More important, it took a shared belief in a single idea: There is a tremendous community benefit to opening employers’ doors to Portland high school students.
Research tells us that teenagers who explore careers are more likely to graduate from high school. They’re also more likely to start (and finish) college. This is what drives our nonprofit: We know about the interesting, well-paying jobs in the region, and we want students to see how their education can open doors to these jobs.
“(We value that) our staff gets to share their knowledge and hopefully influence students to continue to explore our industry,” says PWA board member Rhonnda Parsons Edmiston, diversity and business equity director for Howard S. Wright.
PWA helps host about two dozen Career Days each year with industry partners such as Kaiser Permanente, Simple, Nike, Oregon Humane Society and more. THANK YOU for your support.
EXPO UPDATE: Interest in the NW Youth Careers Expo is at an all-time high. Portland Public Schools alone is sending nearly 3,000 high school students to the next Expo on March 14, 2017. More than 60 high schools across Oregon and Southwest Washington have signed up. With the Expo still three months away, we have closed school registration and started a waiting list. Wow!
How you can help: Our nonprofit depends on volunteer power and sustainable funding to operate year-round. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer in 2017. Also, please consider a tax-deductible year-end donation to PWA in honor of a teacher or mentor who helped you find your career path.
Your team at PWA