We're Happy You're Here

Find out what’s happening in our region and learn how to get connected! Postcards from the field offer a snapshot of current programming and upcoming events. Get quick access to vital details about the Columbia Gorge Region by clicking on district details. Industry partners, parents and guardians, educators, students and CTE instructors interested in getting involved can check out our partner guides. Is there someone specific you are trying to get in touch with? Try our CCL Regional Contacts Directory. We organized our essential, regional links by audience for quick access. If you are looking for local CCL institutions, check out CCL spaces! Contact us at Career Connect Oregon to get in touch.

Postcards From the Field

Dispatches from the field of Columbia Gorge Career Technical Education

The First Annual Rube-a-Thon: Igniting STEM Passion in Regional 7th Graders

Organized in partnership between the CG STEM Hub and CGCC, the inaugural Rube-a-Thon was held on Friday, October 6th at CGCC bringing together 21 teams of 7th graders (120 students) to showcase their ingenuity in tackling the annual Rube Goldberg Institute Challenge of "Putting Toothpaste on a Toothbrush." The Rube-a-Thon, inspired by the cartoonist Rube Goldberg, provided the opportunity for middle school students in The Gorge to unleash their creativity, hone their problem-solving skills and practice teamwork. The participating teams constructed elaborate contraptions, employed chain reactions, and used ordinary objects to put toothpaste on a toothbrush. Throughout the day, the atmosphere was filled with laughter, excitement and a sense of friendly competition, allowing students to put their STEM knowledge to practice.

"We are extremely proud of all the participating teams for their exceptional creativity and teamwork," said Kate Wurster, STEM Hub Coordinator and the event’s organizer.

“What an absolutely incredible event. Our hearts are full after such a thoughtful and engaging experience, and can’t thank you enough for organizing what is the first of many more Rube-A-Thons to come!” said Stephanie Kunkler, Hood River New School Teacher.

Advanced Manufacturing Externship

The Advanced Manufacturing Educator Externship introduced high school educators to the CGCC Skill Center. This included tours to seven facilities across diverse industries using advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing is a fast-growing industry in the area that offers living-wage jobs. By immersing educators in real-world examples of applied skills in local industry, we fostered a broader awareness of employment opportunities and employer needs, and skill gaps in the region.

Bridging the Equity Gap

CGCC is excited to announce that the creation of our Open Maker Fridays concept has taken off with great success throughout the region. This idea was born out of the realization that equitable access to equipment was an issue preventing certain regional students from having similar access to CCL opportunities. Over the course of the last several months, our CCLSN, Dylan McManus, has worked with our Director of CTE, Robert Clark, to facilitate opening the new CGCC Skill Center on Fridays to any K-12 classroom within the region that would like to use the space. This collaborative effort has seen over 200 students travel to CGCC’s campus to experience CCL learning opportunities in our Advanced Manufacturing facility and has helped diversify and expand access to both instruction and equipment for every school within the region.

District Details

Serving Wasco and Hood River counties.

Square Miles
Combined MS / HS
Middle Schools
High Schools
MS Students
HS Students
6th-12th Students
Districts and ESDs

Regional CCL Hub: Columbia Gorge Community College

Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, Oregon, offers a comprehensive range of academic and career-focused programs to a diverse student body. The college emphasizes practical skill development and career readiness, connecting education with evolving industry needs through innovative teaching methods and partnerships. Central Oregon Community College plays a crucial role in fostering lifelong learning and community engagement in the region, providing students with essential skills and experiences for successful career paths.

I want to get involved locally... where do I start?

Dear Industry Partners,

Being based locally is an asset! Strengthen your community partnerships by reaching out to your Career Connected Systems Navigator or Small Business Development Center. For further guidance, contact your Workforce Development Board, STEM Hub Director or get in touch with high school career and guidance counselors.

Your direct involvement makes a difference! Provide guidance and feedback to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs by serving on a local CTE Program Advisory Committee. Mentor young people by developing internships, registered apprenticeships and posting job opportunities. Engage in outreach and promotion by participating in a career day or career fair.

Do you have a resource or contact to share? Please reach out to us at the contact information below! For an overview of how your company can get involved, download our CCL Guide for Industry Partners below. You can also visit the Career Connect Oregon page for industry partners.

View Industry Partners Guide

Dear Community-Based Organizations,

Did you know that Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) are uniquely suited to improve workforce development for young people ages 18-24 with pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships? Learn more by reading this helpful article by the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning!

While your organization builds capacity to run apprenticeship programs, you can partner with other organizations and provide essential training, offer referrals, and contribute services to complement existing programs. Consider pilot programs as a viable starting point!

For information about national apprenticeship initiatives, consult Apprenticeship USA. For resources specific to Oregon, check out this link from the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries. The Oregon Health Authority is partnering with CBOs to provide funding for apprenticeship programs. Additional sources for general funding can be found at Care Oregon and the Oregon Community Foundation.


Dear CTE and STE(A)M Instructors, Counselors, and Education Administrators,

If you know someone starting out, send them to the Oregon Department of Education to learn about CTE teacher preparation and licensure. Once you are in the classroom, you are covered by Oregon State Standards. In addition, Career Connect Oregon has combined standards from the American School Counselor Association and Oregon Administrative Rules in an easy-to-read handout. We also provide you with curriculum suites at Career Connect Oregon.

To stay up-to-date in your field, consult with the Association for Career and Technical Education, and always check out what in-person and online trainings Oregon PDNetworks has to offer.

Return often to stay informed about what’s happening in your region and who to get in touch with to connect your students with the rich resources in your community.

You can also visit the Career Connect Oregon Page for educators.

View Educators Guide

Dear Students,

Get help and find the career and educational path that feels right for you. Here are some places you can check out right now!

Match careers to your interests at Oregon CIS, YouScience. Ask your school counselor for more information. What’s hot? Use Oregon’s Employment Department to research wages, required skills and education for high-demand jobs. Get paid to learn at AmeriCorps, JobCorps, and YouthCorps while serving in communities across Oregon and the US.

Want to start a business? Oregon’s Small Business Development Center and DECA have programs to help your ideas grow. Many careers with high levels of responsibility require a degree or training. Find hundreds of programs across Oregon schools. Check out Oregon’s 7 Public Universities, 17 Community Colleges, and Licensed Private Career Schools. Concerned about how you’ll pay for education? Oregon Student Aid has affordable options for everyone. You can also visit the Career Connect Oregon page for students.

Resource Guide for Grades 1-4

Resource Guide for Grades 5-8

Resource Guide for Grades 9-12


Dear Families and Caregivers,

You are the first influence on the young person in your home, and Career Connect Oregon is here to assist you in guiding them. Begin by encouraging self-discovery and exploration. What jobs are they interested in? Oregon CIS, YouScience, and Oregon Department of Education’s Career Explorer are excellent, free resources for developing awareness and beginning exploration.

What skill does your student need to develop along the way? Tap Oregon Employability Skills for their traits framework and C3 for their career journey maps, which will help in planning coursework and early workplace experiences.

As students enter high school, keep an eye on Oregon Diploma requirements. Oregon Employment Department’s Career Explorer will help spark a conversation about jobs.

View Families Guide


CCL Regional Contacts

Dylan McManus

Title: Career Connected Learning Systems Navigator

Role Description: A Career Connected Learning Systems Navigator facilitates the integration of educational and career development programs, serving as a liaison between schools, community colleges and industry partners. This role focuses on ensuring equitable access to career learning opportunities, guiding students through awareness, exploration, preparation and training in various career paths​.

Phone Number: 541-506-6080

E-mail: dmcmanus@cgcc.edu

Brook Rich

Title: Director of CTE and STEM

Role Description: The Director of CTE and STEM at an Education Service District leads the development of Career and Technical Education and STEM programs, focusing on curriculum enhancement, industry alignment and partnership-building with local businesses and educational institutions to support student career readiness in technical and scientific fields.

Phone Number: 541-693-5670

E-mail: brook.rich@hdesd.org

Julia Cucuel

Title: STEM Hub Director | Columbia Gorge STEM Hub

Role Description: A STEM Hub Director leads initiatives to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education across schools and communities. This role involves strategic planning; partnership development with educational institutions, industry and government agencies; and overseeing programs that promote STEM literacy and career readiness. The director focuses on increasing access to quality STEM-learning experiences for all students.

Phone Number: 541-656-0976

E-mail: jcucuel@cgesd.k12.or.us

Gregory Price

Title: Director | Small Business Development Center

Role Description: The director leads the development and implementation of workforce strategies across various sectors, collaborating with businesses, educational institutions and community organizations. This role focuses on creating programs that meet regional employment needs and enhance job skills, ensuring a skilled and adaptable workforce.

Phone Number: 541-506-6121

E-mail: gprice@cgcc.edu

Heather Ficht

Title: Executive Director | East Cascades Workforce Board

Role Description: The Executive Director role involves steering initiatives that contribute to a thriving economy – focusing on education and training for living-wage jobs, and helping businesses find qualified talent. Emphasizing equity, inclusion and collaborative problem-solving, the Executive Director oversees efforts to ensure that all communities in the 10 counties have access to essential workforce development resources.

Phone Number: 541-213-0684 (ext 1)

E-mail: heather@ecworks.org

Essential Links for Educators

ASPIRE - Oregon Student Aid

ASPIRE – Oregon Student Aid. The ASPIRE program helps educate Oregon students to become career and college ready. ASPIRE offers education, resources and mentoring opportunities for all students.

ASPIRE | Oregon Student Aid
Career Connect Oregon - Curriculum for Educators

Career Connect Oregon – Curriculum for Educators offers curriculum suites aligned with ASCA standards and OARs. Suites include quick-start guides, lesson plans, and handouts. Cooperative learning strategies and creative assessment ideas included in each suite!

View Career Connect Oregon Page
Workforce Talent Development Board

Workforce Talent Development Board provides a productive space for educators to engage and partner with one another that includes innovative task forces, research projects, data and reports, strategies and recommendations.

Link to CTE Educator Resources

Essential Links for Students

Career OneStop

Career OneStop Take this 30-question interest assessment to help you match your interests with exciting careers.

Link to Interest Assessment | Career OneStop
Career Journeys

Career Journeys Watch young Oregonians in high-demand trades share their career journeys and give you a window into their workday.

Watch the Career Journeys Stories
Oregon Career Pathways

Oregon Career Pathways: Explore career pathways through the Oregon Employment Department to understand the education and training needed for different occupations. Learn which jobs are in highest demand and what they pay.

Oregon Career Pathways
Columbia Gorge C.C. - Degrees and Program Pathways

Columbia Gorge Degrees and Program Pathways: CGCC offers programming across 8 key areas, each featuring certificate and degree programs that open career pathways in arts, culture & communication, business, education & social sciences, health, math & science and technology & trades.

Columbia Gorge C.C. Degrees and Program Pathways
Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education: Oregon Department of Education offers programs and resources for students interested in technical and vocational education. Learn more about the 6 career areas and find programs in your school.

Career and Technical Education: State of Oregon
Oregon Apprenticeship

Oregon Apprenticeship: This website offers information on registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, helping students explore hands-on training opportunities in various trades statewide.

Oregon Apprenticeships
Training Corps

Training Corps: For students interested in environmental careers, OCC provides opportunities for training and work experience in conservation. Get paid to learn at AmeriCorps, JobCorps, and YouthCorps while serving in communities across Oregon and the US.

Link to Oregon Conservation Corps
Link to AmeriCorps
Link to YouthCorps
Columbia Gorge C.C. Programs for H.S. Students

Columbia Gorge Community College – Programs for High School Students: high school students can join a number of programs at CGCC, including Dual-Credit, Early College, College Now, Expanded Options and Running Start.

Link to CGCC Programs for High School Students

Essential Links for Families & Guardians

Search CTE Programs Across the State

Search CTE Programs Across the State. Curious about what Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are available? Visit this link for a database of searchable CTE programs at every high school in Oregon.

Link to Approved CTE Programs (Detail)
Oregon Young Employee Safety

Oregon Young Employee Safety strives to prevent injury and illnesses and promote well-being among young workers through resource sharing and community partnership.

Oregon YES
Oregon Career Information System

Oregon Career Information System provides career exploration and planning tools. Parents can access resources to help their children explore different career paths.

Oregon CIS
Oregon Student Aid

Oregon Student Aid: The Higher Education Coordinating Commission offers information on higher education options in Oregon, including college and university programs.

Plan & Pay for College – Find Oregon Colleges, Universities, and Programs
Personal Education Plan and Profile

Personal Education Plan and Profile: Find out more about this document for secondary students—updated yearly—that contains their interests, coursework, career aspirations, participation in career-related learning and a portfolio of their achievements.

Education Plan and Profile
Oregon C3 Career Journey Maps

Oregon C3 Career Journey Maps are centered around 16 major career clusters and designed to encourage discussion among practitioners, students and their families. Each map includes sample jobs, general specifications, job descriptions, suggestions for preparation, links to additional resources and suggestions for next steps.

Career Journey Maps | C3 Oregon

Essential Links for Community Partners

CTE Programs Database

Search CTE Programs Across the State: Visit this link for a database of searchable CTE Approved CTE Programs offered in Oregon’s high schools. There are two report options available; a Basic Search that displays program information for one secondary school offering CTE within the selected academic year and an Advanced Search that contains additional filtering options allowing users to explore results across, regions, counties, or career areas.

CTE Programs Database
Workforce Talent Development Board - Employer Resources

Workforce Talent Development Board – Employer Resources: Post your job openings, identify qualified candidates and plan for the future of your employees. The majority of the Workforce Talent Development Board is made up of Oregon business leaders from Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Energy, Sports and Apparel, Forest Products, Food and Beverage, and other sectors. The WTDB provides multiple tables, convenings and events for these leaders, and their public sector partners, to develop and drive strategy, policy and value for Oregon’s workforce system.

Link to Workforce Talent Development Board Resources
WorkSource Oregon

WorkSource Oregon: Grow your skilled workers with apprenticeships, internships and training options. WorkSource Oregon is here to partner with your business and provides free services for employers and helps businesses craft job postings for improved results, convene job candidates through job fairs and hiring events. They can also help your business identify possible tax credits, provide customized workforce data analysis, and establish market-competitive wage rates to attract and retain talent.

Link to WorkSource Oregon
Oregon Apprenticeship

Oregon Apprenticeship: Apprenticeships are an excellent way to invest in your community’s young workforce. They compliment classroom learning, ensure a trained and engaged staff, and contribute to worker satisfaction and retention. For details on how your business can participate, follow the link below:

Oregon Apprenticeship
Mapping CTE, STEM, and Workforce Education in Oregon

Mapping CTE, STEM and Workforce Education in Oregon This interactive story map shows how five groups promote career-connected learning and develop job skills across the state. The following maps allow you to interact with Oregon’s Community College Districts, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Partnerships, Education Service Districts, Regional science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) Hubs and Local Workforce Boards.

Mapping the Landscape of CTE, STEM, and Workforce Education
Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries

Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries Minors, their parents and employers should know about the laws that protect children at work. They include hiring and working conditions that are specific to minors, restrictions on the hours and the types of work a minor can do.

BOLI TA Child Labor Law Summaries and Fact Sheet

Regional Career Technical Education Partners and Locations

CCL Places

Connect with the Columbia Gorge CCL Team Using the Form Below: