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June 7, 2019
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MESD Educators Join Local Districts to Deconstruct Bias About Trades at Industry for a Day
From: Jeanie-Marie Price, Communication Vice President at All Hands Raised

More than 220 educators and partners from throughout Multnomah County immersed themselves in the fields of construction and manufacturing as a part of All Hands Raised’s Industry for a Day (IFAD) presented by Bank of America on May 15. This included six MESD teachers, counselors, principals and district administrators.
 
As a teacher from a neighboring district said of the experience, “The highlight of IFAD was watching, in action, the work being done and the ability to have my questions answered by people who are doing the work. Also, realizing the multitude of pathways to each field.”
 
MESD was joined by 16 other regional school districts, and more than 15 partner organizations, in touring local construction and manufacturing sites to get first-hand experience and learn about opportunities and pathways to those living-wage jobs. While 28 companies hosted tours, MESD educators visited O’Neill Construction and Stack Metallurgical.
 
At the opening program held at the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute, teachers received resources and information to support students on their career paths. They also heard from industry leaders and current apprentices, including Isaiah Johnson, a seventh term carpenter apprentice and graduate of Roosevelt High School, who shared: “I wish there were more people telling more kids about these options—college is not the right fit for everyone, and a lot of my friends could have had better lives if they had known about the trades.”
 
The Oregon Employment Department projects that over the next 10 years, more than 13,000 new construction and manufacturing jobs will be created across Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties, with another 71,000 openings due to retirements. Yet the path to those careers is not always clear and our local career-technical education programs have not recovered from past cuts, resulting in a weak pipeline to fill these jobs. In addition, a deeply rooted bias continues to support a “college only” mentality and stereotypes about the trades a limit students’ exposure to family-wage career paths in construction and manufacturing.
 
The All Hands Raised Partnership is working across the community to build a system to strengthen the pipeline necessary to ensure a strong regional economy. One of the strategies to address the lack of awareness of opportunities for young people in construction and manufacturing is Industry for a Day. In its fourth year, IFAD is an opportunity for those who work closely with, and mentor, our youth to learn first-hand about the “on ramps” to training and jobs in the local construction and manufacturing industries. 
 
All Hands Raised coordinates the event, which is made possible by presenting sponsor Bank of America, along with venue sponsor, Pacific Northwest Carpenter’s Institute; meal sponsor, Worksystems, Inc.; and emerging sponsor, PGE. The event is coordinated in partnership with the IFAD planning committee, which includes: AGC-Oregon Columbia Chapter, East Metro STEAM Partnership, Impact NW, Mt. Hood Community College, Oregon Tradeswoman, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Portland Workforce Alliance and Worksystems, Inc. Additionally, 22 businesses and partner organizations contributed funds to subsidize districts for the cost of substitute teachers, allowing more educators to participate in IFAD.
 
Photographs captured from the day can be viewed in this album. Learn more about Industry for a Day and the All Hands Raised Partnership at www.allhandsraised.org.
 
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