This month, the Portland Workforce Alliance collaborated with our partners to offer four Career Days, designed to give students a glimpse of the world of work and help them make plans for life beyond graduation.

More than 120 students from 19 Portland-area high schools spent time at ZGF Architects, Simple Finance, Mercy Corps and Multnomah County, meeting with employees who introduced them to their workplace, led hands-on activities, and described the varied paths they took to their jobs.

The volunteers had multiple messages for their teenage audience: Open your mind to career possibilities you might not have considered before. Understand that not every high-paying job requires a four-year degree (but most do require continuing your education after high school). Most of all, seize the opportunity to make connections, do a job shadow and get some work experience before you graduate.

It’s sound advice. The research shows that whether students enroll in college or pursue a trade, rigorous academic preparation and real-world experiences improve the odds they will achieve their goal.

This month, students gained insight to careers in architecture, online banking, humanitarian work, technology and cybersecurity. Throughout the school year, they will have opportunities to visit other employers specializing in advertising, design, construction management, healthcare and much more.


Working with Portland Public Schools and other community partners, Portland Workforce Alliance is committed to helping pave the way for young people to graduate on time and to find good careers.

  • ZGF Architects Career Day, Oct. 2016
    ZGF Architects Career Day, Oct. 2016