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Dr. Algie Gatewood, Cascade Campus President of Portland Community College and PCRI Board Member, shares the following story with PCRI staff, residents and neighbors. All are invited to join this neighborhood National Night Out celebration:
Once again, the Humboldt Neighborhood Association and Portland Community College – Cascade Campus are joining forces to throw a party for the people of North Portland. The two organizations are teaming up to put on the 2011 Cascade Campus Open House and National Night Out celebration, set for 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, in the Campus’ Borthwick Mall, 705 N. Killingsworth St.
“This year, our event is shaping up to be fun and educational for everyone,” said PCC’s Suzette Pump, chair of the event’s planning committee. “This event allows us to provide a safe environment for local residents to learn about community resources, neighborhood safety, and have fun while doing it.”
The featured performer for this year’s festivities will be a longtime Portland favorite – Ghanaian master drummer Obo Addy and his ensemble, Okropong (pictured at left). The group will play two sets, at 5:15p.m. and 7:15p.m. The evening’s entertainment will also include performances from the Usual Suspects – a jazz band headed by Cascade Professional Music department chair Allen Jones – as well as an interactive dance session with the campus’ Zumba class and an appearance from the dragon dancers of the Northwest Chinese Cultural Association.
The celebration has something to offer for visitors of all ages. Good stuff to eat and drink will of course be available, and for the kids, there will be fun, games, face painting, hands-on art activities and a drawing for two children’s bicycles. Representatives from a range of campus academic programs will be on hand with demonstrations, and information will also be available for those visitors who are interested in attending classes at the campus.
In keeping with National Night Out’s theme, “a going-away party for crime and drugs,” a host of community organizations and government agencies will provide demonstrations and information on how to be safe at home and in the neighborhood. The Portland Police Bureau will be on hand to echo this message.
Staff and students from the Campus’ Emergency Services programs – Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician and Fire Protection Technology – will showcase their skills as they perform a live simulated rescue of victims from a staged DUI accident. This activity will encompass the different stages of an accident rescue, from the initial call to 9-1-1 through patient transport on an ambulance.
“When people come together in a spirit of unity, it’s always a good thing for a community,” said Cascade Campus President Algie Gatewood. “I’m excited to partner with our neighbors to show our appreciation for the richness and diversity of our neighborhood.”
Participating organizations include Target, THA Architecture, Zipcar, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, the Florida Room, Leonard Adams Insurance Co., Eddie’s Flatiron Pizza, Pacific NW Federal Credit Union, Hillsboro Auto Wrecking and many more.
It’s Wednesday morning and a half-dozen women are fastening their tool belts and setting up saw horses in front of a PCRI rental home. There’s some serious work that’s about to happen here, but the real purpose goes much deeper than what first meets the eye.
The crew that’s getting ready to install new floors in PCRI’s affordable rental home is a Trades and Apprenticeship Careers Class (TACC) from Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. The class is a free seven-week pre-apprenticeship training program that helps women prepare for high-wage, high-skill construction careers through hands-on construction experience, classroom instruction and field trips. Upon graduation, the program helps graduates with job searches, applications to apprenticeship training programs, and post-placement support.
Hands-on construction experience brings students into PCRI’s homes during the course of the class. Several groups of students will complete phases of new floor installation including removing old carpet tack strips, installing the new floor and re-installing doors and trim. At other PCRI homes, Oregon Tradeswomen students have built new fences and re-built porches and decks.
“It’s good work that offers a sense of accomplishment for our students,” said Amy James Neel, Instructor and Job Placement Specialist at Oregon Tradeswomen.
These diverse projects provide useful training opportunities for the students. Just as importantly, they help supplement PCRI’s maintenance crew in order to more quickly prepare homes for future renters.
“It’s part of our values to serve the community—not just through the hundreds of women we serve through our program, but for the many non-profits we assist,” said Dawn Jones, Training Manager at Oregon Tradeswomen. “We’re grateful to have PCRI as a consistent and true partner for us in providing a wide range of skill-building opportunities for our students that at the same time help ensure affordable housing in our Northeast community.”
While PCRI and Oregon Tradeswomen have a long history of partnership, cooperation between the two organizations is reaching new heights: including both student and paid instructor time, Oregon Tradeswomen crews have worked over 1,000 hours on PCRI projects so far in 2011.
“This is a great path for our two organizations. At the core of our efforts are affordable housing and living wage jobs,” said Maxine Fitzpatrick, PCRI Executive Director. “And it’s personally rewarding to see the women in these classes empowering themselves to create a better future for themselves and their families.”
Oregon Tradeswomen will offer one more 7-week TACC classes in 2011. Classes start August 30. Women interested in joining Oregon Tradeswomen’s program should visit www.tradeswomen.net or call (503) 335-8200 for more information.