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Economic Opportunity Initiative - Workforce Development

The Economic Opportunity Initiative (EOI) Workforce Development Program is a key component of the City’s Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy (NED)—a citywide action plan to foster economic opportunity and neighborhood vitality throughout Portland neighborhoods.

The PDC, in collaboration with Worksystems, Inc. (WSI), funds youth and adult workforce development programs for low-income Portlanders, helping them to better connect and compete in the regional economy. WSI administers the workforce development programs through a network of service providers. Each program is briefly described below.

Nathan Powell

Youth Workforce Development

The Career Connect Network has six youth workforce development providers serving culturally and geographically diverse populations within Portland. The program primarily targets youths age 16-21 who are disconnected from traditional high school or lacking the basic skills and credentials to enter college or career pathway employment.  The six network providers will serve 480 youth in FY 2013-14.  Each workforce development provider delivers supportive and individually tailored workforce development case management to youth for up to three years.  Providers help youth identify and achieve their career goals and develop the life skills necessary to stay on course.  The goal is for all participants to secure a career pathway job or progress along a path to complete post-secondary education.

Services to youth include:

  • Individual career plan development
  • Career exploration
  • Work and college readiness training
  • Work experience placement and support
  • Post-secondary placement, navigation and support
  • Job search assistance and placement
  • Retention and advancement supports after job or post-­secondary placement

In addition, WSI contracts with a Work Experience Intermediary to administer work experience opportunities co-­‐developed with WSI through relationships with business and industry.

Adult Workforce Development

The Economic Opportunity Program has seven adult workforce development providers to deliver supportive and individually tailored workforce development services. The program targets low-income Portland residents, age 18 and older, who face multiple barriers to employment. Eligible participants have an immediate goal of becoming employed, and engage in coaching, skill development and training in order to achieve career pathway employment. The seven network providers will serve 490 adults in FY 2013-14. In addition to this system of providers, WSI makes resources, support and training available to EOI participants through Worksource Portland Metro (WSPM). Service length is individually tailored with a typical participant in service for approximately three years.

Services to adults include:

  • Individual career plan development
  • Individualized vocational case management
  • Career exploration
  • Work readiness training
  • Work experience placement and support
  • Job search assistance and placement
  • Retention and advancement supports after job placement

Additional services through Worksource Portland Metro include:

  • Contextualized, cohort‐based adult education
  • Job readiness courses
  • Sector-­based bridge training
  • Short‐term vocational training leading to employer-­recognized certificates
  • Occupational skills training leading to employer‐recognized certificates
  • Pre-­apprenticeship programs and other targeted sector-­based occupational training
  • Internships
  • On-­the‐job training
  • Individualized job placement for certain industries and participants

Partner Resources

Contact us

For more information, contact Kate Deane, Neighborhood Team, at 503-823-3313 or email.