Workforce Partner Spotlight: Autodesk

Aerial view of the Autodesk offices in Portland, Oregon.

Oregon Tradeswomen is always grateful to our Workforce Partners for their commitment to a diverse and equitable workforce. When we moved in to our new office space in the Rockwood neighborhood, complete with a workshop for our pre-apprenticeship training program, Autodesk helped us out with a donation including AutoCAD 360 software to help us take our hands-on training to the next level. Autodesk is changing how the world is designed and made. Their technology spans architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, and entertainment, empowering innovators everywhere to solve challenges big and small. From greener buildings to smarter products to mesmerizing blockbusters, Autodesk software helps their customers to design and make a better world for all.

When we asked Autodesk about why they support Oregon Tradeswomen, they shared, “Autodesk is incredibly proud to support Oregon Tradeswomen and share in its mission to advance change within the industry, for both our current and next generation of trade workers. Their important work challenges the traditionally male-dominated narrative of the industry, replacing it with one that empowers underrepresented populations and celebrates gender inclusivity, economic independence and wage equality for all. It’s an especially critical undertaking as our society continues to contend with a significant skilled and technical labor shortage. Our Autodesk team is honored to work hand-in-hand with such a purpose-driven organization to help make inroads to the industry.”

Thank you Autodesk for supporting the learning and growth of the next generation of tradeswomen!

Workforce Partner Spotlight: Streimer Sheet Metal

When Oregon Tradeswomen’s founders came together, the idea of women working in the construction trades was a radical idea. While we are still on the road to a construction workforce with an equal representation of women and men on the job-site, the face of the construction industry is definitely changing.

Much of this shift is a result of the commitment of Oregon Tradeswomen’s Workforce Partners who empower our organization to continue giving women the tools to succeed and who embrace our mission to increase women’s participation on job sites across our region. We are grateful to Workforce Partners like Streimer Sheet Metal who have made an active effort to hire women, including a number of Oregon Tradeswomen graduates.

We spoke with Streimer Sheet Metal’s HR Manager, Teresa Bergan, about why they support Oregon Tradeswomen as a Workforce Partner. Teresa explained, “Streimer supports Oregon Tradeswomen because learning a trade is an educational pathway to a great career choice that raises women above the everyday career. Streimer supports and partners with Oregon Tradeswomen to train women who are looking for a career in the sheet metal craft. Those graduates become employees that become a voice and an ambassador of Streimers’ dedication to excellence and professionalism in the construction industry.”

Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful for Streimer’s commitment to the tradeswomen movement, and their positive impact on the industry. We invite you to meet some of the incredible tradeswomen on their team:

Meet the Women of Streimer Sheet Metal:


A Peek Behind the Curtain – And a Big Thank You

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



Dean’s Car Care: Giving Back

Oregon Tradeswomen is excited to introduce you to Dean’s Car Care and their community giving program!

Dean’s Car Care is a local car care business with an equal mix of male and female auto service professionals and they work with an underlying philosophy of education, empowerment, and community!

One of Dean’s Car Care service advisers, Harriet Hargrave, nominated Oregon Tradeswomen during a community organization presentation, and we’re thrilled to have been selected as one of four awesome organizations customers can choose to give back to when they complete their service at the shop.

“Congratulations on the great work you all are doing, we are excited to be able to support your efforts! Your organization received votes from every member of our team after Harriett lead a brief discussion on how if we want to see more women in the industry, supporting organizations like Oregon Tradeswomen is a practical step. Additionally, some of our favorite customers are graduates of your programs and have been great advocates.

With Appreciation,
The Dean’s Team

This program runs through June 2020, so please check them out for your next maintenance service – or if you hear a weird noise from under your hood!


You Built With Us!


Build With Us!, Oregon Tradeswomen’s third annual Blue Collar Gala, was filled to capacity with excitement, generosity and a few happy tears! YOU turned out in force with an overwhelming outpouring of support that exceeded our goal and will help set us up to serve even more tradeswomen in our new training facility in January. The incredible spirit of community and unwavering commitment to equity, inclusion, and economic justice is humbling.

Congratulations to four incredible people, nominated by the industry and awarded for their commitment to being leaders in their trades. Valerie Curbelo, Shaz Lynch, Sara Moore, and Aisha Winters (Not Pictured) were selected for the award by Oregon Tradeswomen’s Board of Directors, not an easy feat considering the field of 27 exceptional nominees.

Two new honors were also awarded this year: The Equity Partner Award and the Wanda Hall Legacy Award. The Equity Partner Award was given to Rod Belisle, Training Director at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center, to honor his commitment to increasing diversity in the electrical trade, and for being an incredible partner to Oregon Tradeswomen.

The other new award in 2019 was a posthumous award presented to the daughters of Wanda Hall of the Portland Water Bureau. Wanda’s enthusiasm and dedication to uplifting women in the trades through support and mentorship will be missed. Starting in 2020, Oregon Tradeswomen will solicit nominations for the Wanda Hall Legacy Award to honor other women in the trades whose commitment to informing and mentoring the next generation stands out. Oregon Tradeswomen salutes all the winners and nominees for their perseverance, passion, and grit, and thank them for their many contributions to our community, industry, and movement.

The staff and board of Oregon Tradeswomen thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity – helping us build the future home of Oregon Tradeswomen and increasing our capacity to help more women change their lives. Thank you for helping us pave a pathway to prosperity for the women who want to work in construction and a brighter future for our region’s construction workforce and industry.

We hope you had a wonderful time and we look forward to seeing you next year!

Oregon Tradeswomen Supporters Bring on Industry Challenge!

“We admire the ability of Oregon Tradeswomen to do outreach and offer training that helps people be work ready in such a short time. We want to make sure everyone who needs more workers knows about this incredible resource and help them train even more construction workers!”

~ HoneyPot Fund donors

Oregon Tradeswomen is truly lucky to have such tremendous support across our industry and community to live our mission and work in supporting women into skilled trades careers and economic self-sufficiency.

Two such donors, who wish to remain anonymous, created the “HoneyPot Fund” to support our Pathways to Success program and general operation support for our expansion to Rockwood. These incredible donors are challenging others to step up to fund our apprenticeship readiness program and help ensure more women have good careers with good wages and benefits to support themselves and their families.

What’s the Challenge?
The HoneyPot Fund is offering $10,000 to match any $10,000 donation to Oregon Tradeswomen!

When is the Challenge?
You can donate online today, join us at Build with Us! and raise your paddle for $10,000 or go old school and send us a check to:

Oregon Tradeswomen
ATTN: HoneyPot Fund
454 SE 187th Avenue
Portland OR 97233

How Can I Support the Challenge?
Are you ready to put your wallet behind your conviction to a diverse, skilled, and equitable workforce? We knew you’d say YES! Donate today and challenge others in our industry and community!

How will my donation help?
Your generous contribution will be matched by the HoneyPot Fund to help support Oregon Tradeswomen’s continued growth, our move to Rockwood, and allow us to support more women securing their economic future through and help meet industry demand for a skilled and diverse workforce!

Thank you for your support and stepping up to the HoneyPot Industry Challenge!

With gratitude & love,
Oregon Tradeswomen

Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund

Oregon Tradeswomen is committed to increasing the participation of women in the skilled trades, and we have shifted our outreach to focus on women of color who remain significantly under-represented in the construction industry, here in Oregon and across the nation.

We know women of color leave the construction industry at higher rates than both white women and their male counterparts, and Oregon Tradeswomen is working to address barriers and increase retention. There are many factors contributing to these high attrition rates, and Oregon Tradeswomen is working to help address those issues.

  • We are focusing on strong public policy to ensure participation goals are in place on public project for a diverse workforce.
  • We are working to create access to quality, affordable childcare.
  • We are committed to addressing harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

These are just some of the ways we seek to shift the numbers, support our industry, and improve outcomes for workers in our communities. The Helen Getchell Fund was established to specifically provide support to help increase the retention of success of our sisters of color in the construction industry.

More about The Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund

The Helen Getchell Women of Color in the Trades Fund is a designated fund housed and managed at Oregon Tradeswomen. Through the fund, women of color who demonstrate need are provided with direct financial support to successfully complete pre-apprenticeship and enter into employment and registered apprenticeship in the skilled trades.

The fund is advised by members of the Helen Getchell Giving Circle, which is comprised of the fund’s founder, Charlene Getchell, and invited community and industry stakeholders who are committed to ensuring access, opportunity and equity for women of color in the skilled trades.

Or mail your gift to:
Oregon Tradeswomen
454 SE 187th Avenue
Portland, OR 97233

Easy Ways to Support Oregon Tradeswomen!

As a non-profit organization, Oregon Tradeswomen’s work is made possible through the generosity of our supporters. For these gifts we are immensely grateful, but not everyone has the financial flexibility to make a monetary contribution. Luckily, there are other ways to support our work that are quick and easy!

Each of these avenues are incredibly helpful to our organization. If every one of our supporters participated in at least one of these programs, the impact would be undeniable. 


Dovetail Affiliate Program

Oregon Tradeswomen is both honored and thrilled to announce that we are the first affiliate partner for Dovetail Workwear, which means ALL of Oregon Tradeswomen’s community – from students, graduates, field instructors, donors, volunteers, staff, and members can receive a 10% discount on purchases simply by using this link to shop:!

In addition to your 10% off, Dovetail Workwear also makes a commensurate 10% donation to Oregon Tradeswomen!

Fred Meyer Rewards

What if we told you that your Fred Meyer shopping trips could benefit Oregon Tradeswomen? Every time you shop, Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program will put aside up to $650,000 each quarter to benefit an organization of your choice! Here is how you can participate:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the silhouetted person icon at the top right side of the page to Sign In.
  3. If you haven’t set up a Fred Meyer rewards account, click “Create an Account”
  4. After signing in to your account, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and locate the Community section
  5. Under “Community” you will see and select “Fred Meyer Community Rewards”
  6. On the page that pops up, there will be a section that says “Are You a Fred Meyer Customer?” and under that there will be a link that reads “Re-enroll or link your Rewards Card now” which you will click
  7. The page that pops up will list suggested organizations to support, but at the very top of the page you will want to type in “Oregon Tradeswomen” on the search field and search
  8. Oregon Tradeswomen should be the first listing to pop up, so locate it and press the “Enroll” button
  9. The website will give you a confirmation page with the information of your enrollment in the program
  10. Now, whenever you shop at Fred Meyer, swipe or enter in your rewards info and Fred Meyer will donate a percentage of your total to Oregon Tradeswomen!

Amazon Smile

If you are an Amazon user, each purchase you make can help Oregon Tradeswomen through the Amazon Smile program! Amazon Smile is a way for you to direct 0.5% of your Amazon purchases to a non-profit of your choice. To start generating money for Oregon Tradeswomen, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Go to Amazon Smile’s home page at
  2. Log in using your Amazon account
  3. A page will pop up asking you to select a charitable organization
  4. There will be some spotlight charities, but below that, there is a search bar to pick your own charitable organization where you can search “Oregon Tradeswomen”
  5. Oregon Tradeswomen’s profile will show up and you will click the yellow “Select” button to support that organization
  6. A page will show up with a confirmation of wanting to support the charity, so you will want to check the box and press “Start Shopping”
  7. Now, every time you shop on Amazon, a percentage of your total will be donated to Oregon Tradeswomen!

Donate Your Car

By donating your vehicle you will save yourself the hassle and expense of selling your vehicle while supporting a cause you are passionate about: helping girls and women explore their opportunities to pursue living wage jobs in the trades. When you donate your car, boat, motor home, or motorcycle, Oregon Tradeswomen will greatly benefit from your donation.

This kind of donation is a substantial gift and will help offset costs in our programs that empower women to learn about working in the trades.


At Oregon Tradeswomen we are always looking for volunteers to take some time out of their day to help us out. There are many ways to volunteer with our organization, the biggest of opportunities being our Annual Career Fair. If you are interested in being contacted about volunteer opportunities, please email our Communications Coordinator at

We thank you for your support this holiday season as you join us in ensuring that the thousands of low-income women and girls will receive the inspiring education, training and mentoring needed to become the next generation of tradeswomen.

Oregon Tradeswomen LOVES Dovetail Workwear


Shop. Save. Support Oregon Tradeswomen!

Oregon Tradeswomen is both honored and thrilled to announce that we are the first affiliate partner for Dovetail Workwear, which means ALL of Oregon Tradeswomen’s community – from students, graduates, field instructors, donors, volunteers, staff, and members can receive a 10% discount on purchases simply by using this link to shop:! In addition to your 10% off, Dovetail Workwear also makes a commensurate 10% donation to Oregon Tradeswomen!

Dovetail workwear is more than a manufacturer of top-quality workwear made specifically for women, they’re an important partner in supporting women to succeed in the skilled trades and other traditionally male occupations. They have intentionally developed their entire product line by collecting input and feedback from women working in construction, manufacturing, landscaping, and other physically demanding industries.


Oregon Tradeswomen is in the Willamette Week Give!Guide

The Willamette Week Give!Guide announced the 150 non-profit organizations that will be featured in this annual campaign, supporting these organizations and encouraging philanthropy among Portlanders age 35 and under. Oregon Tradeswomen is honored to be included this year!

The Give!Guide was started in 2004 as a way to inspire people under the age of 35 to get in the good habit of donating to local organizations that help make our community a better place to live!

The Give!Guide campaign runs through midnight on December 31, 2018.

Big Give Days!

To inspire giving, the Give!Guide offers different Big Give Days throughout the campaign where any donation of $10 or more on that day will guarantee you entry in a drawing for a BIG prize!

Note: Each Big Give Day will have TWO raffles of the same prize:  one for everyone who donates and one just for donors 35 years of age or under.

December 20:  Big Give Day #6
A specialized FX 1 Commuter Bike from Bike Gallery

December 27:  Big Give Day #7
A Cultural Adventure Package Across Oregon from the Oregon Cultural Trust:

The package includes:

A Cultured Evening in Portland: Two vouchers for a pair of premium-level seats to Literary Arts’ presentation of Everybody Reads: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Thursday, March 14 and a two nights stay at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

A Day Trip to Historic Astoria: A gift certificate for tickets to any Liberty Theatre presented event in historic downtown Astoria, with tasty appetizers on the house at a local restaurant.

Outdoor Adventure at Crater Lake: Gift certificate for two at Crater Lake Zip Line and a one night stay at the Running Y Ranch Resort in Klamath Falls.


We hope you join us in this season of giving and support the work we do at Oregon Tradeswomen, and maybe you’ll win big in the process!


Give!Guide is also hosting some shows throughout the campaign which are FREE and open to the public (21+) where you can dance the night away and also donate to your favorite non-profit! 

November 2: Give!Guide Magazine Release Party
No Vacancy Lounge, 8 pm – 11 pm
8:00 Party // Listening Man / Dj Le’Mix
9:00 Skidmore Prize Announcements
9:30 Zach Carothers of Portugal. The Man (Dj Set)

November 15:  Give!Guide Presents #1
White Owl Social Club, 8 pm – 12 am
8:00 Ezza Rose
8:45 Plastic Cactus
9:30 Honey Bucket
10:30 And And And

December 6:  Give!Guide Presents #2
Mississippi Studios, 8 pm – 12 am
Time TBD Blossom
Time TBD Maarquii
Time TBD Amenta Abioto
Time TBD Karma Rivera