“Hot” and “diverse” probably don’t leap to mind when thinking about Oregon manufacturers, but they should. Here are three quick facts about the state’s manufacturing industry:

  1. Oregon’s manufacturing sector is growing nearly twice as fast as the national rate.
  2. Manufacturing makes up a larger portion of Oregon’s economy than the sector does for the nation.
  3.  Oregon companies make products ranging from beer, wine and cheese to jet engine parts, dental equipment and heavy trucks — a reflection of the diversity found within the sector.

What does this mean for Oregon students and educators?

Job opportunities will be plentiful in Oregon’s manufacturing sector, as the workforce ages and the industry grows. The NW Youth Careers Expo is a great place for students and teachers to learn about the skills and education that can lead to higher-paying career paths within fields such as metals, machinery, green technology and transportation.

Our manufacturing exhibitors at the March 14, 2017, event include Gunderson, one of the Expo’s first and most formative participants. Gunderson’s welding booth — where students can get a taste of the real thing — is always a very popular exhibit.



Here’s a sampler of some of our other leading exhibitors in manufacturing, energy and transportation.

Port of Portland: The Port of Portland oversees several marine terminals and airports, including the Portland International Airport, and it manages a number of industrial parks. The Port will have a large presence at the Expo and feature careers in emergency operations, security and other career fields.

PCC Structurals: PCC Structurals in Portland is considered a world leader in metal casting for jet engines, gas turbines, military equipment and many other uses. The company considers applicants as young as 18 for full-time jobs.

A-dec: The Newberg-based company is considered one of the world’s largest manufacturers of dental equipment and furniture.

Portland General Electric: PGE is Oregon’s largest utility, delivering power to homes and businesses from a network of hydroelectric, natural gas, coal, wind and solar generating plants.

Aviation: Our aviation exhibitors include The Boeing Company and the Hillsboro Aero Academy, a helicopter and airplane flight school (they’re bringing a helicopter).

Portland-Workforce-Alliance-0017-(1)Transportation and auto repair: TriMet, the regional transit agency, and the Oregon Department of Transportation will be there in force. Portland Community College will feature its offerings in auto repair, auto service and dealer service, and Clark College will also showcase its automotive & diesel program. Daimler Trucks North America, headquartered in Portland, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer on the continent.

Bicycles: This year, we are welcoming a cluster of companies that manufacture and repair bicycle parts or sell the finished products and accessories. River City Bicycles, a leading retailer, will share booth space with Ruckus CompositesChris King Precision Components and an apparel brand to be determined.

Also watch for Mt. Hood Community College‘s applied technology program, which offers training for a range of jobs.

We’ll be adding more details about exhibitors as we receive them. (Exhibitors may contact us at george@portlandworkforcealliance.org if you have additional information to share with students and educators prior to the Expo.)

So far, more than 6,800 students and about 160 exhibitors have registered for the Expo. Check out our “Meet our Exhibitors” page for additional printable flyers in technology, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, arts & communication, and creative careers. You can also visit our Expo HQ.


The nonprofit Portland Workforce Alliance works year-round with businesses in every sector to provide career-learning opportunities for high school students. Research shows that students who have the opportunity to learn about careers while they are in high school are more likely to graduate, continue their education and find satisfying careers. To learn more, browse our website.


Expo 2017: Spotlight on Manufacturing