Increasing Access to Good Jobs

Workforce training programs offer pathways

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici recently hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh of the Biden administration during a visit to Portland to highlight efforts to increase access to quality, high-wage jobs.

Joined by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the delegation met with pre-apprentices, students, faculty, and local labor leaders to discuss the importance of creating pathways to high-wage manufacturing, clean energy, and construction jobs, especially for women, people of color, and others who have historically been left behind.

Officials toured Portland Community College’s new job Training Center at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center in Scappoose and. the NECA-IBEW Training Center in northeast Portland.

“At the Department of Labor, we believe the ‘future of work’ is about job quality, equity, and access for all workers to good middle-class careers,” said Secretary Walsh. “Oregon is a proven leader in building equitable, diverse career pathways, and I was thrilled to witness a strong state-federal partnership at work.”

Bonamici called Oregon a leader in addressing the skills gap by creating opportunities for more people to access quality jobs. She gave credit to groups like the Oregon Tradeswomen for doing important work to expand opportunities and transition to a clean energy economy.

“I’m committed to working with Secretary Walsh to secure the federal resources we need to make these jobs available to more people, especially those who have historically been left behind,” she said.