Many employers at this year’s NW Youth Careers Expo are seeking high school students for a variety of summer jobs and internships in fields ranging from recreation and software technology to youth litter patrols.

That’s not all. Students with an interest in journalism or communications can apply for a spot in weeklong residential programs in Eugene and Corvallis. Students who are curious about other fields can arrange job shadows or gain valuable experience from volunteer opportunities.

Look for the Lightbulb! Exhibitors with this symbol have opportunities for high school students.

Here’s a partial list of opportunities offered by exhibitors who have signed up for PWA’s Expo on March 14, 2017, from 9 am to 1:30 pm at the Oregon Convention Center.


Public & Human Services

Portland Parks & Recreation (summer job): The city’s parks and recreation bureau plans to hire more than 200 high school students for 2017 summer youth program jobs.  An estimated 150-175 teens will be hired as camp counselors, junior counselors and playground attendants. The bureau also seeks students to work on environmental education projects and in programs targeting immigrant and refugee communities. Visit their booth and read our blog post for more information.

Multnomah County (summer job/internship): Multnomah County participates in SummerWorks, a career-readiness program delivered through Worksystems. Participants get job training and 180 hours of paid work experience at a local employer.

Worksystems / WorkSource (summer jobs & job training): Worksystems is a workforce development nonprofit operating in Multnomah and Washington counties. It runs the SummerWorks youth employment program and other opportunities for youth and adults. Students can also learn about job training opportunities in high-wage, high-growth industries through WorkSource.

Mercy Corps (summer programs): Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian agency based in Portland. It has summer programs at its local headquarters.

Portland Public Schools (summer internships): PPS offers summer internships through SummerWorks in several departments, including HR and Information Technology.


Construction & Engineering

 ACE Mentor Program (mentorship): The ACE Mentor Program is an after-school mentorship program for students interested in exploring careers in architecture, construction management and engineering. It is staffed by the Portland Workforce Alliance and open to students from the Portland metro region. ACE will have a booth at the Expo, and many of the exhibitors from the construction and design industries participate in ACE.

IUOE Local 701 (job shadow): The International Union of Operating Engineers is offering 2- to 4 hour visits to its training center in rural Clackamas County to see what equipment operators do. These are usually one-on-one sessions for anyone interested in learning to operate heavy equipment or exploring mechanic work.

Apprenticeship training centers: Several apprenticeship training centers are participating in the Expo. Among them is the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center, which is taking applications for its apprenticeship program this summer. Be sure to stop by the booths of the Sheet Metal Institute and the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute as well.



CDK Global (paid summer internship): CDK Global does IT and digital marketing for the automotive industry. The company’s Portland office plans to hire at least 10 high school interns for the summer of 2017, through a program called Code 2 Career.  Visit their booth and read our blog post for more information.

Elemental Technologies (paid summer internship): Elemental makes software that allows videos to stream online. Its clients include ESPN, Comcast, HBO, the BBC and many others. Elemental has a summer internship program for high school students. (Eligibility is limited to targeted Portland high schools.)


Manufacturing and transportation

ODOT (summer job): The Oregon Department of Transportation hires students each summer to be on Youth Litter Patrol crews around the state, including the Portland metro area. Additionally, if a student is interested in a specific field, such as civil engineering, communications or IT, the agency may be able to set up a job shadow.

Gunderson (jobs): This marine manufacturer offers job opportunities to teenagers as young as 18.  This video from the 2015 Expo includes a clip toward the end of a Gunderson employee describing job opportunities.

PCC Structurals (jobs):  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 is open to hiring candidates 18 years and older.

Health care

Kaiser Permanente Northwest (paid internship and job shadows): Kaiser’s booth will include the patient simulators (manikins) used by many health care professionals to practice their procedures. Students can also talk with Kaiser representatives about the organization’s internships, job shadows and scholarship opportunities for high school students. (Click here to learn more about Kaiser’s paid summer internship program.)

OHSU (internship and volunteer opportunity): Oregon Health & Science University in Southwest Portland offers multiple internships and volunteering opportunities for high school students.

Banfield Pet Hospital (jobs): Banfield Pet Hospitals has full-time and part-time positions available; applicants must be 18 years old. Its booth will feature careers in veterinary medicine and animal heath, and it will provide information about its Vet Tech Development partnership with Penn Foster College.

Arts & communication

University of Oregon (summer mentorship):  Students can meet with representatives of the School of Journalism and Communication to learn about Next Generation Storytelling, a summer residential program in Eugene designed to help develop critical thinking, leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Oregonian Media Group (summer mentorship): The Oregonian/OregonLive partners with Oregon State University to offer the High School Journalism Institute, an immersive residential program in Corvallis where students work with professional mentors to learn the fundamentals of reporting, interviewing, writing and visual storytelling.


More than 6,900 students from 70+ high schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington have already signed up for this statewide career-exploration event. Employers use the Expo to connect with these smart, diverse young people who could be their future interns, applicants and leaders.

We’ll be updating this list regularly, so be sure to check back. (Want to add your employer to this list? Contact George Rede at

Expo 2017: Summer jobs, paid internships and more