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 an after-school opportunity that helps high school students find their career passions, college aspirations and educational paths toward family-wage jobs in architecture, construction and engineering. The program serves 150 Oregon students a year and relies on 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, a local nonprofit with a special partnership with PWA.
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 and the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute. Some students have gone on after graduation to become apprentices and journeymen, finding a good family-wage job by their early 20s.
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, PWA, Associated General Contractors and several leading apprenticeship training centers.
PWA helps identify and recruit promising students for internships in health care. Our partners include Kaiser Permanent, Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Health and University of Portland School of Nursing. Kaiser Permanente Northwest offers summer internship opportunities to high school juniors and seniors in the business/management department and pharmacy organization. OHSU offers multiple internships and volunteering opportunities to high school students.