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 Mt. Hood 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 Mt. Hood Career Technical Education

Theater for Young Audiences at MHCC

This event aimed to create career awareness for middle and elementary schools in our districts. Almost 1,400 students attended over 5 days of performances for the hour-long 1000 Crane Play followed by a “Talk-Back” discussion after the performance. During the Talk-Back, the students were able to learn about many aspects and careers that are involved in setting up and running the performance; from lighting, directing, set design and construction to actively performing. The students were able to ask questions about the different areas and connect with the MHCC students from varying backgrounds. The students were excited to learn about the mechanics behind the design and connect with the community members who were also a part of the performance.

In addition to attending the performance and learning about the many careers involved, the students received a take-home kit, which contained origami instructions to build a crane with their families. Part of the kit also included a link to the programs at MHCC and related careers that the students explored during the Talk-Back so they can share with their families along with a secondary link to Oregon CIS to explore their career interests and aptitudes together.

Partner Spotlight: Portland Opera

We were thrilled to have the Portland Opera to-go perform for our district’s middle schools at MHCC this fall. This diverse cast performed Cinderella and gave a career talk with 385 middle schoolers. They took the time to share their education, background and the careers that led them to performance art. Business owners, teachers and full-time performers spoke candidly about the challenges they faced. The students were excited to have a chance to ‘peek behind the curtain’ with this amazing opportunity.

Bridging the Equity Gap

MHCC in partnership with East County Career Readiness Collaborative (ECCRC) is developing the Employer Connect Resource for career exploration and work-based learning opportunities. The Mission of ECCRC is to empower and prepare students for the professional world through innovative and accessible career readiness programs. By emphasizing equity, respect and professionalism they commit to actively involving east county districts in a collaborative effort to nurture creativity and integrity in the workforce. The focus is on ensuring that every student has the tools and opportunities to succeed in their chosen career paths, regardless of their background. The Employer Connect Resource is one of the first steps towards sharing resources and building opportunities for all students.

District Details

Serving Clackamas County.

Square Miles
Combined MS / HS
Middle Schools
High Schools
MS Students

HS Students
6th-12th Students
Districts and ESDs

Regional CCL Hub: Mt. Hood Community College

MHCC’s campus in Gresham, Oregon has views of beautiful Mt. Hood. Our District encompasses 950 square miles with a population over 300,000. MHCC serves over 17,000 students and features over 120 professional and technical programs and a variety of university transfer possibilities.

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

Jeff Laff

Title: Director of High School Services | Mt. Hood Community College

Role Description: The Director of High School Services cultivates relationships between high schools, students and external organizations – coordinating programs that enhance students’ educational and career readiness experiences.

Phone Number: 503-867-8506

E-mail: jeffrey.laff@mhcc.edu

Jarvez Hall

Title: STEM Hub Coordinator | East Metro STEAM Partnership

Role Description: A STEM Hub Coordinator 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.

Phone Number: Coming Soon!

E-mail: jhall@mesd.k12.or.us

Katie Dirkswager

Title: Career Connected Learning Systems Navigator

Role Description: The Career Connected Learning Systems Navigator connects educational programs with career development, collaborating with schools and industry to provide students with diverse career learning opportunities.

Phone Number: 503-491-7375

E-mail: katie.dirkswager@mhcc.edu

Kealani Balfour

Title: College Now Coordinator | Mt. Hood Community College

Role Description: A College Now Coordinator at a community college helps manage the College Now program, which offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credits. This role involves coordinating with high school teachers and college faculty to align curriculum, ensuring courses meet college standards. The coordinator also facilitates the enrollment process, provides guidance to students and oversees the program’s administration.

Phone Number: 503-491-6989

E-mail: abalfour@mesd.k12.or.us

Andrew Mcgough

Title: Executive Director | Portland Metro Workforce Development Board (Worksystems)

Role Description: The Executive Director of a workforce development board builds strategic initiatives to strengthen the local workforce and economy. This role involves leading program development, securing funding and fostering partnerships with businesses, educational institutions and government agencies. They focus on creating training and employment opportunities to meet industry needs.

Phone Number: 503-478-7371

E-mail: amcgough@worksystems.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
Mt. Hood Community College Apprenticeship Programs

Mt. Hood Community College Apprenticeship Programs: “Mt. Hood Community College collaborates with several apprenticeship training centers. If you are interested in apprenticeship training, you will apply for the apprenticeship just as you would apply for a job. Once accepted into an apprenticeship program you will receive a paycheck and benefits while also earning college credits at MHCC!”

View Program Page
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
Mt. Hood Community College High School Services & Programs

Mt. Hood Community College High School Services and Programs: offers a bevy of programs for high school students, including GED, College Now, Middle College, underage enrollment assistance, and support for first-generation prospective college students.

Link to Mt. Hood C.C. High School Services and Programs

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 Mt. Hood CCL Team Using the Form Below: