Portland Workforce Alliance welcomes Brenda Neri-Wong to the PWA Board of Directors! 

Brenda Neri-Wong (she/her/ella) works with the training staff at the Oregon & S. Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust. She has participated for several years in the Construction Zone of the NW Youth Careers Expo, helping young people learn about the trades as a career pathway. She previously worked as a graduation coach for the Hillsboro School District.

As a new PWA Board Member, she has already volunteered her time for multiple PWA youth programs and joined the PWA Equity Committee, sharing unique and valuable perspectives with the organization. Learn more about Brenda below:

Best career advice: Be teachable, humble, and remember your self-worth. Often, as women (of color) we forget that we are worthy of more in our career aspirations than we give ourselves credit for, so don’t devalue your worth.

Most memorable job as a teenager: I often babysat to make money during high school and my first year in college, working with children helped guide me into pursuing a career in education and finding my passion to help others.

Something I learned in high school about work: Teamwork is important! Whatever profession you decide to pursue after high school, working with others and having good communication with your team is essential.

What draws me to serve PWA: As an undocumented student from a low-income immigrant household, I remember the challenges I faced looking at post-high school career and education options. Without the help of mentors and support networks, I would not be where I am today. To be part of an organization that helps expose young people to various career pathways that will allow them to make an informed decision about what career to pursue is what drew me to PWA. I look forward to being part of a support network for students and helping them explore lifelong careers. Hopefully one in registered apprenticeship and the Union Trades!

In 2018, Brenda sat for an interview with the Oregon Historical Society to share about her experience immigrating from Mexico as a child needing medical care. Brenda attended Portland Community College before earning her bachelor's degree from Portland State University and taking classes toward a master's degree at  Lewis & Clark College. Brenda was elected to the PWA Board of Directors in June 2023.

PWA Board Member Spotlight: Brenda Neri-Wong