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Pre-Conference Activities

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Field Trips (3 Options)

Wednesday, May 8th | 8:30am-12:30pm

Cost: $35 Includes Transportation and Lunch

Tour the Innovation Quadrant: Creative Partnerships for Workforce Development


Portland's Innovation Quadrant is a groundbreaking place-based urban development strategy influencing how cities around the world are investing in workforce development for the new economy. Fueled by collaboration across public, private, non-profit, and university sector partners, the IQ catalyzes innovation and propels regional economic development. On this tour, we'll travel by Portland Streetcar (an important public investment in the IQ) to the 'Pie Shop' incubator in Autodesk's new Headquarters in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial Sanctuary; ride up the Portland Aerial tram to Oregon Health and Sciences University; visit the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building, a joint project of OHSU, Oregon University System, and Portland State University; and wrap up with a visit to the MAKE+THINK+CODE Lab at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Along the way, we'll hear from the practitioners bringing innovative ideas to life in the IQ.


Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center

Travel to Scappoose in Columbia County to visit the new 33,800 sq. ft. Oregon Manufacturing Center. Learn about this collaborative effort between industry, higher education and government where the focus is developing new tools, techniques and technologies to address near-term manufacturing challenges through applied research and advanced technical training.


Career-Connected Learning in Action: Youth, Diverse Populations and Innovation

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In this site visit, you will learn about how Oregon is creating apprenticeships that target under served populations and connect them with employers in high demand, growth industries. You will hear how this required innovation from industry and education partners, as well as collaboration from the workforce system. Participants will travel via a cutting-edge tramway to the hilltop location of Oregon Health & Science University with a breathtaking view of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood. participants will tour OHSU where they will observe a simulated robotic assist surgery, tele-surgery, and/or other cutting-edge technology.

nC3t Workshop:

Wednesday, May 8th | 8:30AM-12:30PM

Cost: $60 includes workshop, lunch, and book (The power and promise of pathways)


To develop a local or regional Pathways System, leaders from education, business and community-based organizations come together to explore and build common vision and action strategies for career-connected learning. During this special pre-Conference workshop, Hans Meeder from the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T.com) will help you understand the essential tools and processes to get a pathways initiative started or re-booted. This session focuses on identifying the six key components of a pathways system, uncovering local assets and gaps, assessing regional workforce needs, forming a community-wide leadership structure, framing a comprehensive career development model, creating meaningful pathway programs of study, engaging the business community, and developing an actionable phase-by-phase plan for implementation. There will also be a special section of the workshop devoted to state leadership policy and strategies to foster and support local pathways coalitions.