See what employers say about the value of working with young people, their reasons for liking their jobs and their concerns about the coming retirement wave.


"Organizations like PWA influenced my vision of what I could achieve beyond my circle of friends, family, neighborhood, and dreams. My purpose with PWA is to make sure I do my part to break every barrier possible to ensure kids can pursue their path to success."


--- Marcus Carter, Cloudability | Marcus is also a valuable PWA Board member. Read more about Marcus here.

“There’s a huge opportunity in our community to influence youth and help them make career decisions. To me, that’s what this organization is all about.”

--- Kevin Moore, Gunderson | He has led Gunderson's partnership with PWA over the past year. Gunderson helped catalyze PWA's formation and has supported workforce development through PWA and the annual NW Youth Careers Expo ever since. Read his feature here.

“Young people -- keep dreaming, keep never know where you might end up. And to the employers in the room, I would like to thank you for giving opportunities to young people."

--- Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, at the PWA Expo Breakfast, on the need to explore and support career education.

“You have to think about the long haul, where you want to be, who you want to hire down the road.”

--- Tim Carpenter, Lease Crutcher Lewis, on the need for businesses to think long-term about their workforce. His firm participates in a Youth Summer Construction Camp, a type of paid internship to help young people get work experience and develop career aspirations.

“I don’t like my job -- I love my job. I get up in the morning, and I’m happy to come to work, even in this kind of weather, believe it or not. I’m inspired to do it, and I encourage it, because at the end of the day I say, ‘Somebody’s got to build these beautiful buildings.’”

--- Ruben Blancas, Howard S. Wright Construction. His firm hosts a PWA career day every year.

“I believe we are better in our own work when we can share our passions, expertise and the knowledge we have gained with others.”

--- Jane Williams, Multnomah County technology learning manager, after the county hosted a PWA career day focused on information technology.

“It’s an investment in our future workforce, and the immediate payback is that we’re getting an extra set of hands.”

--- Mick Winn, Blount International. Blount hires students through the Youth Apprenticeship Training Program.

“PWA helps us access students who are invested in career goals and trajectory. This partnership supports our youth development goals as well as provides us with valuable feedback on our programs.”

--- Beth Hartford, Mercy Corps Action Center. The Portland-based nonprofit hosts a PWA career day that inspires many students to consider humanitarian work.

“It allows us to build relationships with the students. That in turn will hopefully help us keep our best local talent in town.”

--- Mike Reta, Simple. The online banking company hosted a career day at its new headquarters in Southeast Portland's Central Eastside district.

"It affords us an opportunity to show students that Portland has great companies and that anyone can enter the technology industry. Hopefully Career Day inspires them to sign up for a coding class."

--- Nancy Garcia, AWS Elemental. The company hosts career days at its downtown Portland office

“If you can talk through a problem and work it out, rather than bully your way through it, you will be ahead of half the adults in the world. ... Patient outcomes are tied to our ability to resolve conflict.”

--- Todd Schoonover, a manager for Kaiser Permanente, giving advice to students during a 2015 career day at Sunnyside Medical Center.

“Medicine, to me, just means science in action. And the action is what I like, because you’re able to help people. I have a great job. I’m really grateful.”

--- Sharon Kryger, Oregon Health & Science University. OHSU is one of several local health care employers to offer career days and other opportunities for students to explore health careers.