February is National Career Technical Education (CTE) Month. OCCA and Oregon's 17 community colleges look forward to sharing with legislators the impact community college CTE programs have on Oregon's workforce, communities and the state's economic recovery from COVID-19 and reinvigorating the workforce. Each week in February will feature different CTE career/industry areas. Be sure to look for additional communication from your local community college about their CTE programs on social media.
PLEASE NOTE: While community colleges do not have a specific fiscal request related to CTE in the February 2022 Legislative Session, the funding requests related to cybersecurity infrastructure/training needs and the Future Ready Oregon 2022 proposal do have a significant impact on Oregon's community colleges. Without cybersecurity protections in place, colleges could not operate nor could they support CTE programs like the ones featured in this newsletter. Future Ready Oregon, which emphasizes needs in the construction, manufacturing and healthcare industries, includes $17 million for community college Career Pathways programs that will prioritize underserved communities and support workforce programs. We urge legislators to support $5.1 million for cybersecurity protection measures in HB 5202 and the Future Ready Oregon proposal during the Legislative Session.
This week features career areas in: Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources programs.
Agriculture Oregon is home to one of the most diverse agricultural industries in the nation, with more than 220 high-quality agriculture products from 37,200 farms. Oregon agriculture directly and indirectly contributes 686,518 jobs, $29.71 billion in wages, $12.12 billion in taxes, and $2.85 billion in exports to the state (source: Oregon Department of Agriculture). Community colleges in Oregon offer robust programs in all sectors of agriculture to meet the state's needs. Careers in agriculture are wide-ranging to keep this important technology-advanced industry moving, from precision agriculture to agriculture business management to livestock production to viticulture.
Food Oregon is second only to California in the number of agriculture products it produces. Community colleges prepare students for careers that feed Oregonians, from growing to harvesting to manufacturing to culinary. Oregon's diverse landscape means a variety of food can be grown in the state, along with access to fresh seafood along the coast and rivers. Community colleges give students the skills they need to keep feeding Oregon sustainably, from farm to table.
Natural Resources Oregonians love the outdoors, and community colleges can help turn that passion into a career. Oregon's natural beauty is supported and sustained by careers in natural resources. To handle wildfires, climate change, and maintain Oregon's natural resources, community colleges offer programs and training for natural resource management, wild land firefighters, wildlife/fisheries management and renewable energies.
It's been a long and winding road for Justin Wolf to reach the status of Executive Chef. Born and raised in Medford, Oregon, cooking was always a big part of his family and life. Even his senior project in high school involved cooking, teaching kids how to help with dinner.
Because his culinary journey began at Southwestern Oregon Community College's (SWOCC's) Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI), graduating with honors in 2011 at age 19, we were very interested in 'the rest of the story'. SWOCC caught up with Chef Wolf at his new gig, Executive Chef for Partake in Grants Pass. He had just finished baking the bread for the day and had a short break before preparations for the evening's delicacies began. Click here to read the interview!
Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, spiking 100% from 2000 to 2018 according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. This momentum sees no end; by 2050, solar generation as an electricity source is projected to jump from 11% to 48% of total U.S. renewable generation.
And to realize this goal, the renewable energy industry will need skilled technicians to maintain equipment and systems.
Colleges and university energy training programs are on the frontlines. Portland Community College (PCC) offers the Renewable Energy Systems associate degree option to prepare future technicians for work in solar and wind power, fuel cell, and other renewable energy fields. The degree trains students to excel in a variety of EET-related fields, too. The difference between the two academic disciplines is small - more than two-thirds of the classes overlap, so students can easily get training in both areas and make themselves more marketable.
The natural resources and conservation program a student selects can have a big impact on their future. At Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC), dedicated instructors want students to succeed and achieve their career goals by giving them the highest quality education with hands-on learning!
The specialized knowledge students gain with TVCC's Natural Resources Career Pathways Certificate of Completion (CPCC) can help them get started working in the field and offers a "pathway" to an associate's degree in Natural Resources.
TVCC's Natural Resources Department offers various degrees in fields related to natural resources including; Natural Resource Management, Wildland Fire Management, and Wildlife and Fisheries.
Collaboration and partnerships with industry professionals, many of them graduates of TVCC's programs, bring real-world learning to the classroom - especially when class is held on a riverbank or in a forest!
Blue Mountain Community College and Portland Community College (Rock Creek) have two of only three collegiate farms in Oregon! These working farms have livestock and crops that require year-round management, and students have the opportunity for real-world hands-on experiences as a result. And while not a farm, Linn-Benton Community College's 7-acre training and breeding facility gives students in the Equine Science program valuable hands-on experiences.
Oregon community colleges serve their specific communities, and programs reflect the needs of their local business and industries. Check out the wide array of career & technical education programs that Oregon community colleges offer in this great video!