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Visitors from Korea Learn about OTI’s Training Program!

A few weeks ago at Oregon Tradeswomen, we were honored to host 4 women from Korea who are leaders in journalism-print and television, government, and environmental policy. We had an engaging conversation about OTI’s pre-apprenticeship program and OTI staff answered all of their thoughtful questions about construction in the western part of the United States.

After our wonderful conversation about the construction trades, we suited up in our personal protection equipment (PPE: hand-hats, safety glasses, and ear protection) and took a walk to see OTI’s pre-apprenticeship students in action. We were lucky enough to see OTI’s class during their first “hands-on day” and got to see students learning to use a variety of tools including:  jigsaw, chopsaw, table saw, safety lifts, and more! During a break for our hard working students, the Korean visitors had a chance to ask questions and hear directly from women planning to enter careers in construction. One of our students even got to practice her Korean language skills!

The Korean visitors were thrilled to meet our students and as staff, we are always excited to tell stories of how our graduates are breaking down barriers and shattering glass ceilings and concrete floors!

Posted on by OTI Staff in About Oregon Tradeswomen, Community Partners | Leave a comment

OTI’s Annual Meeting: February 2, 2017!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RESCHEDULED to Thursday, February 2, 2017
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Oregon Tradeswomen
3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Suite # 101
Portland, OR 97212

OTI can’t exist without the support of our membership base, our allies, and supporters. We depend on members to support OTI’s efforts, to guide the decisions of the organization, to contribute financially to the organization, to volunteer, and much more!

We hope you can join us in January to enjoy some social time, great Mexican food from La Cocina, voting on new OTI Board members, hearing about the highlights from 2016 and learning what OTI hopes to accomplish in the new year!

OTI will provide dinner and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from the restaurant bar.

Questions? Please contact Lisa Palermo, Development Director at [email protected] or 503.335.8200 x 38

Posted on by OTI Staff in About Oregon Tradeswomen, Events, Support OTI | 2 Comments

OTI Alumnae Spotlight: Meet Echo Dahl!

2016echodahl

Just before the economy took a turn for the worse in 2009, Echo Dahl moved to Portland from Arizona, to put her bachelor’s degree in Architecture to work. Unfortunately, what she encountered was a lay-off followed by five years of searching for work. While unsuccessful in finding a job, she was determined to make it on her own, and as a way to make ends meet, she bartended part time and was able to persist by living off the tip money she earned as well as some public assistance.

Echo first heard about OTI at a job fair she attended but the timing was not right because she had just given birth to her son, Onyx. She never lost the thought of a career in the trades, though, and Echo returned to OTI a couple years later – after she made the decision to pursue a career as a carpenter. She was hopeful that she would make more money than the $37,000 per year she was once able to earn in architecture.

After graduating from OTI’s Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class in 2013, Echo knew she would need a car in order to get to and from job sites, she made the somewhat difficult decision to give up her apartment and move in with her mother so she could use her damage deposit and tax return to buy a car.

“OTI was instrumental in my new career”

Echo now works as a project engineer for Pavillion Construction. She supports the project manager and superintendent on job sites. She was able to reach her goal of earning $60,000 a year just four years after starting OTI’s pre-apprenticeship class. When asked how OTI has helped her get to where she is today she said, “OTI was instrumental in my new career. I worked as an architecture intern and never knew my current position existed until OTI sent me on my first interview. This role essentially mirrors my old position with the (architecture) firm but it’s MUCH more fun. I get to be on site, see the construction happen, and be involved. And it PAYS better!!”

Echo was totally inspired by the trainers at OTI and her fellow tradeswomen during the TAC program. When asked what advice she would have for other women who are considering work in the trades, she said, “I tell anyone who will listen that the trades are a much smarter route than college. My college education helped me get where I am today, but if I had pursued carpentry out of high school, I could have reached the same goal while making much more money along the way and without the 50k in debt that will forever be my albatross.” 

“I went from an unemployed single mom living in an apartment just barely making it to a successful mom with a new house and a great job. I’ve finally reached all my big goals after many years of struggling. OTI made that happen.”

Echo’s future career aspirations include becoming a superintendent or project manager. She is thankful for finding OTI during a time in her life when she was searching for a new path. In her own words, “I went from an unemployed single mom living in an apartment just barely making it to a successful mom with a new house and a great job. I’ve finally reached all my big goals after many years of struggling. OTI made that happen.”

Posted on by OTI Staff in Career Path, OTI Graduates, Parenting, tradeswomen | Leave a comment

3934 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. #101  |  Portland, Oregon 97212  |   phone: 503.335.8200  |  fax: 503.249.0445

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