SE Works: Portland, Oregon-based workforce development organization
Portland, Oregon  Youth Services

If you are 17-20 years of age, and interested in earning a GED, exploring your career options, and attending post-secondary education, SE Works may be the place for you!

You'll join a group of other youth who have common goals; working together in and out of the classroom, you'll assist each other to succeed. In addition to the group, you will be supported by a Youth Advocate as you plan and work toward your career path.

To get started, attend one of our orientation sessions, held twice per week. This brief orientation will introduce you to the resources available at SE Works. During this orientation, you will complete a SE Works application form. If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to have your parent or legal guardian sign the completed application.

After orientation, you'll take some assessment tests and attend a GED class information session. The session includes all the information you need to be successful in the class.

Once a spot opens for you, you'll start by attending evening Tutoring Labs, which take place from 5:00 to 7:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here you'll work with a tutor to brush up on your academic skills. Once you're ready and a seat is available, you'll enter the GED class.

GED Class

Education - Our small GED classes and individualized instruction will assist you in preparing for the GED. Along the way, our non-traditional approach will make learning fun through project-based activities and exploring the community. In the class, you'll develop the skills that you need to succeed in college. You'll also work with your Advocate to create a transition plan and make sure you're ready to enter post-secondary education. Classes meet Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, plus one hour of individual tutoring per week.

Employment - Explore your interests, identify your job-related experience, develop workplace skills that will allow you to get and keep a good job, and investigate your career options. During the class, you'll participate in...

  • SCORE: Success in Connecting To, Obtaining, and Retaining Employment - During this interactive two-week class, you'll explore your career interests, learn to write a resume, complete a job application, complete the college financial aid application (FAFSA), and practice interviewing.
  • Employer Tours - Investigate your career options. Take tours of local companies to learn about career opportunities, pay and benefits, and job requirements.
  • Job Shadows - Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be a fire fighter? Or maybe an electrician? A doctor? An actor? You can arrange to spend a few hours with a professional working in a field you'd like to explore.
  • Job Fairs - Attend job fairs where you apply for employment, or just learn about local companies that you might want to work with in the future.

If you have successfully achieved the goals you set in the program, you also may be eligible to participate in an internship with a local employer.

Empowerment - Develop the leadership skills you need to be successful in your career and in life.

  • Independent Living Skills classes - These classes teach important life skills such as managing finances, renting an apartment, handling peer pressure, and the basics of cooking.
  • Community Service - You'll have an opportunity to apply your skills, learn more about your community, and make a difference. And you'll have fun doing it!

Transition to college or vocational education

Youth advocates will work with you as you register in college, apply for financial aid, and pick your classes. Scholarships may be available to help you pay for courses. We'll also be by your side for the first year to help you address any challenges that might stand in the way of reaching your goals.

This program is supported by: Portland Public Schools; the National School Lunch Program; the City of Portland; PDC; Worksystems, Inc.; the Juan Young Trust; North Clackamas School District; and the generous donations of our Board of Directors and other supporters.  

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