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College and partners form PACT to launch careers

Posted April 15, 2024

Working with local unions, the Lincoln County School District, Northwest Oregon Works, and other partners, Oregon Coast Community College has created the Pre-Apprenticeship for Construction Trades (PACT) program.

The goal of the PACT is to provide a pathway to lucrative, local careers in the various construction trades by preparing participants for the apprenticeship programs offered by local trade unions. {Click here to place your name on the wait list for the program, which will begin in September. There is no obligation: if offered a slot, registrants are free to accept or refuse invitation.}


While the program is open to county residents of all ages, organizers hope to attract a number of high school students and recent graduates, as well as older students. 

“We were dismayed to learn that the average age of folks starting these apprentice programs is 28,” said Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge, OCCC President. “Our union partners are looking to the College to help address this decade-long gap between high school graduation and launching these careers. Given the earning potential in these fields, there’s a tremendous opportunity cost in putting off the decision to enter an apprentice program for so long.”

Ryslinge added that one of the reasons would-be apprentices delay starting the process is because they lack the necessary educational experience and skill in mathematics, reading, and other areas. The PACT program is designed to help participants of all ages fill those gaps, and will arm them with the confidence to pursue the apprenticeship of their choice.

PACT to deliver industry certifications

Through the PACT program, participants will earn the OSHA-10 certification – a vital piece that delivers robust content around workplace safety. They will also complete other certifications and trainings, ranging from CPR/lifesaving to forklift and scissor-lift operating. They will learn how to read and interpret blueprints, and will learn mathematics including right-angle trigonometry, mastering how to calculate area and volume, among other skills.

The course will be offered for the first time in the Fall of 2024, starting Sept. 6 and running through late January, 2025. The schedule was crafted to align with the Lincoln County School District’s semester, though the program is open to students of all ages and backgrounds.

There will be two cohorts of the program; one will meet every Friday (alternating in-person meetings held in Siletz and other locations with remote meetings, every other week). The other cohort will feature remote lunchtime sessions Mondays and Wednesdays with Saturday in-person sessions at locations around the County. (See “Note,” below.)

NO COST to participants in first program, thanks to agency

Whichever cohort a person chooses, there will be no cost to participate.  During a recent planning meeting, discussion turned to tuition – the fee each student would pay for the program. That conversation came to a quick end when Northwest Oregon Works (NOW) announced that, together with resources provided by the Future Ready Oregon program, it would help fund the tuition for all participants of this inaugural program. “Our workgroup is deeply appreciative of this investment in our participants’ careers,” said Dan Lara, OCCC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness. “We thank the NOW team and Executive Director Heather DeSart for this phenomenal support.”

Program Poster

Topics featured in different sessions throughout the PACT program will include:

  • Construction Industry/Construction Trades Orientation
  • Forklift Training
  • Construction Health and Safety
  • Heritage of the American Worker
  • Tools and Materials
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Basic Math for Construction
  • Financial Literacy
  • Measuring Devices
  • Welding
  • Diversity in the Construction Industry
  • Job Site Field Trips
  • Green Construction
  • Resumes and Interviews
  • The Apprenticeship Application
  • Work Keys Testing


Haz clic para ver la versión en español. 

NOTE: There will be two cohorts of this program. One will feature Friday sessions throughout the term; the other will involve brief Zoom sessions on certain weekdays and periodic Saturday sessions; check back to find the preliminary locations, dates and times for each, as they are currently under development.