Margaret Carter building dedication at Portland Community College
October 21, 2011
I am so glad to be here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Portland Community College, as well as the new Margaret Carter Building. Both the college and Senator Carter are beacons of Oregon achievement.
Over the past 50 years, PCC has provided education to more than 1 million people – and they have gone on to become Oregon’s teachers, medical workers, welders, fire fighters, police officers, small business owners, machine operators, and so much more. Thanks to PCC, thousands of Oregonians have been able to find good, family-wage jobs, making our entire community stronger.
As we work to rebuild our state’s economy, we need to create even more family-wage jobs and continue to spur innovation. I have no doubt PCC, with its 93,000 students and its partnerships with businesses and industries, like Intel, will be part of the solution.
PCC’s Cascade Campus has already contributed to the revitalization of this North Portland community, opening the door to education in a traditionally underserved, underemployed neighborhood, and becoming a true community campus, in which PCC and local citizens come together to plan its future.
Today PCC is helping people change their lives and find opportunity – and that’s what Senator Carter is all about.
And that is particularly important when you consider that most people who come to PCC are not traditional students – they are people who are trying to work and go to school at the same time, trying to raise children and study for a degree, trying to make finances meet so they can have a shot at a better life.
And these are the students that Senator Margaret Carter has always been passionate about.
Senator Carter began her career at PCC as a student in the ‘60s, then joined the staff in 1973 as a counselor. She ran for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1984 and became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Oregon legislature.
She was instrumental in establishing the Cascade Skill Center and worked diligently to safeguard its funding each year. She has been and still is an incredible advocate for education, community colleges, and PCC.
It is truly fitting that a building in this community will hold her name, symbolically representing the thousands of students for whom she has opened the door to a better life.
Margaret, congratulations on this wonderful acknowledgement of your five-decades of service to PCC and this community.
You and this college are true champions of educational and economic opportunity in this community and the entire state of Oregon.