Welcome to the school year! We are so pleased to see high schools open and students returning to class. Here’s the latest from PWA headquarters:

Career mentorships: PWA is expanding its work in career mentorships to deepen the student impact in a way that is doable for employers. This year, we plan to hold 4-5 mentor opportunities in addition to staffing the ACE Mentor Program of Oregon. They will include:

  • Year three of the PWA Future of Nursing Mentor Program
  • Year two of the new PWA Youth Impact Council and the Summer Career Academy 
  • Year one pilots in fields such as hospitality, technology, creative careers or business. 

Fall programming: We are working with our partners this fall to create experiences that prepare and inspire students for life after graduation. If you want to be involved but aren’t sure how, contact us at career@portlandworkforcealliance.org

Summer highlight: In late July, 15 amazing students from five Portland-area high schools met for a week at Parkrose High School for PWA’s first-ever Summer Career Academy, where they received career mentoring, mock interviews, resume support, career coaching and inspiration from 16 volunteers. 

“After being stuck at home for a year, I felt like I was back in school, and I honestly enjoyed it,”  one Parkrose student told us. “There’s so many more careers I’m now interested in, and it feels good to feel like I’m one step ahead.” 

Other students told us:

  • “Super inspiring and very informing.” 
  •  “I feel a lot more confident about getting a job now.” 
  • “Seeing women in STEM is so inspiring.” 

New officers and board members: Longtime board leader Samantha Jordan of Emerick Construction has stepped into the role of PWA board president. Marcus Carter of Cinder, our immediate past president, will stay on the executive team and continue to co-lead our equity work. 

Alex Berry of Intel and Aida Aranda of OSILETT (Oregon and S. Idaho Laborers-Employers Training Trust) joined our board in June and will help guide our work. Read more here about our officers and board, who are the heart of our volunteer-driven nonprofit. 

The PWA Board of Directors plays a critical role in PWA's growth and direction. Each month, we'll highlight a board member and their contributions to PWA. This month, meet Alex Berry of Intel. 

Careers Expo: Save the date for the 18th annual NW Youth Careers Expo, where together we’ll create a space for students to explore careers and connect with employers and postsecondary partners. 


  • If virtual: March 15-16, 2022 
  • If in person: March 15, 2022 (Oregon Convention Center) 

Your support:  Thank you to the foundations and individual donors who are supporting students through PWA. See our list of grant funders below and kindly consider becoming a one-time or recurring donor. Your gifts of money or time add up to make a big difference.  

We’re now in the third school year affected by the pandemic. Schools and employers will be finding their footing for many months to come, with PWA adapting right alongside them. Thank you to everyone who believes in the power of this work: Big Dreams. Good Jobs. All Students. 

PWA September News: “Like I’m one step ahead”