Cascadia Manufacturing Partnership Symposium

Aligning regional community partners and businesses to address manufacturing industry’s needs

A group brainstorms during a breakout session at the Cascadia Manufacturing Partnership Symposium at Clark College.

At the Cascadia Manufacturing Partnership Symposium on May 30, Clark College hosted manufacturing industry leaders from all over the region. The Cascadia Manufacturing Network is focused on identifying opportunities facing the manufacturing sector and developing solutions for talent development, marketing, advocacy, and more.

The cross-agency talent team of the network has identified specific focus areas as part of their goal to build career pathways to high-wage, in-demand jobs. As Clark’s Director of Guided Pathways and Partnerships, I serve as a convener for the team and work with industry partners to develop a talent needs survey, and to identify strategies for fulfilling the workforce needs of manufacturing.

To guide this work, we use the Next Gen Sector Partnership Model, a structured framework for connecting businesses, colleges, workforce development, and other community organizations to meet the needs of industry.

Multiple employees from local community colleges, nonprofit agencies, and workforce development organizations attended the symposium to learn about the project’s goals and to learn how they can support career pathways. The conversation included a mix of ideas including career exploration and preparation, job fairs, and internships. Clark College’s new Career Connected Curriculum Liaison, Stephanie Leeper, was on hand to listen and gather ideas related to the college’s Title III grant and career-connected learning initiative.

This project illuminates the high-level possibilities of working directly with employers to create strategies related to career-connected learning and high-wage, in-demand career pathways for students.

Partnerships with our local workforce board, Workforce SW Washington, allow the college to leverage relationships with businesses and employers, and contribute to the regional Quality Jobs framework.

Learn more

Workforce Southwest Washington Quality Jobs Initiative: