Workforce Diversity Project Presented


July 19, 2017 – The Workforce Diversity Project (WDP) Community Meeting on June 22nd, presented the final report – Building Workforce Diversity – The Portland Region’s Workforce of Tomorrow – is available on the Partners in Diversity website at

Partners in Diversity convened over 100 attendees, including representatives from members of the communities of color and immigrant communities in Portland as well as professionals representing businesses, manufacturing, unions, public sector, higher education and the healthcare industry. The goal of the Community Meeting was to present the findings and outcomes of the three-year long project, and to brainstorm ideas about how participants could help to disseminate the workforce tools and resources to job seekers and human resource recruiters.

The workforce tools developed: Workforce Resource Guide, Translators and Interpreters, and Workforce Diversity Strategies are available on the website. They can be shared with the leadership of your organization as one of many tools to help fulfill your commitment to diversity in your workforce. Two of the three goals of the Workforce Diversity Project were accomplished as noted in the final report.

Our next step is to ask for help from our partners to ensure that job seekers can easily and readily access the workforce resources. Ideas on how to disseminate this information to the communities of color are welcome. Please email Mari Watanabe. Work on the third goal related to the re-credentialing of immigrants and refugees with advanced degrees earned at foreign universities will continue. This component of the Workforce Diversity Project, to help alleviate “brain waste” in Oregon, is ongoing with the continued support of our elected officials.

We also need your help. If you know of any immigrants and refugees who earned advanced degrees prior to coming to the US, please send their contact information to Mari Watanabe along with the type of degree they have obtained, the name of the university from which they received the degree, the type of work they have done in the US, and whether they are currently employed or unemployed. One of the outcomes of the meeting on June 22nd was the brainstorming and table discussions on ways to promote the website and to disseminate the workforce resources.

Here are the top key strategies participants at the community meeting suggested to communicate the final outcomes: 1. Keep the website updated, easily accessible and active. Include job tools in various languages 2. To encourage employers to show their support and involvement allow them to connect their career pages to the PiD WFD site 3. Develop a marketing plan with a group of core partners and targeted companies to discuss how to market the website and disseminate the information and resources. Include diverse marketing strategies such as social media with targeted advertisement; share through all partner groups; target different communities through Instagram, direct radio and magazine advertisement 4. Engage student affairs, affinity groups and faculty to interact with English Language Learners (ELL) students to help students understand career pathways 5. Identify champion(s) in organizations to help disseminate the tools in businesses 6. Disseminate tangible materials throughout the community – community centers; churches, barbershops 7. Distribute materials at local schools. Partner with Portland Public Schools to send to homes with students and provide tools for school counselors 8. Target immigrant and refugee communities by emailing their leaders: train-the-trainers – identify individuals who can spread the word to community members

If you have additional questions about Partners in Diversity, and the Community Meeting or wish to participate in developing a marketing campaign, please contact Mari Watanabe, Executive Director at We look forward to staying connected.