Portland Workforce Alliance is excited to welcome Breanna Jackson to the PWA Board of Directors! 

Breanna Jackson, MBA, SHRM-CP, is the Learning and Development Program Manager for Washington County. She is also the founder and CEO of The Refining Company, an independent learning and development firm designed to support individuals and help teams understand their value through strength-based development. She formerly worked at Kaiser Permanente in talent management. She graduated from Portland Public Schools and Hampton University,  and earned her MBA from Concordia University.

Breanna has volunteered with PWA for many years through Career Days, mentor programs and the annual NW Youth Careers Expo.  Learn more about Breanna and the unique perspective she brings to the organization below:

Best career advice:  Learn to be a ‘student of the industry’. Building the habit of researching hot topics in your industry by reading articles or books, listening to podcasts, attending conferences, or watching videos will help you keep your finger on the pulse of trends. Doing this will help build your ability to speak up with confidence.

Most memorable job as a teenager: I worked for Saturday Academy during a couple of summers in high school and sincerely enjoyed helping students who were only 2-3 years younger than me. When they found out how old I was, they thought it was really cool that we were so close in age. They actually started paying more attention to their work. I learned then that being transparent was a way to engender more trust in the workplace. (I don’t tell my age now, but then it made sense!)

Something I learned in high school about work: Hustle beats talent, when talent doesn’t hustle. I cannot think of the singular experience that taught me that but it stuck with me. It helped me remember that being naturally good at something isn’t enough. I have to put in effort when I show up to get results and earn respect.

What draws me to serve PWA: I enjoy working in multi-disciplinary teams. I learn so much from groups that represent different industries. That and above all else, the mission to support the learning and development of students is so clear here. I feel PWA is directly aligned with my desire to support the success of early careerists through career exploration opportunities. I’m honored to be a part of the team.

Breanna was elected to the PWA Board of Directors in June 2023.

PWA Board Member Spotlight: Breanna Jackson