Given the rapid escalation of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and the emerging recommendations on social distancing within schools, the Portland Workforce Alliance has made the difficult decision to cancel the 16th annual NW Youth Careers Expo and its sister event, the PWA Expo Breakfast.
Both were scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Oregon Convention Center. These events involve nearly a year of planning, and reflect the shared efforts of scores of volunteers, employers and educators. See our official statement here.
Here are a few answers to common questions.
What is guiding the decision to cancel the event?
Early in the coronavirus outbreak, PWA committed to joining its school district partners in following county and state health guidelines around community gatherings. These guidelines have focused primarily on prevention measures.
On Sunday, the Oregon Health Authority issued new recommendations, advising that schools consider additional measures around social distancing, such as staggering lunch and recess to limit interactions between groups. The health authority also issued stricter precautions for people at risk, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions.
These recommendations, as well as direct advice on Sunday evening from the Multnomah County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority, drive this conclusion: Community safety is our highest priority, and the Tuesday event can’t continue at this time, even in a scaled-down version with limited school participation, given the range of employers and postsecondary partners participating from multiple counties.
Will the event be rescheduled?
We will follow up soon with additional information and seek your input about moving forward. Until then, thank you so much for supporting high school students and our future workforce.
I have more questions. What should I do?
Please contact event coordinator Erin Jaso Longfellow at email@example.com.