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OTI’s Annual Meeting: January 18, 2017!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
5:30 – 7:30 pm

La Cocina
3939 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
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 | Leave a comment

OTI Alumnae Spotlight: Meet Echo Dahl!


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 | 1 Comment

Community Event: An Oregon Agenda for Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice

OTI staff members Emma Brennan and Brynn Hall attended the Oregon Agenda for Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice on December 1st. The event was held at the historic First Baptist Church on Vancouver Avenue and was put on by Oregon’s Fair Shot for All Coalition and the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) with the goal of reaffirming our community’s commitment to racial and economic justice.

Amidst the political turmoil our country is facing during the post-election season, Kathy Wai of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon urged audience members to continue the fight for equality stating that “our resistance and solidarity is crucial” during this time. Further powerful speeches were heard from Amira Streeter of the Urban League of Portland, Nancy Haque of Basic Rights Oregon, and Tom Chamberlain of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

A bold 2017 legislative agenda was announced with the hopes that Oregon can continue to lead the country in it’s fight for racial, gender, and economic justice for all Oregonians.

  1. Cover all Kids promises insurance coverage for all Oregon children so they can thrive in school and start on a pathway to success in their lives.
  2. End Profiling aims change the culture of policing in Oregon to make neighborhoods safer and communities stronger by funding and creating the system needed to identify patterns of profiling and enacting accountability mechanisms to address profiling when it occurs.
  3. Paid Family Medical Leave will ensure that Oregonians can welcome a new child or take care of their own or their family member’s serious health needs without losing the income their family relies on.
  4. Reproductive Health Equity will ensure that preventative reproductive health coverage is available at zero out of pocket cost for the people who have been categorically excluded from health programs due to citizenship status and/or gender expression.
  5. Stable Homes for Oregon Families will prevent no-cause evictions and repeal the ban on rent stabilization in order to help working families maintain housing stability and curb homelessness.

It was inspiring to see the community come together to fight for racial, gender, and economic equity and it is our belief that this legislative agenda will positively affect tradeswomen and their families. Visit the Fair Shot for All  website for more information about how to get involved to make Oregon a state where everyone has opportunity.

Posted on by OTI Staff in Community Partners, Events, Public Policy | 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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