Thanks to OPB for illuminating some of the long-standing and problematic requirements creating unnecessary barriers for minority, disadvantaged, emerging, veteran, and women owned firms when competing for public contracts. These unfair practices continue to be an obstacle to equitable public contracting, and ultimately, a shared prosperity model.

Thank you to Maurice Rahming, president of O’Neill Electric, for the reminder that this is a decades old conversation – and it’s time to set proven, evidence-based policies in place which increase opportunities, access, and true economic inclusion for those firms.

In 2020, Portland awarded over $200 million for ‘goods and services’, yet businesses owned by people of color only received a tiny sliver of these annual public dollars expended by the city – ranging from a mere.8% to 3% over the last five years. These structural inequities are the reason Oregon Tradeswomen participates in industry coalitions such as the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity (MAWE) and other policy efforts – where together, we can make true changes for economic equity. Our collective advocacy work helps advance sound public policy, such as Community Benefits Agreements, to ensure public investments make a difference by reaching underserved workforce, including women, BIPOC, and minority-owned firms.

It’s time to invest in equity Portland!

Read the full story on OPB’s website.

Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful to COAST for their support!

With Oregon Tradeswomen’s first Pre-Apprenticeship cohort of 2021 graduating this April, COAST generously provided each graduate with a COAST gift pack of gear that will prove useful as they embark on their brand new skilled trades careers!

Beyond these graduation gifts, COAST is running a special promotion for Oregon Tradeswomen supporters, giving 20% off to their online catalog to anyone who uses code OT20 at checkout!

When we asked why COAST is supporting Oregon Tradeswomen, Marshall Alexander, Live Events and Partnership Manager at COAST, shared:

“We view trades organizations as essential to the growth, development, and advancement of the country, and no one embodies this more than Oregon Tradeswomen. Their commitment to the values of respect, excellence, equity, community, and empowerment, made this an obvious partnership for us to help them achieve their goals. We look forward to growing this partnership well into the future.”

For more than 100 years, COAST has had one goal: Make the American worker’s life safer and easier, both on the job and at home. The third generation of the Brands family continues this mindset with innovative lighting and cutting tools, as well as safety gear, and more. COAST Products continues to push the standard higher into the next generation.

Thanks again to COAST for being there for our students as they take their next steps to apprenticeship and their careers in construction!

Investment into our nation’s infrastructure is underway through President Biden’s Build Back Better Initiative and for that public investment to make a difference, the economic recovery needs to be inclusive.  To that end, the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships  have convened an Infrastructure Industry Recovery Panel of industry leaders to share recommendations on the Biden Administration through meetings with White House advisors, the Departments of Energy and Transportation, and Congressional leadership.

Oregon Tradeswomen’s Executive Director Kelly Kupcak, and Board Treasurer and principle of O’Neill Construction Group, Ali O’Neill were invited to serve on the panel!

Through our participation on the panel, we will be contributing to recommendations which address the disproportionate impact of the economic crisis on workers of color, immigrants, and workers with barriers to full employment. Through an equity lens, the panel will make recommendations to work towards dismantling structural racism within workforce education and training. Oregon Tradeswomen is also advocating for the ten strategies for an equitable infrastructure outlined by the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen Issues to be included. While skills training alone will not ensure an inclusive recovery, it should be part and parcel of our national plan and federal public policy.

Oregon Tradeswomen is committed to providing quality Pre-Apprenticeship training, but sometimes we need a little help from our community to make sure our students have the tools and gear they need to have a well-rounded trades education!

Whether you have some used items gathering dust in your garage or feel inspired to donate new equipment, Oregon Tradeswomen welcomes your help.

At this moment, our biggest needs are:

  • New computers to run AutoCAD. Autodesk came through for us in a big way by donating AutoCAD software to improve our teaching! Now, we need help securing compatible computers capable of running this powerful program.
  • At least 8 Milwaukee Tool, 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Power Tool batteries. Last year when COVID required us to teach without the sharing of tools – Milwaukee Tool donated enough for each student to have their own workstation.

Can you help us keep students working?  Other items on our wish-list:

  • 25’ 12 and 14 gauge extension cords
  • Shop clamps of various sizes
  • Klein wire strippers (45-120 T5 10-18 AWG)
  • Milwaukee Tools Jigsaw (2781-20 – 5″ w/ slide lock bare tool)
  • 24″ computer monitors

Thank you SO much for making a difference in a woman’s life!

OTW May 2018 Oregon Tradeswomen’s 26th Annual Career Fair Water Bureau Activity

 

Oregon Tradeswomen was recently contacted by a representative at the Portland Water Bureau with some excellent resources for financial assistance to help with business, home, or apartment water and sewer bills, free water testing and conservation kits, toilet rebates, and more!

Check out some of these handy resources from the Portland Water Bureau for more information about the ways they can help you have clean, affordable drinking water in your home or business:

Financial Assistance

If customers qualify based on income, they may be eligible for a discount on their sewer/stormwater/water bill, crisis assistance and free water leak repair for homeowners and more. Attached are print versions of our application for financial assistance. The Water Bureau has an online financial assistance application as well.  Contact Customer Service with questions, or help with applications.

Visit the water bureaus website for more information.

503.823.7770 x 3
PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov

Water Efficiency Program

Saving water can help save on your bill! The Water Bureau has free water-saving devices that can be used in the kitchen and bathroom as well as toilet rebates for homes and apartments. Swap out your old toilet with a WaterSense-labeled one and then apply for a rebate online. They also offer technical assistance for commercial customers.  If your water use is higher than expected, give them a call!

Visit the water efficiency program website or contact:

503.8234527
WBEfficiency@portlandoregon.gov

Water Quality Testing

Request a kit to test your drinking water for lead

Some apartments and homes in Portland have lead solder in the plumbing. It is recommended to have your water tested. Order one of the Portland Water Bureau’s lead test kits.

Tracy Weber: On A Path to Financial Stability and a Secure Future

Tracy graduated from Oregon Tradeswomen’s (OTW) apprenticeship readiness class in March 2020 – the first full class in our brand-new building and workshop before COVID shifted our in-person gatherings.

Since completing OTW’s class, Tracy had another baby and recently started her Carpentry Apprenticeship. We are so happy for Tracy in these next steps in pursuing a career in a trade she had always been interested in but just didn’t know how to get started. OTW is happy to be part of her success story and will be here for future support, training, and connections.

Tracy recently shared her personal story of working in customer service, becoming a mother, and wanting to provide a more stable future for her family at Worksystems’ EOP program presentation at Prosper Portland‘s Board meeting. We invite you to watch it and hear directly from Tracy how she went from working a dead end job, and smoking pot all the time, and not caring about the future, to getting serious to get the training and support needed to pursue a career as a Carpenter.

Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful to our community of supporters and donors who make it possible for strong women like Tracy to get the information, training, and support they need to build strong lives, families, and communities.

Bringing in the money to keep nonprofits going, year after year, is mostly like a big patchwork quilt your grandma made. It has:

  • Bits of solid old fabric (funders who are with you year after year)
  • Patches of new fabric (new donors) to cover the worn spots
  • Yearly mending to keep the quilt from fraying as the years go by.

Those of us who work at nonprofits often ask each other about this patchwork and share stories of pain and triumph. 2020 started as a year full of hope and excitement – we moved into our beautiful new workshop and training facility in January. We set up desks for our newly expanded staff and welcomed the first group of students into the new classroom where we expected to serve more women and do it more effectively than ever before. On track to offer classes in the evenings and on weekends, we had finally removed one of the historic barriers  preventing more women from taking advantage of this free, life changing resource.

As the year wore on, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under our feet with COVID health and safety restrictions forcing us to cancel classes and our oh-so-beloved annual Career Fair.

But then the light started to shine through the window and help started to show up in many different forms:

  • We’re grateful to the Foundation Partners who called to say that our grant funding could be used to simply get through the year.
  • Long time industry partners, hearing about lost funding, said – “how can we help?” – then they dug deep and doubled or tripled their “normal” investment.
  • A ten year old named Earlie, who saves her money all year to help local nonprofits, sent in a gift of $25 (Thank you Earlie!)
  • When we needed extra tools to set up the training workshop in a COVID-safe way, and I couldn’t reach my local contacts, the leadership team at Milwaukee Tools simply said “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you”
  • When we needed extra lumber and supplies to re-start training, Parr Lumber and Platt Electric donated everything on our wish list.
  • A woman I’ve never met knocked on the front door, told me she had known about our work for some time and thought we might need some help. She sat and wrote us a check saying, “Use it wherever you need it most”.
  • In the first two weeks of the Willamette Week Give!Guide, half of all the donors have made their first gift to the organization.

We’re grateful for every person, for every dollar and for every kind word that has helped us get through this year – including Laura, who sent in $10 and said “I’m unemployed right now, I wish this was more”.

To every single person who has invested in our work and the mission of OTW, and who’s helping us put women to work, giving them and their families a secure future – YOU will forever be part of our well loved patchwork quilt.

Thank you,

Lisa Palermo
Development Director

 

 

Seeking to increase job safety awareness and to help protect workers against the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint task force has published free resources for the construction industry. The resources provided by the COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force include a safety checklist, best practices, and photographs.

Best practices:
http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-best-practices/

Safety photographs:
http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-photographs/

From April 15 through May 7, groups of five to seven task force members, assisted by an Oregon OSHA consultant, visited nine job sites in Portland, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Salem, Eugene, Oregon City, and sites in Eastern and Central Oregon to assess job safety practices addressing COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements.

The task force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. The group meets twice a week to monitor health information and government guidelines, and to collect data and information. It will continue to coordinate job site visits as long as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order is in place.

“The construction community recognizes the need to work together across all areas of development to protect our workers, the public, and visitors to our job sites,” said Mark Long, CEO of Oregon Home Builders Association. “It is gratifying to be part of a group of industry professionals committed to bending the curve of the COVID virus while contributing to Oregon’s economy.”

“We depend on the skilled pipe-fitters and plumbers working for Charter on our project sites and fab shops,” said Cordell Tietz, president of Charter Mechanical. “It is critical that we have a safe environment for our employees, so they can continue to take care of our customers’ needs. This crisis has presented new challenges to all of us, and it’s been important and rewarding seeing our industry come together to keep people working safely and completing critical projects.”

Task force members:

For general questions about the construction task force, contact Mary Ann Naylor at Oregon Tradeswomen, maryann@tradeswomen.net

Task force contacts:

Robert Camarillo, executive secretary, Oregon State Building Trades Council: robert@oregonbuildingtrades.com

Mike Salsgiver, executive director, Associated General Contractors – Oregon Columbia Chapter: mikes@agc-oregon.org

Mark Long, chief executive officer, Oregon Home Builders Association:
mark@oregonhba.com

Paul Philpott, political representative, Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters:
pphilpott@nwcarpenters.org

Mary Ann Naylor, communications & marketing director, Oregon Tradeswomen: maryann@oregontradeswomen.net

Aaron Corvin, public information officer, Oregon OSHA:
aron.corvin@oregon.gov

TASK FORCE LAUNCHED TO ASSESS AND SHARE CONSTRUCTION JOB SAFETY PRACTICES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

[PORTLAND, OREGON, April 24, 2020] — Aiming to increase job safety awareness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon State Building Trades Council has launched a task force to help construction contractors follow current guidelines and protect workers while continuing to do business.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force – encompassing representatives from the building trades unions, industry partners, management, and employer representatives– has been meeting online three times a week and scheduling visits to various construction sites in Oregon.

A group of five to seven task force members, assisted by Oregon OSHA consultants, are visiting sites to assess the effectiveness of job safety practices intended to address COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements. All task force members and Oregon OSHA consultants will practice social distancing while visiting construction job sites. At the same time, the task force – an advisory group – is monitoring the most current health information and government guidelines, and collecting data and information about best jobsite practices. This data and information will be shared with construction contractors and workers.

“The safety of the people who are out there working on construction sites is our highest priority,” said Robert Camarillo, executive secretary for the Oregon State Building Trades Council. “With this task force, our goal is to improve job safety and increase educational resources during an incredibly challenging time.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order – issued in response to the coronavirus outbreak – does not include construction among the businesses that must close.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. Its membership includes:

  • Associated General Contractors-Oregon Columbia Chapter
  • Central Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Hoffman Construction Company
  • Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building & Construction Trades Council
  • O’Neill Electrical Construction
  • Oregon Home Builders Association
  • Oregon OSHA
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Oregon Tradeswomen
  • Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Pendleton Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Salem Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Southern Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
  • University of Oregon Labor Education and Resource Center, LERC
  • Worksystems

Download a .pdf of the press release

For questions about the construction task force, contact:

Mary Ann Naylor, communications director
Oregon Tradeswomen
maryann@tradeswomen.net

 

Individual Contacts:

Robert Camarillo, executive secretary
Oregon State Building Trades Council
robert@oregonbuildingtrades.com

 

Mike Salsgiver, executive director
Associated General Contractors – Oregon Columbia Chapter
mikes@agc-oregon.org

 

Matt Swanson, political coordinator
Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
mswanson@nwcarpenters.org

 

Mark Long, chief executive officer
Oregon Home Builders Association
mark@oregonhba.com

 

Aaron Corvin, public information officer
Oregon OSHA
aaron.corvin@oregon.gov

Oregon Tradeswomen is committed to ensuring women, people of color, low-income communities, and other historically disenfranchised groups benefit in publicly funded projects through access to quality job training, support services, job placement support and high-wage careers.

As part of our public policy and advocacy work, Oregon Tradeswomen endorses the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity (MAWE) Community Benefits Agreement model as a policy framework for ensuring access, opportunity, and equity on all publicly funded projects, including the Broadway Corridor Project.

We are working in coalition as a member of the Healthy Communities Coalition (HCC) – a group of 20+ organizations negotiating a legally-binding Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Prosper PortlandContinuum Partners, and the City of Portland on the Broadway Corridor redevelopment in downtown Portland. HCC wants to ensure that the City of Portland and Prosper Portland support standard-setting new benefits to advance good jobs, affordable housing, and equity for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and working class communities.

The Broadway Corridor is 34 acres that connects or includes landmarks and neighborhoods such as Old Town Chinatown, the Pearl District, Union Station, the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the U.S. Post Office, which will be demolished as part of redevelopment. Historically, the Broadway Corridor has been the home for communities of color who have been forcibly displaced over the past century as a result of “the effects of racialized policies, practices, and decision-making.”

The Broadway Corridor is on the land that has been home for Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Mollala and many other tribes. Black Americans, many of them porters who arrived from Union Station, lived in, created and supported Black-owned hotels and other businesses in the early 20th century. It was once the home of to Japanese Americans until the U.S. government’s internment order in 1942 that forced these Portlanders to leave their homes and businesses.

This August, the billion dollar development is almost able to move forward after an agreement was reached on the adoption of a development deal as well as a CBA. This consensus guarantees prevailing wages, full-family health care benefits, and the significant inclusion of minority-owned contractors throughout the construction process. In addition to these terms benefiting workers, goals for 100 percent renewable energy to achieve carbon neutrality have also been included.

As the Broadway Corridor Project is in motion, the Portland Housing Bureau committed to reaching out to Black, Japanese-American, and Chinese-Americans (groups who have historically resided in these neighborhoods) offering affordable housing. This effort underscores the integrity of this project, clearly distinguishing it from previous urban developments which have dislocated minority groups.

To oversee the agreed-upon goals, a 10-member committee appointed by HCC and Prosper Portland will be monitor progress on the project – the Broadway Corridor

Oregon Tradeswomen’s Workforce Equity Manager, Jay Richmond, commented on this historic project, noting, “The successful agreement for a CBA on the Broadway Corridor represents a sea change in the way development will be done in the region going forward. We’ve made sure  there is meaningful investment in creating a pipeline of opportunity for women, people of color, and working families to enter into the trades. We secured 720 units of affordable housing, family wage jobs, and small business opportunities, as well as construction hiring goals which will have huge positive impacts for BIPOC communities. That said, we know this work has just begun, and look forward to making sure these goals are met through the ongoing oversight of the BCCOC.”

While we are celebrating this positive step, the hard work isn’t over. The Portland City Council must still review and accept the agreements, and the Broadway Corridor master plan is currently under review by the Portland Design Commission. Ultimately, we are hopeful the success of these negotiations will serve as the model for future projects to intentionally bring benefits to the communities where these construction projects happen.