Contact: Kevin Jeans-Gail, Workforce Alliance, 503-997-0459

May 07, 2012

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8th annual event showcases career and skill-building opportunities for students; Carole Smith to headline 7:30 A.M. breakfast


Students throughout the Portland metropolitan area can learn about potential careers in business, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, technology, human services, communications and the arts at the NW Youth Careers Expo, sponsored by 30 leading employers and educational institutions.

The Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8 in Hall A at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.Students are invited to attend the Expo at no charge. More than 100 companies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations will participate as sponsors and exhibitors.

Members of the media are invited to the NW Youth Careers breakfast on May 8 at 7:30 A.M. in Room B113. Leaders from business, industry, government and education will gather to open the Expo. Carole Smith, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, will attend and students from throughout the region will also be present.

Now in its eighth year, the Careers Expo connects with diverse teenage populations and has drawn increasingly larger crowds of high school students from throughout the metro region, including the Portland, Hillsboro and Vancouver school districts. Participating companies include Gunderson, NIKE, PCC Structurals, Microsoft, OHSU, Howard S. Wright, PGE and many others. 

Event co-founder Drew Park of Columbia Wire and Iron said, “Recent reports indicate that only 56% of all PPS students graduate from high school on time. Clearly, we have a serious problem. There is significant amount of research that concludes that students drop out because they don’t see the connection between their education and getting a good job. The Expo is part of a broader strategy to help educate students about good family wage jobs and to help them to see the relevancy of their education.”

During the Expo
At the Expo, students can try welding, operate a crane, dress mannequins and maneuver a robotic arm in the hands-on demonstration area of the exhibit hall, which will also include demos for other computer-controlled equipment, plasma cutting, wire stripping, door drilling, and a Portland General Electric line truck with utility bucket. FIRST Robotics will be showing off their competition robots throughout the day.

The Portland Human Resources Management Association has recruited human resources and industry professionals who will volunteer their time to help young people prepare for job opportunities by conducting mock interviews and offering instruction in completing an application and making a good impression with prospective employers. 

Students may also meet with university and community college representatives to explore post-high school educational resources.

Major sponsors of the NW Careers Expo include Wieden+Kennedy, Adidas, Bank of America, Portland Development Commission and Portland Public Schools. 

The Expo is organized by the Portland Workforce Alliance and managed by the Total Event Connection.

Representatives of organizations who are available for interviews include:

Drew Park, Columbia Wire & Iron, 971-404-2472; Drew@cwi1.com

Kevin Jeans-Gail, Portland Workforce Alliance, 503-997-0459; kevin@portlandworkforcealliance.org