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Meet Josh

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Workforce Challenge

Josh Norton worked for a wood and paper products manufacturer that closed its Portland location, leaving him and others without a job. Josh had some notice that the layoff was coming, so he was was proactive in his career planning, and started a Computer Information Systems (CIS) program at Portland Community College prior to the layoff.

Workforce Solution

Early in January 2009 Josh came to MTC to discuss furthering his education. Josh wanted to complete his Associates Degree in CIS and then continue on to earning his Bachelors Degree. He was eligible to receive funds from his employer's National Emergency Grant, which assisted with the costs of tuition and books.

During his associates' program, Josh’s computer crashed and he needed to replace it. The computer was a critical tool for his classes. MTC was able, with the grant money, to assist with the purchase of a computer, allowing Josh to continue his CIS program. Josh earned his Associates degree and continued on towards his BA. Later, benefits under the Trade Assistance Act were approved for employees laid off from Josh's company, and Josh also enrolled in that program for funds to finish his coursework.

Outcomes & Benefits

After two years of living on unemployment, Josh has now returned to work while attending classes at night. He was hired as a millwright at Georgia Pacific in Portland, providing needed income to his family while he continues with his goal of completing his bachelor's degree. "Thank you for your help," Josh said. "I could not have made it this far in my training without this program.”

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