What is the Expo?

The annual NW Youth Careers Expo is the Northwest’s premier career-education event. The Expo shows high school students the amazing diversity of career opportunities in our region, as well as the skills and education needed to pursue those jobs.

In a typical year, we welcome thousands of students from across Oregon and Southwest Washington to the Oregon Convention Center, as well as exhibitors representing the state's leading employers and postsecondary partners. The in-person Expo includes hands-on learning, demonstrations, mock interviews, career workshops and the chance to talk directly with professionals about college-and-career options.

Who participates in the Expo?

In a typical year, the Expo attracts about 6,500 students from 75+ high schools. About half are from Portland, and the rest travel in from as far away as Hermiston. Over 180 exhibitors and many of Oregon’s best companies participate, representing sectors including health care, business, communications, technology, manufacturing, construction, design, energy, education and government.

More than 100 volunteers organized by the Portland HR Management Association and Portland Workforce Alliance conduct about 1,000 mock job interviews to help students sharpen their interviewing skills.

What do students do at the Expo?

Students can talk with employers and participate in workplace simulations. They also can sign up for mock interviews, which helps them sharpen their job-readiness skills, clarify their educational goals and practice effective communication. Workshops on resume writing and interviewing are also available.

How did the Expo get started? What are its goals?

The Portland Workforce Alliance organized its first Expo in 2005. Read more about PWA’s history. The Expo's goals are to connect employers to their future workforce and help students make informed, inspired decisions about their education after high school, whether they choose a four-year university, community college or apprenticeship training center. PWA works with employers to support partner districts and to ensure access to students from underserved communities and underrepresented populations.

What is the PWA Breakfast?

We kick off the typical Expo by celebrating the work of our partners over the year and highlighting trends in school-to-workplace connections. At the PWA Breakfast, attendees can meet students who were inspired by our career-related learning experiences, and they can connect with educators, business leaders and government officials all invested in raising our graduation rates and creating an educated, prosperous and resilient workforce.

How does the Expo support Oregon’s career-learning requirements?

The state of Oregon requires high schools to prepare students for college and career. The Expo supports that goal by offering a rich career-related learning experience, including workplace simulations, mock interviews and other opportunities for students to deepen their career exploration.