PWA collaborates with many community partners to offer mentorships, internships and other opportunities for students to work with employers and earn valuable career experience.


ACE Mentor Program

ACE is a free after-school program helping high school students find their career passions and educational paths toward jobs in architecture, construction management and engineering. The nonprofit program, staffed by PWA, serves about 150 Oregon students a year and relies on about 100 volunteer professional mentors to coach students in a hands-on, team-oriented project over 12 weeks.

ACE serves students from throughout the Portland metro area, including as far away as Sandy and Colton. ACE has demonstrated remarkable success in furthering self-sufficiency by helping Oregon students graduate, earn college scholarships and make informed career decisions. Learn more about the ACE Mentor Program of Oregon, the local affiliate of the national ACE program.


PWA "Future of Nursing" Mentorship Program

The PWA "Future of Nursing" Mentorship Program is a free after-school program for high school students. During the four-week program, students engage with local health care employers, explore careers in nursing, gain hands-on experience and learn about college options. Find out more about the Future of Nursing Mentorship Program here.

In addition, Kaiser Permanente offers summer internship opportunities to high school juniors and seniors in the business/management department and pharmacy organization. Kaiser also teams up with PWA to offer Career Days every Fall, Winter, and Spring. In addition, Oregon Health & Science University offers multiple internships and volunteering opportunities to high school students. Check out their website for more information.


PWA Youth Impact Council

The Youth Impact Council is a career-mentoring opportunity that allows high school students to help shape PWA programming while also receiving career development and mentoring opportunities. Find out more about the Youth Impact Council here.



PWA Summer Career Academy

The Summer Career Academy is a week-long mentorship program aimed at students who identify as female, non-binary, and/or gender expansive. This four day career empowerment program includes presentations from inspiring leaders in the community, working in fields such as local government, human resources, health, and construction. Students learn from professionals and engage in candid conversations about getting their career started, overcoming challenges in the workplace and more. 

PWA Creative Careers Mentor Program

The Creative Careers Mentor Program allows students the opportunity to visit a variety of prominent design firms to learn about career opportunities and practice their creativity with the support of design experts. Employer partners during the inaugural program included Upswell, FINE, Ziba Design, and the global advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy. (Logo designed by 22-23 Creative Careers Mentor Program participant Tiffany Nguyen.) 

At each agency, students receive an overview of the company,  a tour of the building and built-in opportunities to ask questions and engage in conversation about creative careers. Throughout the program, students also take part in hands-on activities facilitated by creative professionals.

Opportunities offered by PWA partners: 

Summer Construction Camp

High school students spend eight weeks at a job site working with a construction crew, earning more than $3,000 over the summer while learning carpentry, teamwork and other skills.

This program has served more than 100 students from the Portland metro area over the past decade, and is made possible by local contractors, the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute and Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. Some students have even gone on after graduation to become apprentices and journeymen, finding a good family-wage job by their early 20's.

Contact PNCI to learn more. Program eligibility may be tied to specific high school programs.


PACE Mentorship Program

PACE gives Portland-area high school students the chance to work directly with carpenters, plumbers, electricians and sheet metal workers on a hand-on project.

One goal is to engage students by connecting them with caring professionals who teach them useful, interesting skills. The other is to familiarize students with well-paying career opportunities within the construction industry, including management and the skilled trades.

PACE is a collaborative effort by Portland Public Schools, Associated General Contractors and several leading apprenticeship training centers.